Law students get hands-on experience -- and small local businesses get an important boost -- at RWU Law's new Community Economic Development Clinic.

Upcoming Events

Happy Holidays

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Happy Holidays

Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration

Admissions Info Session
JAN
16
9:30 am - 1:30 pm
10 Metacom Avenue, Bristol, RI 02809
Martin Luther King, Jr. Celebration - Keynote Address by Paulette Brown
JAN
20
4:00 pm - 5:30 pm
School of Law Appellate Courtroom 283
Champions for Justice Dinner and Public Interest Auction
JAN
30
5:00 pm - 9:00 pm
Providence Biltmore Hotel
Behind Closed Doors
FEB
11
7:00 pm - 8:30 pm
Appellate Courtroom - Room 283
Washington, DC Law Alumni Reception
FEB
24
6:00 pm - 7:30 pm
Marriott Washington at Metro Center, 775 12th Street NW, Washington, DC

Trending@RWULaw

12/15/2014
By Kimberly Ahern
The annual Law Alumni Association Holiday Reception was held on Wednesday, December 3rd in Providence.  It is always a great event with over one hundred alumni, lawyers, professors and Judges...


Affordable Excellence at RWU LAW

Archives

Newsroom

A New Kind of Law Clinic

Law students get hands-on experience -- and small local businesses get an important boost -- at RWU Law's new Community Economic Development Clinic.

From Providence Business News: "RWU clinic advising on economic development" by Patricia Daddona, PBN Staff Writer

CEDC November 25, 2013: Eager to incorporate his after-school program for Providence teens, STEAM Box, as a nonprofit, Roberto Gonzalez has discovered that getting legal advice through a university law clinic can be a good place to start.

Steve Sokolov ['14], one of four students gaining practical experience in Roger Williams University’s new Community and Economic Development Law Clinic, has been helping tailor articles of incorporation for Gonzalez’s organization.

“Some of this is new for me,” said Gonzalez of East Providence, whose after-school programming at Alvarez High School focuses on science, technology, engineering, arts and math, the so-called “STEAM” subjects. “I’m a consultant, engaging youth and team building for teachers. These are my skill sets, and I feel like I’m a master. But starting a nonprofit, I don’t feel like a master. Working with these guys, they are my watchdogs.”

The work is a challenge, adds Sokolov, a third-year law student, who will graduate this spring.

“We’re picking apart his articles of incorporation and bylaws to make sure it fits with his needs and the criteria of the Internal Revenue Service and the statutes,” he said.

Researching options and then presenting the client with them is different than many people’s image of a lawyer directing a client and arguing on his or her behalf in a courtroom, say Sokolov and associate clinical professor of law Gowri J. Krishna, who runs the clinic.

Criminal defense and other types of educational law clinics have been around since the 1960s, but the community and economic-development model didn’t come into its own until the 1990s, Krishna said. Contrary to the prevailing perception, only about half of the country’s lawyers engage in litigation; the other half practices transactional law, advising clients in an office setting, she said.

“What we do is listen to them and draw out of them their intention,” Sokolov said of his work with Gonzalez and other clients. “That’s a big difference between what attorneys do in the courtroom.” STEAM Box has been getting attention from potential educational clients in other states, Gonzalez said, so the clinic is helping him craft appropriate bylaws. [...]

For full story, click here.