By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Whenever possible, I try not to simply assert that the program at RWU Law is special.  Instead I try to give specific examples, preferably “objective” examples, or examples that do not come from...

Fast Facts

RWU Law provides students a broad range of marine resource and maritime courses taught by full professors as well as expert practitioners.  The curriculum includes courses in admiralty, fisheries, piracy, ocean and coastal law, ocean policy, and climate change.

Course Descriptions - %1

Course Number Descriptionsort icon Credits

Accounting for Lawyers

Accounting is the fundamental language of business.  Businesses speak many different languages but the essential, core language, the one that deals directly with business performance and viability is accounting.  In this course we will study some of the basic concepts of accounting such as debits and credits, double entry bookkeeping, financial statements, assets, liabilities, shareholders’ equity, accrual and cash methods of accounting, time value of money, depreciation, auditing, and Generally Accepted Accounting Principles.  We will explore how a working knowledge of these concepts is helpful to attorneys in a wide variety of different contexts so that, when you find yourself in a situation that requires at least a basic understanding of accounting concepts, you will be able to use that knowledge to successfully fulfill your role as an attorney.

2 Credit(s)

Administrative Law

This course introduces the growth and development of administrative law and procedure. Topics include constitutionality and delegation of power, discretion, policy, regulatory and adjudicative functions, rules orders, jurisdiction, investigative functions, procedures, due process and judicial review.

3 Credit(s)

Admiralty Law

This course involves a study of the jurisdiction of admiralty courts and the laws affecting maritime rights and obligations. Areas included are the history of maritime law, choice of law in admiralty cases, maritime property interests, rights of seamen, carriage of goods, salvage, and

3 Credit(s)

Advanced Appellate Advocacy: Criminal Law

This is a skills-based course that will utilize the vehicle of an actual criminal trial transcript to learn the basics of persuasive writing and good oral advocacy.  Instead of the soup-to-nuts approach of moot court, which covers every step in an appeal at a rather surface level, we will focus intensively on particular skills: issue-identification and framing, developing strategies for written and oral presentations, advanced research skills and analysis, partisan writing.   Throughout the course, there will be opportunities to improve writing skills, to learn how to handle both helpful and harmful precedent, to structure oral arguments and field hard questions.   Students should be prepared to critique their own writing and practice oral advocacy in class.    Graded assignments will occur throughout the semester; there will be no final exam and no “big” paper.  This course will help good researchers, writers and oralists become better, but even those whose skills are at a basic level will improve.

2 Credit(s)

Advanced Business Planning

This course combines advanced work in corporate law and federal corporate taxation in a problem context of business planning and counseling. The course focuses on several complex fact situations, giving students the opportunities to analyze and resolve the advanced issues presented.  Business Planning and Federal Income Tax are  prerequisites

2 Credit(s)

Advanced Criminal Procedure

This course is an analysis of selected and evolving criminal justice issues arising under the 4th, 5th, 6th and 8th amendments to the U.S. Constitution.  Within this context, emphasis is placed on the workings of the advocacy system, prosecution and defense functions.


3 Credit(s)

Advanced Torts

This course provides an in-depth coverage to a number of classic torts cases including Palsgraf, U.S. v. Carroll Towing, MacPherson Buick and others. It also covers the torts of defamation and invasion of privacy. 

3 Credit(s)

American Jury System

This course will discuss the origins and evolution of the present day American jury system.  We will also explore whether changes need to be made to that system and what those changes might be.  

1 Credit(s)


This course examines the limitations imposed by the Sherman Act, Clayton Act, and Federal Trade Commission Act on anti-competitive practices of businesses. The course includes price fixing, monopolization, mergers, tying, restraints in distribution, boycotts, price discrimination, procedural issues in private enforcement, and the relationship between state and  federal laws and enforcement.

2 Credit(s)

Appellate Practice through the Lens of the Standard of Review

This course, taught be Judge Francis Flaherty will examine appellate practice through the lens of the standard of review. The standard of review is as important a consideration to an appellate court as the substantive law but is often overlooked or misunderstood by attorneys.  Using sample cases, including some where the courts may have strayed, students will learn about the nuances of these various standards ranging from de novo to the “any evidence” test.    Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)