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06/17/2016
By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Last Sunday, when the scope of the tragedy at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando began to emerge, I sent the following email to the student body: Tragically, once again Americans are mourning the loss of...

Fast Facts

Out of 29 total state clerkship opportunities in Rhode Island, RWU Law grads hold 18 of those positions for the 2012-2013 term. This includes 8 of 11 clerkships with the Rhode Island Supreme Court.



Perspectives

Course Numbersort icon Description Credits
LSM.856

Trademark Stories

This class will examine recent developments in trademark law and practice.  The course will explore:  the impact of the Internet; international aspects of trademark usage and law; practical considerations of enforcing a trademark; and how small and large companies seek to gain brand identity.  Lalitha Rao will teach is course.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

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)
LSM.856

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.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Mass Torts vs. Torts Reform

A mass tort is a civil action in which multiple plaintiffs are injured in a similar fashion by a defective product, hazardous substance or disaster. This course will review a selection of mass tort lawsuits, including tobacco, medical devices, environmental and occupational diseases.  The class will take an in-depth look at the issues raised by complex mass tort lawsuits: issues of substantive tort law, civil procedure, litigation strategy, lawyer-client relationships, the economics of settlement, ethics, the judicial role, and societal impacts.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The Nature of the Judicial Process

The Nature of the Judicial Process was published in 1921 by Justice Benjamin J. Cardozo and remains one of the most important and influential treatments of the topic.  The professor, the Honorable Stephen J. Fortunato, is a retired Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The Voice of the Child - The Role of Guardian

This course  (taught by Professor Teresa Paiva-Weed) will review the role of the Guardian ad Litem in both domestic cases as well as child abuse and neglect  cases. The class will include an overview of the law and its practical application in a variety of custody disputes, including religious and education disagreements and relocation issues.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

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. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

U.S. Supreme Court Cases

This class will focus on the art of appellate advocacy with particular focus on two cases that will be argued this spring before the United States Supreme Court.  The class will include a trip to the Court to hear those two cases argued and for a meeting with Justice Alito. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

September 11th Litigation: Aviation Security & Terrorism Financing

This class will focus on materials selected by Professor Migliori, whose law firm is working on cases involving the September 11th attacks on the United States. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Genocide and Atrocity Crimes

Genocide in the 20th Century: In this course, which meets on Friday and Saturday on two separate weeks, Professor Noone explores the phenomenon of genocide, crimes against humanity and war crimes and the legal instruments available to identify and punish atrocity crimes.

 

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Election Law & Campaign Finance

This seminar will explore political campaigns and elections in the United States.  Selected topics in law and politics will include the right to vote, political participation, political parties, and campaign finance, as well as special attention to the issues arising in the 2012 elections.  The goal of this seminar is to provide students with an overview of the basic principles of election law and campaign finance in this country.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Feminist Legal Theory

This course examines how feminist legal theorists have understood and critiqued our legal system and its norms. The course will explore various schools and debates within feminist legal theory, and how feminist scholars bring feminist analysis to bear on a number of contemporary issues of law and public policy, including intimate and familial relationships, work and wealth distribution, and the regulation of sexuality.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Contract Law Practicum: In the Matter of Dr. B.

This Honors course is centered around a real-life breach of contract problem involving “Dr. B.”  Dr. B entered into a recruitment agreement with a Hospital in Florida, whereby he would serve as the hospital’s ENT (ear, nose and throat) doctor.  As part of the recruitment agreement, Dr. B accepted a “loan” from the hospital (or an advance on his salary) in the amount of approximately $140,000.  The loan was contingent upon Dr. B staying with the hospital for 3 years.  Dr. B left the hospital after 2.5 years and did not repay any amounts advanced to him.  Two years after leaving the hospital, the hospital is now demanding repayment.  This course will focus on developing the skills to help Dr. B with his legal issues.  The course will involve fact-gathering, identifying and researching factual and legal issues, communicating with the client and with the senior partner, making concrete recommendations to Dr. B on what he should do, critically evaluating the case for Dr. B and for the senior partner, assessing the benefits and drawbacks to various courses of action, communicating with opposing counsel, etc.  This will not be a traditional course.  Rather, it is designed as a practicum which will enable students to develop and practice the skills that they will need to respond to real-life contracts disputes.  Students will be evaluated based on a series of assignments (e.g. drafting a memo to the senior partner, writing a letter to the client, writing to opposing counsel, etc.), and based on their interactions with the client and with the senior partner.  Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Law Office Management

Law Office Management is a practical course to explore starting, running, and growing a law practice.  Students will create a business plan and draft various documents essential to any law practice.  A broad range of practice management topics will be discussed, including the choice of entity, practice specialization, business development, marketing, and various ethical issues.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Environmental Moot Court

This course is geared toward those interested in competing in the Pace Environmental Moot Court Completion.  The competition should be of interest to anyone interested in the moot court experience, but will be of special interest to those interested in pursuing careers in administrative law, in general, and in environmental law, in particular.  The course is meant to prepare students for both the brief writing and oral argument required by the Pace competition.  In order to enroll in the course a student must be currently taking either Environmental Law or Administrative Law or have already taken either one of those courses.  

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Spiritual Dimensions of Lawyering

This course  explores a lawyer’s identity and purpose beyond the “material” aspects of practicing law.  The readings in the course, evidencing a variety of religious and secular perspectives, address topics such as the integration of deeply-held personal values into the practice of law; clients who have deeply held values that are in tension with the dominant values of the legal system; exploring with the client whether justice, peace, or reconciliation is the client’s true goal; and the extent to which a lawyer might engage the client in moral conversation.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Lawyering in an Evil System

The sad truth is that legal systems do not always comply with the law, whether measured by existing positive law or more general notions of natural rights.  This course will consider the difficult issues facing lawyers and judges in such trying circumstances, over time and in different legal systems, and will challenge students to reflect upon how they would react if placed in similar situations. Among the topics will be lawyers practicing in racist legal systems in the United States, like Atticus Finch; lawyers under Apartheid in South Africa, like Nelson Mandela; lawyers in France and Germany during WWII; and lawyers representing “War on Terror” detainees at Guantanamo. Guest experts will be joining the conversations. Requires Honors enrollment.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Senior Abuse Neglect and Injuries

Litigation involving nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and financial exploitation of the elderly is an expanding and complicated area of civil litigation.  These cases provide a complex interaction between traditional tort law as embodied in medical malpractice cases along with contract issues, corporate law, access to the civil justice system and an understanding of state and federal regulations. This course will provide an academic and practical analysis of this complex niche practice area. 

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Current Issues in The Law Of Piracy

This course will consider various current legal issues in the law of piracy, including: the use of force by private vessel; insurance and the payment of ransom money; the extent of Congress' power to define piracy; the appropriate forum for piracy trials; the duty to suppress piracy and flags of convenience; and environmental activism as piracy.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

Simple Justice: The History of Brown V. Board Of Education

The text is the Pulitzer-Prize winning Simple Justice, by Richard Kluger.  The book traces the line of cases from Plessy v. Ferguson to Brown v. Board of Education, blending constitutional and historical analysis with fascinating portraits of the lawyers (and their litigation strategy) and the judges (and their personal struggles with how to dispense justice a changing society) who were involved in the history-making journey from “separate but equal” to the death of state-sponsored racial segregation in public schools. 

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Color Blindness

This course will ask students to take a hard look at crime and punishment in the United States in the age of mass incarceration. The phenomenon of mass incarceration commonly refers to the historic increase in the prison population in this country over the past 40 years, unexplained by the crime rate and in stark contrast to the incarceration rates of other countries, that has had a disproportionate impact on certain racial, ethnic and social classes (particularly younger African American men living in neighborhoods of concentrated disadvantage).  A critical examination of Michelle Alexander’s groundbreaking book, The New Jim Crow:  Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, will guide us in exploring the phenomenon of mass incarceration, its historical context, causes and consequences, and the future of crime and punishment in America.

1 Credit(s)
LSM.856

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)
LSM.856.W

Racial Privilege and Post-Racial Politics

The course will examine the reality of continued race discrimination and racial privilege against the backdrop of a legal regime and political system that claim to foster a color blind meritocracy. The readings will be from several sources including the work of Tim Wise in Between Barack and A Hard Place:  Racism and White Denial in the Age of Obama.

 

1 Credit(s)