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Student & Alumni Blogs

Posted by Swapna Yeluri
05/05/2015 at 12:00 AM
The events and destruction in Baltimore over the past week triggered a lot of difficult emotions within me. I am an attorney in the city, advocating for underprivileged youths and veterans. Last October I was attacked in the same inner-city neighborhood where I work, day in and day out, trying to help the community.  I contacted the police and received no assistance at all.  The experience left me angry and bitter – not just toward the police, but also toward the individuals in the community.  Coming to terms with that incident and my reactions to it has been one of the...
Posted by David Zlotnick
04/27/2015 at 04:29 PM
RWU Law’s D.C. Semester-in-Practice Program provides an ideal opportunity for RWU Law students who are considering working in Washington D.C. after graduation to explore and plan for their future – by offering an entire semester spent earning on-the-job academic credits. The program immerses students in one of the most exciting, diversified and still-growing legal markets in the world. They earn academic credit while training full-time in a government, non-profit or trade-association setting. The students themselves are the program’s biggest fans. “I have thoroughly enjoyed...
Posted by Andy Horwitz
04/21/2015 at 05:40 PM
I joined the faculty at Roger Williams University School of Law just over 20 years ago because I saw that the school was dedicated to a very special mission.  The law school’s founders understood then what so many other schools have started to see now: that experiential education is a fundamental and critical part of a law school education.  Understanding the law is, of course, the foundation upon which all else is built.  But unless and until one has started to put that foundational education into practice, one has hardly begun the transition to becoming an effective lawyer....
Posted by Dennis Esposito
04/14/2015 at 03:23 PM
As I sit here in sunny Mexico, I ask myself: Why do I go back?  Here’s why: I am reflecting upon my longstanding relationship with the Marine Affairs Institute...  Seventeen years and counting.   It was 1998 when I taught my first adjunct course, “Environmental Law Survey,” and met Matt Harrington, then the only other faculty member at RWU Law who had any interest or experience in Maritime or Environmental Law. A year earlier, Professor Anthony Santoro, the School's first Dean, had gently asked us and a few others to see if it would be feasible to create a legal program that...
Posted by Niki Kuckes
04/07/2015 at 04:51 PM
Forty years ago, one in ten civil cases in federal court was resolved at trial.  Today, that number is closer to one in 100.  The “vanishing trial” has been lamented by academics, trial lawyers and judges alike.  One consequence of this trend is the diminishing opportunity for citizens to participate in the judicial process through jury service, an important value in American democracy.  But another, less noted, result of the vanishing trial is the lack of opportunities for newer lawyers to become real “trial lawyers,” with hands-on experience in such skills as how to...
Posted by Ashley Ham Pong
03/31/2015 at 12:46 PM
It was a sunny summer day in August of 2009 as I sat in a conference room at Roger Williams University’s Providence campus, feeling somewhat like a guinea pig. I was a member of the first class of RWU Law’s Immigration Law Clinic. A few months prior, I had submitted my application and thoughtfully explained my interest in the immigration field. My family’s past – a story of immigration fortunes and misfortunes – was a natural starting point. I often imagined how my ancestors had moved from Africa to the United States, and from China to the West Indies, and how both sides eventually settled in...
Posted by Judith Savage
03/24/2015 at 10:24 AM
This Friday, March 27, an extraordinary gathering will take place here at RWU Law to discuss mass incarceration and mass probation -- one of the most important public policy issues of our time. A sizeable cross-section of the Rhode Island community – including members of the bench and bar, law professors and law students, local and national experts, a host of stakeholders and citizens – will come together for a timely symposium titled “Sounding the Alarm on Mass Incarceration: Moving Beyond the Problem and Toward Solutions.” The event calls upon us to reexamine an inordinately expensive...
Posted by Cecily Banks
03/16/2015 at 12:00 AM
It doesn’t take long for my contract drafting students to realize that drafting is not the mechanical, backroom exercise of a wordsmith.  The students quickly start to see each business transaction as its own human interest story of parties forging a positive, fruitful contractual platform to boost and cushion their deal as the real world plays out.  In the first class, students learn how to elicit the client’s chief goals and concerns so that the contract actually addresses them.  They learn what a lawyer needs to know and think about before ever putting pen to paper, and...
Posted by Tom Peterson
03/09/2015 at 11:44 AM
Members of the RWU Law’s Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) started Alternative Spring Break (ASB) during spring break 2006, as an opportunity to assist those recovering from the devastation caused when Hurricane Katrina made landfall in August 2005. Since its inception, ASB has continued to grow every year.  In its first year, there was just one placement and a handful of dedicated students. Now, in 2015, it has grown to 17 placements in eight different states with 58 student participants.  Many of our supervising attorneys are RWU Law alumni. The program is funded by a...
Posted by Kathryn Thompson
03/02/2015 at 10:40 AM
Excellent lawyers are committed to lifelong learning; our craft requires it.  Whenever a new client walks into a lawyer’s office, that lawyer faces a new challenge. This challenge always includes new facts to learn, and a new problem to solve. This problem may add a new wrinkle to a familiar area of law, or may require the lawyer to become familiar with an entirely new area of law, or both.    Training students to learn the skills needed to represent these future clients, and to confidently embrace the unique challenge that each client’s problem raises, is at the heart of...