Each year, the Marine Affairs Institute takes RWU Law students on an educational cruise on Narragansett Bay. This trip helps first year students better understand many of the marine and maritime issues affecting Rhode Island and New England.
Civil Procedure I & II
This two-semester course provides an introduction to the adversary system and the historical basis and evolving functions of both the state and the federal systems of civil procedure. Topics include an introduction to claims and remedies, jurisdiction, venue, pleading, discovery, joinder of claims and parties, res judicata, collateral estoppel, disposition without trial, court selection, jury and non-jury trials, post-trial motions and appellate review. The drafting of pleadings for a case is included.
Constitutional Law I
This course examines the basic principles of constitutional law through the analysis of the opinions of the United States Supreme Court. Topics include judicial review, federal system relationships, commerce clause, governmental powers and civil rights.
Constitutional Law II
This course examines the basic constitutional protection of individual rights including equal protection implied fundamental rights or modern substantive due process (including rights of privacy, privileges and immunities, and the incorporation controversy), due process and the first amendment freedoms of expression and religion.
Contracts I & II
This two-semester course provides an introduction to the law of agreements. Topics include contract formation, the doctrine of consideration and its substitutes, the Statute of Frauds, contract regulation, the parole evidence rule, interpretation, performance and breach, conditions, anticipatory breach, remedies for breach, specific performance, damages, restitution and impracticability and frustration. Both the common law and the Uniform Commercial Code are emphasized. The rights and duties of non-parties are covered to the extent possible.
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 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.
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.
Legal Practice I
This skills course trains students in the traditional methods of case and statutory analysis, legal research and writing. The skills are developed through graded exercises, library research, and written work. Students prepare a client opinion letter and two office memoranda.
Legal Practice II
This skills course complements Legal Practice I. The emphasis is on the development of advocacy skills through problem analysis, legal research, the writing of an appellate brief and the presentation of oral argument. Students are trained in computer-aided legal research.
Legal Practice III
This course is designed to provide in-depth instruction in legal writing and analysis, and to help prepare students for legal practice. Students will complete a series of in-class and take-home exercises and will receive feedback on their writing throughout the semester. In addition, students will meet individually with their professor to discuss assignments, and to enhance their writing and analytical skills.
(requirement begins with class of 2017)
This course analyzes the responsibility of lawyers and judges from the perspectives of the rules and case law, the profession and the client/consumer. Topics include the historical, political, and sociological bases of legal ethics; conflicts of interests; attorney-client privilege; admission to the bar; disciplinary matters and procedures; unauthorized practice of law; attitudes toward bench and bar; professional liability; and canons of ethics and codes of professional responsibility.
This course provides an introduction to the law of property, both real and personal. Real property concepts are emphasized. Topics include historical development, common law principles, gifts, estates in land, licenses, easements, restrictive covenants, future interests, contracts for the sale of land, conveyancing, mortgages, the recording system and possessory rights. Land-use regulation will be introduced if time permits.
Torts I & II
These courses provide an introduction to the law of liability for civil wrongs. Topics include intentional torts, negligence, strict liability, nuisance and damages.