The Marine Affairs Institute holds a major symposium every other year. These events draw national and international experts in their various fields to RWU Law. Students can attend these symposia for free. Past topics range from fisheries law, climate change and the legacy of the Deepwater Horizon disaster.
Course Descriptions - %1
Corporate Scandals & Business Ethics
This seminar looks at high-profile corporate scandals to understand how deep-rooted conflicts of interest can trigger crimes, and examines the role of scandals in prompting corporate reforms and government regulation intended to improve the practice of corporate governance. We will explore how the response to scandal comprises both market (economic) and non-market (social, political, legal) components.
Criminal Defense Clinic
The Criminal Defense Clinic is a one semester program in which students represent indigent criminal defendants in the District Court and Traffic Tribunal of the State of Rhode Island. The caseload consists largely of misdemeanor and traffic offenses, including allegations of assault, domestic violence, disorderly conduct, drug possession, petty theft, drunk driving and breathalyser refusal. Students will handle every stage of representation in each of their cases, including motion practice, discovery and investigation, negotiation, pre-trial litigation and, when the case demands it, trial and appellate work. Trial Advocacy is a prerequisite.
This course examines the general principles of substantive criminal law and concepts of mens rea, causation, parties, elements, criminal responsibility and capacity, justification, excuse and defenses.
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.
Criminal Procedure: Investigation
This course examines the procedural aspects of the criminal justice system with emphasis on the impact of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the United States Constitution on state and federal prosecutions. Topics include the law of arrest, search and seizure, police interrogation and the privilege against self-incrimination.
Critical Race Theory
This seminar will examine the ways in which race has played a role in the development of American law. We will look at how race is defined in America and look at the experience of different racial minorities both historically and in the present day. The ways in which race plays a role in particular areas of law, such as criminal law and housing law, will also be examined. The course material for this seminar will be the work of scholars who have explored the historical and on-going subordination of racial minorities and provided critiques of legal regimes which have enforced racial subordination.
Domestic Violence Law
This course will examine the dramatic changes in domestic violence laws and policy over the past twenty years, assess their impact, and explore potential new practices in this rapidly developing area.
This course provides a basic overview of key issues in contemporary education law and policy. Relevant local, state, and federal laws will be considered as will education policy issues, which raise fundamental questions about how to balance the interests of the public, schools, students, and parents. The course will include a focus on the Constitutional right to public education, both under the United States and state constitutions.
Elder Law is a rapidly growing and intellectually challenging practice area. This course will focus on the legal issues and client situations most frequently encountered by Elder Law attorneys. The course will begin with an overview of how Elder Law differs from a traditional trusts and estates practice, including a review of the particular ethical challenges faced by the Elder Law practitioner. An examination of the major substantive law competencies needed by the Elder Law practitioner will follow. The course will conclude with an analysis of how the practitioner serves elders facing challenges such as diminished capacity and the need for long-term care.
An analysis of selected problems in the law of employment discrimination. Topics will be selected that address the historical, economic, and social dimensions and implications of the problem of employment discrimination. Included will be coverage of federal statutory prohibitions of discrimination in employment, the procedures for enforcement, standards of proof, and remedies for violation of applicable