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Jorge O. Elorza

Jorge O. Elorza
Professor of Law

J.D., Harvard
B.S., University of Rhode Island




Raised by Guatemalan immigrant parents in inner-city Providence, Professor Jorge Elorza returned to his old neighborhood after his graduation from Harvard Law School to give back to his community as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services.  Professor Elorza has litigated race discrimination cases and represented both private and public housing tenants in Rhode Island Courts.  Professor Elorza continues his work here at RWU as one of the moving forces and co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute at Roger Williams University.  This organization pulls together resources from Rhode Island universities, business firms and community-based organizations to provide a data-driven analysis of issues relating to Latinos in Rhode Island.  He has defended the constitutionality of the Rhode Island Lead Hazard Mitigation Act before the Rhode Island Supreme Court.  Because of his expertise in housing matters, he was recently appointed to preside in the Providence Housing Court.

Professor Elorza teaches Property, Advanced Constitutional Law, and Housing Law & Policy.  His research interests lie on the intersection of Law, Science and Religion and on the economics of Housing Policy.

Professor Elorza is a member of the Board of The Rhode Island Foundation, the Board of Governors of The Miriam Hospital, and the Board of Achievement First Rhode Island.

He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (summa cum laude) and Harvard Law School.

Selected Publications


Secularism and the Constitution: Can Government Be Too Secular?, 72 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 53 (2010)

Absentee Landlords, Rent Control, and Healthy Gentrification: A Policy Proposal to Deconcentrate the Poor in Urban America, 17 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy 1 (2007)