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
European Union Law
The European Union provides a model for inter-state cooperation. The course will study the primary institutions and underlying legal integration principles of the system. Visiting Professor Robert Webster will teach this week-long course.
This course introduces the law controlling the introduction and exclusion of evidence in civil and criminal trials. Topics include burden of proof, presumption, judicial notice, burden of production, burden of persuasion, competency of witnesses, relevancy, examinations of witnesses, privileges, hearsay, demonstrative evidence, documents and the function of judge and jury.
Family & Divorce Mediation
This upper level legal skills development course is intended to provide the student with an understanding of the contexts in which family conflict arises, the various legal and practical issues in play when families disintegrate, and with in-depth training in the skills that a mediator might employ to help the divorcing parties resolve their differences. The course exposes the student to relevant factors and normative approaches used by courts in dividing property, determining child support, custody, visitation, and spousal support among other issues, while recognizing that parties in mediation are empowered to reach their own agreements with the aid of the mediator. Role playing exercises are used to integrate theory with practice.
This course examines the underlying social and economic principles of family life, its regulation by government, and constitutional limitations on regulation. Direct laws covering marriage, divorce, and child custody will be examined but also the course will cover those areas of law--property, income maintenance, medical care, schooling and crime--that also have direct impact on families in this society.
This course will examine the relationship of federal courts to other organs of federal government and to the states, including an analysis of congressional control over jurisdiction; federal review of state court decisions; the relationship between state and federal substantive and procedural law; the scope of federal questions and diversity of citizenship jurisdiction in federal courts; abstention; federal injunctions of state criminal proceedings; and problems of justiciability and mootness.
Federal Income Tax
This course provides a survey of the federal income tax system as it relates to individual and business activity. Topics include code, regulation, and case analysis; tax policy, economics, and public finance; and tax legislation. Specific concepts included are income, exclusions, deductions, credits, tax accounting, and tax procedure.
Federal Indian Law
Federal Indian Law will examine the allocation of sovereignty between the United States, Indian tribes and the states. It will include a review of some of the major cases, statutes, federal policies and historical practices that have governed the field. The course will take a particular look at the allocation of sovereignty in Rhode Island and will discuss issues raised by Carcieri v. Salazar, a recent U.S. Supreme Court case involving the Narragansett Indian Tribe and the State of Rhode Island. The course will be taught by Claire Richards, former legal counsel to Governors Lincoln Almond and Donald Carcieri
Federal Indian Law
This class will look at the allocation of sovereignty between the United States, Indian tribes and the states. The course will take a particular look at that allocation in Rhode Island and will discuss the sovereignty issues raised by Carcieri v. Salazar, a controversial Rhode Island case recently decided by the United States Supreme Court. Readings will be selected by Claire Richards, former Special Counsel to Governor Carcieri.
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
This course will examine the law and policies of federal, state, and international regulations of fishing, with the primary focus on federal regulation under the Magnuson-Stevens Fisheries Act. The course will examine the science of fisheries stocks and various approaches that have been tried or proposed for managing and conserving fisheries. The course will also examine the administrative law framework governing fisheries. Among the issues the course will examine are the competing policies at issue in managing fisheries and the ways that law seeks to address the competing interests in exploitation and conservation, commercial and recreational fishing, national and international interests, and the selection of local, national, and international control.