About the Blogger

Dean Yelnosky's picture

Michael J. Yelnosky became the dean of Roger Williams University School of Law on July 1, 2014.

Dean Yelnosky is a founding member of the RWU Law faculty. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years, and he was named Distinguished Service Professor in 2011. He has also...



Dean Yelnosky's Posts

Posted by Michael Yelnosky
10/22/2016 at 09:44 AM
Less than two years ago, RWU Law hosted a day-long symposium on the issue of mass incarceration, an event attended by approximately 350 judges, lawyers, law students, and others.  It was a remarkable day, but two moments in particular stand out for me. Bryan Stevenson, Executive Director of the Equal Justice Initiative, gave a gripping speech about the justice system from his vantage point as a lawyer representing clients in criminal cases throughout the country.  He explained that one of the reasons the United States is unresponsive to the growing inequality of wealth and the...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
08/12/2016 at 10:40 AM
One hallmark of an education at RWU Law is instruction in lawyering skills.  We teach students both how to think like lawyers and how to act like lawyers.  We have been recognized for our innovative curriculum, and last year we joined a small group of law schools that now require a third semester of instruction in legal writing, one of the most important lawyering skills. This year we welcome two new members of the faculty who will help us continue to deliver the best legal writing instruction to our students.  We are not just saying it, we are putting our money where our mouth...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
07/08/2016 at 04:01 PM
A note I sent to the student body of RWU Law today: Good Afternoon Sadly, communities across the country continue to be ravaged by the use of deadly force by police officers against people of color.  The recent instances in Louisiana and Minnesota are all the more disturbing because the shootings or their aftermath were captured on video. I went numb last night as I watched Philando Castile bleeding to death in the passenger seat of a car driven by his girlfriend, who said the couple, with a child in the back seat, had been pulled over for a broken tail light. Mr. Castile’s name joins...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
06/17/2016 at 11:54 AM
Last Sunday, when the scope of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando began to emerge, I sent the following email to the student body: Tragically, once again Americans are mourning the loss of life caused by a senseless act of gun violence, this time apparently directed at members of the LGBTQ community.  We mourn the loss of life and wish the hate would go away. In addition, it is important that we – as lawyers and future lawyers – remain committed to the principle of equal justice for all and put our skills to work in pursuit of a more peaceful future for all. Since then,...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
05/31/2016 at 01:10 PM
Commencement Week at RWU Law always begins the Monday before commencement at the Glen Manor House.  We had a beautiful night for the festivities as the Class of 2016 gathered on May 9, 2016 to celebrate with faculty and staff.  An awards ceremony kicked off the evening: Law Review Editor-in-Chief (Casey Charkowick), President of the Moot Court Board (Mikela Almeida), SBA President (Kyla Pecchia), Dean’s Academic Achievement Award (Jennifer Iarocci), Public Interest Award (Olabisi Maroofat Ashabi Davies), Pro Bono Collaborative Award (Rita Nerney and Judah Rome), Kathleen...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
05/03/2016 at 10:18 AM
One hallmark of an RWU Law education is our remarkable connection to the bar, the bench, other branches of government, and businesses – both profit and non-profit.  During a student’s three years at the law school this means unparalleled externship opportunities, superb adjunct faculty, and programs that regularly bring leaders in the bench, bar, government, and business to the law school.  These connections also translate into increased market power for students when they graduate and enter the job market.  Having interned for a federal judge while in law school, for example...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
04/26/2016 at 10:40 AM
This law school values diversity and inclusion.  Our commitment is based on three shared principles: First, we believe that the more diverse the law school community is, the more our students will grow intellectually and personally.  Race, gender, age, sexual orientation, religion, disability, and veteran status, for example, are not perfect proxies for the way a person thinks, but in a law school, where so many of the issues we discuss involve questions of social policy, the most meaningful discussions are those among people from different backgrounds who have different...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
03/03/2016 at 10:47 AM
On March 3, 2016 the United States Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims became the third court to hear live arguments this year at RWU Law. Here are some photos from the event: The Court and the Lawyers Students Enjoying the Court's Q&A Session A Full House The Lawyers Relax After Argument   The Court and Lawyers Field Questions Getting Informal Advice from the Judges and Law Clerks Kasim Yarn, Rhode Island Director of Veterans Affairs                                    ...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
02/03/2016 at 06:47 AM
At RWU Law we are proud of our leadership role in legal education. We have taken unprecedented steps to make law school more affordable, we continue to develop new and exciting programs, and we deliver in the classroom.   Still, it is always nice to get some external validation, and we have been getting plenty of late. When national media outlets and professional organizations praise our people and programs it makes it easier for us to get the word out that RWU Law is different from other law schools in ways that make us the best choice for most applicants.  Recently, for...
Posted by Michael Yelnosky
12/29/2015 at 11:34 AM
This year our perhaps inappropriately named “spring” semester begins on Wednesday, January 6th and ends fifteen weeks later, on Wednesday, April 27th. (We take off one week for “spring” break in early March).  Exams follow, and commencement exercises for the class of 2016 are on Friday, May 13th.   One of the signature aspects of a legal education at RWU Law is the number and quality of programs we offer during our fourteen-week semesters.  For example, in the fall semester the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held live argument at the law school ... as did...