Our Pro Bono Collaborative mobilizes Rhode Island law firms, law students and community organizations to provide desperately needed legal assistance for the underserved residents of the state. The unique program includes 10 major law firms, over 20 community-based organizations and several dozen law students.
Course Descriptions - %1
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
This course will examine government regulation of the relationship of the individual employee and his or her employer. The propriety of regulating particular areas of the employment relationship and the efficacy of alternative regulatory schemes will be recurring themes. Areas of coverage may include employment at-will, wrongful termination, employment discrimination, regulation of compensation, workplace health and safety, unemployment compensation, and pensions.
Employment Law Stories
Employment Law Stories will be taught by Paul Stanzler a partner at the law firm of Burns & Levinson in Boston. This course examines nine cases that have shaped the trajectory of contemporary employment law. The text delves into the history, background, parties and arguments made to the court in creating major doctrinal areas of employment law. Topics covered include employment at will, employee privacy, wrongful discharge and employment contracts. Requires Honors enrollment.
Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship Program
Through the Environmental and Land Use Law Clinical Externship, students train in legal offices or departments of government agencies and non-government organizations doing environmental and land use legal work in Rhode Island and southern New England. Externs are exposed to the various ways in which environmental and land use law is practiced by government agencies and non-government organizations through litigation, administrative rulemaking and adjudication, and engagement in the legislative process. The students also participate in a two-credit, graded seminar “Advanced Topics in Environmental and Land Use Law” that will be designed by the professor, after consultation with the field supervisors, to teach substantive law, regulation, and policy directly relevant to the students’ field work, as well as the ethics and legal skills required of an environmental attorney.