Faculty News

  • Industrial pollutants
    Burger on Environmental Law
    Professor Michael Burger in Huffington Post on an upcoming U.S. Supreme Court case that could make it harder for victims of hazardous pollutants to get justice.
  • Law Students Offer Income Tax Assistance
    As tax-filing deadlines approach, 21 RWU Law students fulfill their pro-bono requirement by helping needy Rhode Islanders prepare their income tax returns .
  • Dean David Logan
    Logan Judges Urban Debates
    Dean David Logan served as a judge for teens participating in the Rhode Island Urban Debate League's "Community Debate" at Brown University on Saturday.


Michael J. Yelnosky

Michael J. Yelnosky
Distinguished Service Professor of Law

J.D., University of Pennsylvania
B.S., University of Vermont

Contact:
401-254-4607

Respected scholar, teacher and administrator Michael J. Yelnosky will become the fifth dean of Roger Williams University School of Law, effective July 1, 2014.

A founding member of RWU Law’s faculty, Dean Yelnosky has grown up with the law school. He served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs for four years, and was named Distinguished Service Professor in 2011.  He has also taught at Seton Hall University School of Law, Chicago-Kent College of Law/IIT and Villanova University School of Law. 

Professor Yelnosky is an expert in employment and labor law, and much of his scholarship explores alternatives or adjuncts to traditional enforcement of employment discrimination law. He is a Research Fellow with NYU Law School’s Center for Labor and Employment Law.  He has served as President of the Rhode Island chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association, and was the neutral arbitrator in a major interest arbitration between the State of Rhode Island and the Rhode Island Brotherhood of Correctional Officers. 

Another focus of his scholarship involves the judicial selection process, both in Rhode Island and nationally.  He has written several articles and hosted a major symposium on Rhode Island’s judicial merit selection system, and the results of his research into the role of the ABA in the federal judicial selection process will soon appear in the Roger Williams Law Review.  He published an op-ed in the Washington Post in 2013 that summarized the major findings of that research.   He is regularly quoted in the media on these and other topics, and he has published several op-ed pieces in the Providence Journal

In the classroom, Professor Yelnosky is a favorite with 1L students in Civil Procedure and with second and third year students in Employment Law, Labor Law, Employment Discrimination, and Judicial Behavior and Social Change Litigation, which he taught with the Honorable William E. Smith, Chief Judge of the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island.

In his previous administrative role as associate dean, Yelnosky was instrumental in leading the law school’s successful effort to gain membership in the prestigious Association of American Law Schools.  He also designed and conducted annual studies of the scholarly output of the faculties of most American law schools, studies that documented the remarkable achievements of the faculty at Roger Williams (fifth in New England, trailing only Yale, Harvard, Boston University and Boston College) and that garnered the attention of a national audience, including influential bloggers Brian Leiter and Paul Caron.    

Professor Yelnosky graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania School of Law and magna cum laude from the University of Vermont.  Before entering academia he served as a law clerk for the Honorable Edmund V. Ludwig in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania and worked for two law firms: Mellon, Webster & Mellon; and Morgan, Lewis, & Bockius.

Professor Yelnosky and his wife Laurie Barron are the parents of 13-year-old twins. Yelnosky recently took up running, and he has completed six marathons, including two Boston Marathons.  He will run Boston again in April, 2014.

Selected Publications

Books

NYU Selected Essays on Labor and Employment Law. Vol. 3. Behavioral Analysis of Workplace Discrimination (Alphen aan den Rijn, Netherlands: Kluwer Law International, 2007) (with Mitu Gulati, eds.)

Articles

Fully Federalizing the Federal Arbitration Act, 90 Oregon Law Review __ (forthcoming 2012)

What Do Unions Do About Appearance Codes?, 14 Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy 521 (2007)

The Prevention Justification for Affirmative Action, 64 Ohio State Law Journal 1385 (2003)

Title VII, Mediation, and Collective Action, 1999 University of Illinois Law Review 583

What Does "Testing" Tell Us About the Incidence of Discrimination in Housing Markets?, 29 Seton Hall Law Review 1488 (1999)

Whither Weber?, 4 Roger Williams University Law Review 205 (1998)

If You Write It, (S)He Will Come: Judicial Opinions, Metaphors, Baseball, and "The Sex Stuff", 28 Connecticut Law Review 815 (1996)

Salvaging the Opportunity: A Response to Professor Clark, 28 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 151 (1994)

Filling An Enforcement Void: Using Testers to Uncover Discrimination In Hiring for Lower-Skilled, Entry-Level Jobs, 26 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 403 (1993)