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Fast Facts

Each year the Rhode Island Supreme Court presides over the final round of our Esther Clark Moot Court Competition giving the finalists a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

First Impressions

Law Library

LGBT Climate

RWU Law offers an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of our community.  We have a substantial LGBT student population and a number of openly gay members of the administration and faculty.  The Alliance, our LGBT student organization, is extremely active, hosting national speakers and organizing symposia and several members of our faculty write on LGBT related topics ranging from sodomy laws to gay marriage to LGBT tax law.  

Our students are connected to the Rhode Island LGBT legal community through both the RI Bar LGBT Committee and Lawyers for Equality and Diversity (LEAD).  Through our public service requirement, our students work with Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) and the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).  Our Pro Bono Collaborative, an innovative program bringing together our students, community organizations, and top law firms, has partnered with Youth Pride RI to assist transgender youth who face discrimination in public schools.  

LGBT issues come into consideration in many ways both big and small at the school of law from including partners in our Orientation programming to offering a unisex bathroom for transgendered students.  Rhode Island is a very LGBT friendly community.  Providence offers a diverse gay scene with a range of LGBT and LGBT-friendly bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and clubs. 

RWU Law Faculty Research

  • Diana Hassel - An expert on Consitutional and Civil Rights Law, Professor Hassel has been recongized with a National Award for best Law Review article on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Emily Sack - A nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and reform of the court system, Professor Sack has spoken widely on topics related to same sex marriage and the Constitution.
  • Keeva Terry - A business and tax attorney, Professor Terry’s research focuses on how state taxation laws affect same-sex couples. Professor Terry teaches Tax and Contracts.


  • Lawyers for Equality and Diversity (LEAD) - The mission of LEAD is to provide a forum for attorneys and legal professionals to advocate for the equal and fair treatment of Rhode Island’s LGBTQ residents through advocacy and education.
  • Marriage Equality Rhode Island - Marriage Equality Rhode Island is a grassroots organization that works to secure equal marriage rights for all Rhode Island couples, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.
  • Options Magazine - Rhode Island’s Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Newsmagazine since 1982.
  • Youth Pride RI - YPI’s goals are to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth and their allies through empowering programs of support, education, organizing and advocacy, while working to change the homophobic, biphobic and transphobic environments in which they live.
  • Rhode Island Pride - Web resource designed to create opportunities for integrating and promoting visibility for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community in RI.
  • Gay Evolution -Article outlining LGBT History in Providence and links to local and national resources.
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) -Leading legal rights organization in New England dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.
  • National LGBT Bar Association - The National LGBT Bar Assocation is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliates lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.

2009 RWU Law LGBT Rights in RI Symposium Materials