The following is a list of active Pro Bono Collaborative projects listed by law firm. Each of our projects involves RWU Law students working under the supervision of law firm attorneys.
Community-based organizations are encouraged to propose Pro Bono Collaborative projects. To do so, complete the Pro Bono Collaborative Project Proposal Application.
Adult Correctional Institution Civil Legal Clinic Projects
Attorney Kelly Rafferty Meara provides advice and counsel on civil legal issues to inmates in the Adult Correctional Institution (ACI) Medium Security Facility and the Women’s Facility.
Bradley Hospital’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities Guardianship Project
Barton Gilman LLP, in partnership with Bradley Hospital’s Center for Autism and Developmental Disabilities, assists parents of disabled children turning 18 by providing advice and counsel regarding their options and, where appropriate, establishing legal guardianship of their children. The firm also provides regular Know Your Rights presentations to Bradley families and staff on Guardianship and its alternatives.
Disability Benefits (SSI & SSDI) Project
Drivers License Restoration Project
Adler Pollock & Sheehan P.C., IGT in-house counsel, and several individual practitioners including Allison Abilheira, Brett Beaubien, Andrew Berg, and, Erik Edson, assist low-income individuals in reinstating their drivers licenses. The project works with individuals served by Amos House, CCAP, H.O.P.E. Court, Non-Violence Institute, Man Up, OpenDoors RI, Operation Stand Down, and the RWU Law Criminal Defense Clinic.
Docs for Health Project
Docs for Health is an innovative online platform, created and designed by local doctors and Brown medical students. It was created to help healthcare providers better support marginalized patients, and ultimately improve health outcomes, by providing healthcare providers with basic information and template letters of support, related to housing, immigration, criminalization, transportation, substance use, and other sources of community supports. The PBC reviews the website’s material
Elder Law/End of Life Planning Project
Rampino Law Associates provides community presentations and health care proxy clinics at local community organizations and agencies, including local housing authorities.
Eviction Help Desk Project
Launched in October 2021, the Eviction Help Desk is a partnership between Roger Williams University School of Law’s Pro Bono Collaborative, the Rhode Island District Court, Rhode Island Center for Justice (CFJ) and Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc. (RILS). The Help Desk is staffed Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 12 p.m. by RWU Law students, working alongside experienced housing attorneys from RILS and CFJ. Each day one legal services attorney and two or three law students staff the Eviction Help Desk in both Providence and Kent Counties.
McAuley House Expungement Clinics Project
Attorneys Amy Goins and Peter Skwirz provide monthly expungement legal clinics at McAuley House. When clinic attendees are eligible for expungement or sealing, the attorneys provide full representation.
Non-Profit Advice and Counsel Project
Cameron Mittleman LLP, Pannone Lopes Devereaux & O’Gara LLC, and Sloan & Walsh LLP provide legal advice, counsel, and assistance to non-profit organizations that serve low-income communities. Organizations served have included AMOR, the Newport Partnership for Families, Women’s Center of RI, the Providence Student Union, and Women’s Refugee Care.
Rhode Island Training School Intro to Law & Society
RWU Law students will be launching a new project in January 2020 with the youth at the Rhode Island Training School. The law students will teach a law-related curriculum during the spring semester. This program will be the first of several initiatives between the Law School and the Training School.
Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) Project
Partridge Snow & Hahn LLP, in partnership with Dorcas International Institute of RI, provides direct legal representation to children applying for Special Immigrant Juvenile status—a pathway to citizenship for children who have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by their caregivers and cannot return to their home country.
Street Law Project
Street Law is a national program that partners law students with local public schools and community based organizations to teach disadvantaged youth about their legal rights and responsibilities. Law students teach law-related lessons in schools and community organizations throughout Rhode Island and in New Bedford.
Tomaquag Museum Project
Duffy & Sweeney Ltd. provides legal assistance to the Tomaquag Museum in support its development of a new museum building and concessions on URI property. One law student assists the law firm with legal issues around land use, contract review, and employee policies.
U VISA and 601(a) Waiver Project
Locke Lord LLP provides legal assistance to immigrant victims of domestic violence and other crimes, in partnership with Dorcas International Institute of RI. In addition to working on U Visa applications for victims of crimes, the law firm also helps families with 601(a) waivers so that immigrant spouses married to US citizens can remain in the US while their immigration applications are pending.
Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA)
The Internal Revenue Service trains law students to provide tax assistance to low-income individuals and families through East Bay Community Action Program to ensure that they receive the earned income tax credit for which they are qualified. In 2019, the project returned $700,000 to low-income people living in the East Bay. RWU Law has the largest group of VITA volunteers in the state.