Champions for Justice

A special evening that celebrates and supports the students, alumni, partners and friends whose exceptional devotion to social justice increases access to justice for all.

Thank You!

RWU Law wishes to thank the sponsors, awardees and over 400 supporters in attendance at the annual Champions for Justice Fundraiser. A sincere congratulations to the Honorable Edward C. Clifton names 2018 Champion for Justice; Luis Mancheno, Esq. ’13 named the Alumni Public Interest Champion; and Barton Gilman LLP named the Community Partner Champion. The evening’s proceeds will benefit many social justice programs within RWU Law.

The Impact

Champions for Justice is quickly becoming a hallmark of the Rhode Island legal landscape, and we are proud to count so many as friends and supporters of the Law School. Proceeds from the evening benefit the many social justice programs within RWU Law:

Alternative Spring Break
Pro Bono Collaborative
Public Interest Clinical Externships
Public Interest Summer Stipends
RWU Law Clinics

Social Justice Program Highlights

Event Sponsors

This event would not be possible without the generous support of our sponsors.

Presenting SponsorDinner SponsorReception Sponsor
 Mandell Schwartz & Boisclair, Ltd.Whelan Corrente Kinder Sike LLP jones kelleher

PBC Reception Sponsors: Linn Foster Freedman, Esq., Trustee & Dr. Steven Freedman and Robinson + Cole

Program Sponsors: Adler Pollock & Sheehan, P.C., barbri, DeLuca + Weizenbaum, Ltd., Motley Rice LLC.

Table Sponsors: Allied Court Reporters, Inc., Barton Gilman, LLP, Cameron & Mittleman, LLP, Chapel Building Corporation/Dias Family, Chisholm, Chisholm & Kilpatrick, Ltd, Decof, Decof & Barry, P.C., Professor Jenna Wims Hashway L'11 & John Barylick, Esq., Higgins, Cavanagh & Cooney, LLP, Hinckley Allen, LLP, Keches Law Group, P.C., Locke Lorde, LLP, Manion Gaynor & Manning LLP, Marasco & Nesselbush, LLP, Omni Development Corporation, Partridge, Snow & Hahn, LLP, Pierce Atwood, LLP, Lisa J. Raiola & Waterman F.  Brown VII, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, Anthony A. Senerchia, Sr. '93, Shechtman Halperin & Savage, LLP, Sloane & Walsh, LLP

Honoring the 2018 Champions

Judge Edward C. Clifton

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clifton_e.jpgJudge Edward C. Clifton has spent his professional life promoting the fair treatment of minorities in the courts and addressing problems of inequality in the legal profession.  In 2015 he retired from the Superior Court after more than two decades on the bench and became a faculty member at RWU Law, holding the title of Distinguished Jurist in Residence.

Judge Clifton is currently an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, an association managed by the National Center for State Courts.  He served as a member for nine years prior to reaching emeritus status in 2015.  In 2012, Judge Clifton was elected the consortium’s president/moderator for his commitment to the justice system and his vision to improve access and fairness in the courts.In 2014 NCSC President Mary C. McQueen remarked: “His contributions of innovation, experience, and expertise provide leadership that helps our courts work more efficiently.”

Judge Clifton was the 2014 recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization – an award presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. During his time as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court, Judge Clifton, in addition to his regular trial calendar responsibilities, presided over the Providence County Adult Drug Court, the first adult drug court in the state.  He was a member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Permanent Committee on Women & Minorities from 1997 to 2015, and served as chair for four years during this time.  He was one of the original incorporators of the Thurgood Marshall Law Society of Rhode Island, Inc.

Judge Clifton serves on the Board of Directors of Roger Williams University School of Law.  He also co-chairs the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund, a fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the  Neil J. Houston, Jr. Award from Justice Assistance for service to the criminal justice profession.

Judge Clifton earned a J.D. from UCLA in 1975.  Prior to law school, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972, majoring in psychology. He served in the United States Army from 1966-1968. .  He began his legal career at Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc., as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, he served as a member of the Rhode Island Public Defenders Department, and later he became a partner in the firm of Stone, Clifton & Clifton.  In 1985 he was appointed as City Solicitor for the City of Providence, a position he held until 1992.  Governor Bruce Sundlun appointed Judge Clifton to the District Court in 1993 and to the Superior Court in 1994.

Luis Mancheno, Esq. L’13

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luis-mancheno.jpgLuis Mancheno is an Immigration Attorney and the Immigration Advocacy Strategist at The Bronx Defenders. While in law school, Luis worked as a Refugee Status Determination Expert for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Dominican Republic, took part in RWU Law’s Immigration Clinic, and was an extern at the Political

Asylum/Immigration Refugee (PAIR) Project in Boston. After graduating cum laude from RWU Law in 2013, he worked as an Immigration Attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. In 2014, he was selected as part of the inaugural class of Immigrant Justice Corps Fellows in New York and placed at the Bronx Defenders to represent detained clients in immigration and federal courts. More recently, he was a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 

Less than a decade ago, after facing persecution in his native Ecuador for being gay, Luis sought asylum in the United States and became a refugee in 2009. His immigration story and his work as an attorney have been featured in The New York Times, on NBC News, and in other media outlets.  

Luis's writings have appeared in The Huffington Post, Public Radio International, and Vox.

In 2017, he was selected as one of the 30 LGBTQ change-makers and rising stars in the country by NBC News.  Luis was also selected by the New York City Comptroller's Office as the LGBTQ activist of the year for:

…dedicating his time and talents to immigrants in need be they Syrian refugees seeking asylum or detained Mexican men and transgender women facing deportation…

…and for being at the forefront of issues important to our city’s LGBTQ and immigrant communities; and for his tremendous contributions to the City of New York.

In addition to client representation, Luis works closely with the Immigration Practice and his office's Policy Reform, Community Organizing, and Communications departments in identifying and supporting non-legal advocacy strategies.

Read Luis's January 25, 2018 Op-Ed in the Providence Journal: My Turn: Luis Mancheno: Fund lawyers to fight for the poor.

Barton Gilman LLP - 2017 Community Partner Champion

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barton.jpgBarton Gilman LLP is a litigation firm founded in 1995 with offices in Providence, Boston and New York.  The firm’s approximately 30 attorneys provide innumerable hours of pro bono legal service annually to those in need, most notably through the Pro Bono Collaborative, and the RI Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Barton Gilman joined the Pro Bono Collaborative in 2008 and has been working in partnership with Bradley Hospital since then to provide legal services related to guardianship and its alternatives to low-income families with severely developmentally disabled children.  More recently the firm joined the PBC HOPE Court Project to assist participants with their family and housing legal needs.  Their firm-wide involvement in an array of non-profits working to increase social justice is further evidence of an exemplary firm culture that recognizes the attorney’s professional responsibility to give back.  RWU Law is proud to have five alumni at Barton Gilman LLP, all providing pro bono legal service through the PBC and other avenues.

2018 Champions for Justice Host Committee

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  • Kimberly R. Ahern, Esq. L'09
  • Jamie J. Bachant, Esq. L'12
  • Robert P. Brooks, Esq.
  • Jeannine A. Casselman, Esq. L'09
  • Angelyne Cooper-Bailey, Esq. L'08
  • Michael J. Daly, Esq. L'02
  • Kas R. Decarvalho, Esq.
  • Diana deGroof, Esq. L'03
  • Danielle Dufault, Esq. L'15
  • Joseph A. Farside, Esq. L'06
  • Linn Foster Freedman, Esq.
  • Deborah S. Gonzalez, Esq. '04 L'07
  • Nicholas J. Hemond, Esq. L'12
  • Kara A. Humm, Esq. L'08
  • Jillian Jagling, Esq. L'09
  • Patrick T. Jones
  • Dadriana A. Lepore, Esq. L'10
  • Zachary M. Mandell, Esq. L'11
  • Kelly Rafferty Meara, Esq. L'11
  • Michael J. Moloney, Esq. L'09
  • Ms. Valerie Morozov L'14
  • Jenna Pingitore, Esq. L'12
  • Stephen M. Prignano, Esq.
  • Adam Ramos, Esq. L'06
  • Andrew C. Rodgers, Esq. L'14
  • The Honorable Judith Savage
  • Arlene Violet, Esq.
  • Michael A Voccola, Esq. L'97

Silent Auction

This year’s Public Interest Auction will feature opportunities to connect with the RWU Law community of champions. Most of the auction items are “experience packages” featuring individuals who share our mission of public service, access to justice and the value of experiential education.

PackagePackage TitleDescription
1Four EMC Club tickets to Redsox vs. YankeesFour EMC Club tickets to Red Sox vs Yankees game, one parking pass and dinner for four at the EMC Club on April 11, 2018
2Collin Bailey L'08 CVS Tour & LunchJoin RWU Alum Collin Bailey L'08 for lunch and a tour of CVS Health
3Four Red Sox Tickets with Joe Farside, Jr. L'06Four Redsox tickets with seating in the Locke Lord Luxury box with Joe Farside, Jr. L'06
4Lunch for four at Parkside with Stacey Veroni and Michael Field L'97 at ParksideDine with representatives from the RI Office of the Attorney General - Criminal and Civil Division at Parkside Rotisserie & Bar
5Bon Appetit DinnerEnjoy a catered three-course dinner and exquisite wine parings at your residence for up to six guests! 
6Dean's Night OutJoin Dean Yelnosky, Professor Goldstein, Professor Gutoff, and Dean Hassel
7Gutoff Guided Pub Crawl on BikesYou and three friends can enjoy a pub crawl by bicycle led by RWU Law's very own Professor Gutoff
8Dinner at Sakonnet Point ClubYou and three guests can join Professor (and RWU Alum) Jenna Wims Hashway L'11 and her husband, attorney John Barylick at the Sakonnet Point Club
9Dinner at CapriccioDinner for four with the Santoros at Capriccio in Providence
10Dinner with your favorite ProfessorsYou and three others will dine with Professors Monestier and Coombs at Bee's Thai
11Movie Night with David LoganHigh bidder gets to pick the flick and bring up to 5 lucky guests to watch at David Logan's Man Cave. Plenty of pizza and libations, and a designated driver providing round trip transportation. 
12Donut Worry Be HappyPassport to the #BestDonutsRI Throwdown, a month long donut adventure for the month of February & a dozen delicious donuts delivered to you at the library any day during finals
13Round of Drinks with LibrariansA round of drinks for four with the Librarians at Riffraff in Providence. Riffraff is a brand new super hipster bookstore and bar now open in the Olneyville neighborhood of Providence
14One Barbri CourseBe one of the lucky five to walk away with a bar exam course simply by bidding $1695 (Market Value $3,695)
15One Barbri CourseBe one of the lucky five to walk away with a bar exam course simply by bidding $1695 (Market Value $3,695)
16One Barbri CourseBe one of the lucky five to walk away with a bar exam course simply by bidding $1695 (Market Value $3,695)
17One Barbri CourseBe one of the lucky five to walk away with a bar exam course simply by bidding $1695 (Market Value $3,695)
18One Barbri CourseBe one of the lucky five to walk away with a bar exam course simply by bidding $1695 (Market Value $3,695)
19Ice cream at 3 Sisters with Dean Yelnosky & Laurie BarronYou and three friends can enjoy three scoops, drinks and more with Laurie Barron and Michael Yelnosky at Three Sisters in Providence 
20Park like the DeanFor the month of February, enjoy parking in Dean Yelnosky's parking space
21Dinner for four with Professor Deborah Gonzalez L'04Authentic homemade dinner for four by Professor Gonzalez L'04
22One Night Stay at Omni HotelEnjoy a one night stay at Providence's luxurious Omni Hotel
23Hemenway's - Lunch for 5 studentsEnjoy lunch for five at Hemenways with Michael Voccola, Esq. L'97
24Weekend Stay at ResidencesA weekend stay at the luxurious Residences Providence. Enjoy a center-of-the-city local vacation in an exquisitely furnished residence in the prestigious Residences Providence tower. 
25Sailing trip with Cecily Banks, Gutoff & Casey Charkowick L'16You and three others can experience a 5-7 hour sail circumnavigating Prudence Island with pirate expert Jonathan Gutoff, RWU Alum Captain Casey Charkowick L'16, and former yacht captain Jonathan Banks
26Lunch with Professor Andrew SpaconeLunch at Café Nuovo with the Man All About Business
27Let's Run Out for a Beer!Enjoy a nice long (but not too long!) run to a pub with Dean Yelnosky, Dean Lalli L'01, Professor Colleen Brown, and Ed Fitzpatrick and a $100 gift card to Rhode Runners
28Paint and Wine Night with the Feinstein LadiesEnjoy a Paint and Wine night with Laurie Barron, Eliza Vorenberg, Suzanne Harrington-Steppen and Lisa Quinn

Crowdfunding Instructions


Each year, dozens of  RWU Law students accept unpaid public interest summer internships at amazing organizations in RI and around the country. Last summer, 28 students received public interest summer stipends and provided over 8800 hours of legal service in organizations such as The Rhode Island Public Defender, Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc., RI Center for Justice, Providence Youth Student Movement (PrYSM), the Native Hawaiian Legal Corporation, The Knox County Public Defender's Community Law Office, The Bronx Defenders, and MidPenn Legal Services. Please support the stipend program by pledging today. Make a pledge by sending a new text message to 41444, and text VERDICT <space> pledge amount (do not use $ or .oo in the pledge) <space> your name. Click the link in the reply message to fulfill your pledge.

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Your donation counts as your annual gift to RWU Law and is tax-deductible.

Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.