Trending@RWULaw

08/25/2014
By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Roger Williams University is a leader in preparing law students for today's legal marketplace. In this video, the new Dean, Michael J. Yelnosky, talks about what makes RWU Law different.

Fast Facts

RWU Law partners with the Alpert Medical School of Brown Medical School and the Rhode Island Center for Law and Public Policy in the Rhode Island Medical-Legal Partnership for Children.  This unique collaboration offers legal services to low-income families at Hasbro Children’s Hospital.



Upper Level Legal Practice

Course Number Descriptionsort icon Credits
LAW.813

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)
LAW.750

Criminal Litigation: Drafting & Advocacy

While less than ten percent of criminal cases go to trial, every criminal case involves reviewing and drafting critical documents.  This course will focus on pleadings, motions and related documents in the various stages of criminal cases – from the indictment through post conviction proceedings.  Students will learn how to review and draft such documents as indictments, motions to suppress, plea agreements, jury instructions, post-trial motions, applications for post conviction relief and governmental oppositions to such applications -- from both prosecutorial and defense perspectives.   The course is designed for prospective criminal attorneys, appellate attorneys, and judicial law clerks in state and federal courts.  Course assignments will include drafting of pleadings, motions, memoranda of law as well as class presentations.   Completion of, or concurrent enrollment in, Criminal Procedure is considered helpful.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.965

Federal Practice/Commercial Litigation

This course combines what has traditionally been taught in two separate courses on Pretrial Practice and Trial Advocacy. The idea behind this course is that federal litigation must be viewed holistically, meaning with an understanding and appreciation for the reality that litigation, from the filing of a complaint through trial, is an integrated process that begins with a well-pled complaint, proceeds through discovery, often involves substantive and dispositive motion practice, and ends (if it is not resolved earlier) at trial. The course is a full year long in order to mimic the actual life cycle of a case in federal court. Students will work on an actual case by drafting pleadings, taking/defending depositions, filing and arguing at least one dispositive motion, and ultimately trying the case before a judge and jury. In addition, throughout the year, students will receive lectures, practice exercises, and guest lectures on key aspects of litigation, including complaint drafting, deposition skills, settlement process and strategy, and trial tactics. This course will be taught primarily by a seasoned litigator and a faculty member, both of whom have practiced in federal court. The students will be split into teams and each team with have a lawyer-coach assigned to assist them. Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island will attend a limited number of the class sessions and preside over some courtroom activities, as his schedule permits

2 Credit(s)
LAW.640

Interviewing & Counseling: Civil Rights Client

This skills course develops the craft of client interviewing and counseling in the context of a civil rights action. Using the framework of civil actions against governments and individuals for the violation of constitutional rights, the skills of information gathering and counseling will be honed. The class will be conducted with lectures, demonstrations, simulations and critiques.

2 Credit(s)
LA 750

Legal Drafting

This course introduces students to forms of practical legal writing not covered in Legal Practice I and II. The fundamentals of legal drafting are addressed, with an emphasis on the principles of good writing and editing. Assignments reflect the types of legal writing an attorney encounters in daily office practice - documents for litigation, as well as those designed to avoid litigation. Typical projects include correspondence, simple contracts, pleadings, discovery documents, motion papers, jury instructions, orders, and settlement papers. Students may be asked to write from the perspective of a judge or legislator, as well as a practitioner.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.757

Legal Drafting & Advocacy: Environmental Law

This course introduces students to legal drafting and advocacy on behalf of clients facing environmental regulatory issues, both in the administrative and business planning contexts.  The course will cover land/water use issues regarding residential, mixed use and industrial development and operational permitting and compliance under a myriad of Federal and State laws including the Clean Water Act; Clean Air Act: Rivers and Harbors Act, RCRA, CERCLA; CZMA and various selected state statutes and regulations.  Students will learn about agency investigations, enforcement, and appeals and engage in document drafting and simulated agency proceedings.  Students will also learn how to counsel clients about environmental risks in different kinds of business transactions to develop practical lawyering skills in this complex field.  Prerequisite or contemporaneous enrollment in Environmental Law, Natural Resources Law or Coastal and Ocean Law.  Students will be evaluated based upon drafting assignments and mock agency proceedings and client counseling simulations.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.855

Legal Drafting: Commercial Transaction

The area of commercial law involves the application of practical skills introduced in payment systems, secured transactions and bankruptcy.  This course will offer the student the opportunity to acquire ‘hands on’ experience in the drafting of ‘workout’ documents and pleadings arising from commercial loan transactions.  Specifically, this drafting course will continue the topics presented in Legal Drafting: Commercial Loan Documents and take the student through the particulars of dealing with commercial lending transactions that go awry.  Specifically, each student will be introduced to the ‘workout’ process and prepare and submit documents and/or pleadings in state or federal proceedings (including Bankruptcy Court) to protect the interests of each of the lender and the borrower.

3 Credit(s)
LAW 758

Legal Drafting: Commercial Leasing

This class will focus on lease agreements between landlords and tenants of commercial real estate, including leases for office space, for retail stores, and for dustrial/manufacturing property.  Almost every business will be a party to a commercial real estate lease agreement, either as landlord or tenant, at some point in the life of that business. Knowledge of commercial real estate leases is an essential skill for real estate lawyers, as well as corporate lawyers. Litigators will also need to know the fundamentals of commercial real estate leases because these agreements often result in disputes and lawsuits.  This class will also explore some of the alternative uses for leases, such as leases being used as financing alternatives.  Class sessions will be devoted to section-by-section analysis of leases followed by student exercises to draft and revision of these documents.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.747

Legal Drafting: Commercial Real Estate Development & Finance Law

This course will focus on the development and finance components within commercial real estate transactions. We will review the land development process, including site acquisition, due diligence, permitting and construction of commercial retail properties and large scale condominiums projects. We will also analyze, from the perspective of both borrower and lender, the use of different finance mechanisms utilized in the development of real estate, such as term and revolving loans, bridge loans, construction loans and mezzanine financing.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.756

Legal Drafting: Contracts

This course teaches students the fundamentals of drafting contracts. Students learn how to understand a client's business deal, and how to translate the deal into contract concepts, the building blocks of contracts. Students learn the process for drafting the contract concepts in clear and unambiguous provisions in a well-organized complete contract that reflects accurately the parties' deal. Students learn how to add value to a client's deal by drafting and recognizing nuances in language that change the deal and shift risk between the parties. Students learn how to analyze and comment on a contract that another lawyer has drafted. Students will learn the best drafting style and usage techniques necessary to enhance clarity and avoid ambiguity.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.757

Legislative Drafting & Advocacy

Our lives are bordered by statutes. This course will teach the fundamentals of enacting statutes from policy concept to enacted legislation at the State level. Topics to be covered include bill and resolution drafting; effective Committee presentations; ethical and regulatory reporting issues; and campaign finance. Students will draft bills, advocacy pieces to legislators, reports to clients, and grassroots issue coordination plans.

2 Credit(s)
LAW.733

Mediation

When parties are unable to resolve their dispute through discussion or negotiation, a logical next step is to seek the assistance of a third party mediator to facilitate communication and the search for a solution. This workshop course is intended to familiarize students with the norms of the mediation process and to develop the lawyering skills that will enable students to either serve as mediators or to better represent clients in this increasingly important form of ADR. Attention is given to both facilitative and evaluative styles of mediation. Significant emphasis is placed on role playing exercises and on the legal consequences of the mediation process.

3 Credit(s)
LAW 736

Negotiation

This course explores both the theoretical and practical aspects of negotiation and focuses on the techniques, strategies, tactics, ethical restraints and responsibilities of the lawyer. The course is designed to give students experience by engaging in negotiation exercises, and in reviewing and critiquing simulations. Students will participate as negotiators, third parties, and observers. A short paper is required in addition to the exercises.

3 Credit(s)
LAW.641

Trial Advocacy

The trial advocacy course employs a learning-by-doing approach. Thus, most of the course will involve the practice of trial skills including direct and cross examination, opening statements, closing arguments, and jury selection, in a simulated courtroom environment. During the last two weeks of the course, each student will participate as co-counsel in a full-length simulated civil or criminal trial with a sitting Rhode Island judge or professor presiding.

2 Credit(s)