RWU Law Alternative Spring Break
Alternative Spring Break (ASB) was started in 2005 by the Association for Public Interest Law (APIL) at Roger Williams University School of Law in the wake of Hurricane Katrina as a way for students to assist those recovering from the devastation.
Today RWU Law’s ASB program is a robust and popular program placing students in local, regional and national pro bono legal service projects during spring break. The program focuses on areas of the law where clients often lack adequate representation and works to secure projects that give students the most rewarding experience possible.
Some of our previous ASB placements include:
|Project Name||Placement Location||Area of Law|
|Bronx Defenders||Bronx, NY||Public Defender|
|Brooklyn Defender Services||Brooklyn, NY||Public Defender|
|Catholic Social Services ILEAP||Fall River, MA||Immigration|
|City of Central Falls Law Department||Central Falls, RI||Municipal Law|
|Community Defense Project - Providence Youth Student Movement||Providence RI||Civil Rights|
|Conservation Law Foundation||Providence, RI & Boston, MA||Environmental|
|Community Legal Aid of Central and Western MA||Worcester, MA||Civil Legal Services|
|Committee for Public Counsel Services||Fall River & New Bedford, MA||Public Defender|
|Death Penalty Information Center||Washington, DC||Death Penalty|
|Dorcas International Institute of Rhode Island||Providence, Rhode Island||Immigration|
|Federal Public Defender for the District of Delaware||Wilmington, DE||Federal Public Defender|
|Federal Public Defender for the Northern District of Texas||Fort Worth, TX||Federal Public Defender|
|Legal Aid Society Juvenile Rights Practice||Manhattan, NY||Children's Rights|
|Legal Assistance of Western New York||Bath, NY||Civil Legal Services|
|Medical Legal Partnership Boston||Boston, MA||Civil Legal Services|
|Office of the Public Defender - Palm Beach County||West Palm Beach, FL||Public Defender|
|Providence Law Department||Providence, RI||Municipal Law|
|RI Attorney General - Environmental Advocacy Unit||Providence, RI||Environmental|
|RI Center for Justice||Providence, RI||Civil Legal Services|
|Southcoast Fair Housing||New Bedford, MA||Fair Housing|
|Southwest Center for Law and Policy||Tucson, AZ||Tribal Law|
|Sugar Law for Economic and Social Justice||Detroit, MI||Civil Legal Services|
|Waterfront Commission of New York Harbor||New York, NY||Environmental|
ASB not only supports the work of public interest legal organizations, but it is also a great opportunity for you to get out there and put into practice your legal education. Use ASB to jump into an area of law that interests you or to learn about a new area of law. ASB can be a transformative experience. See what some past participants have had to say:
"Up until now, I never understood when lawyers would visit the school, talk to us and say "if you love doing the work it doesn't feel like work." This is the first job where every time I get a new assignment, I am excited to get into it....It is a feeling I never thought I would have about working or the law."
"...one of the most important thing I learned was that valuing your clients is one the most important parts of being an attorney."
"I am a strong advocate for Alternative Spring Break because this exposure teaches students what it takes to be a successful attorney for their clients."
“My time spent at [ASB placement] was one of the most memorable experiences I’ve had while at Roger Williams. [My ASB placement] was not just a valuable experience for me to help me discover what I don’t want to do, it helped me understand another area of law that I would probably never have been exposed to…”
“This week opened my eyes to what I really want to focus on in law school and as a lawyer…”
“I’m really happy that I now have some client interaction experience under my belt.” “This entire experience has shown me how valuable public interest law and pro bono work truly is…”
“I’ve worked in a corporate setting since graduating college and I’ve never had the feeling that I did working at [my ASB Placement], that I had really made a difference to someone in need.”
“This experience reminded me of why I came to law school…”
“...I really needed an experience like this to remind me what I am working so hard for.”
“...Alternative Spring Break is one of the best resources that students at this school can use to take the principles instilled in us at school and see where they can be utilized in the real world. I will be hard-pressed to find another educational experience that is so enriching in just one week.”
“Everyday, I woke up excited to go and I believe anyone else who chooses this program will have a similar enjoyable and engaging experience.”
“Being at [ASB ] this week has taught me that lawyering doesn’t stop with your doctrinal courses….Being a lawyer is so much more…”
ASB is open to all RWU law students, and you can apply to participate in ASB each year you are here if you wish. Participants are responsible for all travel expenses; however, we do secure air or train fare and provide a small stipend for placements more than 2-3 hours away from Rhode Island.
Want to learn more? We hold an Info Session in early October each year and announce the placements for the year and begin accepting applications in December/January. Keep an eye on your email for ASB announcements or stop by the Feinstein Center anytime for more information.