Colleen P. Murphy

Colleen P. Murphy
Colleen P. MurphyProfessor of Law


J.D., Yale
B.A., University of Virginia

Professor Colleen Murphy has been honored for her teaching, scholarship, and pro bono legal services. She has served at RWU as the Distinguished Teaching Professor for her excellence in teaching and as the Distinguished Research Professor for her creation and advancement of scholarship. The Rhode Island Bar Association honored her with its Pro Bono Publico Award for the free and extensive legal services she rendered through the Volunteer Lawyer Project. She has taught at the law schools of Emory and Washington & Lee, and she draws from academic literature on how adults learn to construct and teach her courses, which include Civil Procedure, Remedies, Family Law, and Spiritual Dimensions of Lawyering.

Professor Murphy is a graduate of Yale Law School, where she was an editor of the Yale Law Journal and a director of the Yale Moot Court of Appeals, and she subsequently served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit and as a litigation associate at the leading firm Ropes & Gray in Boston. Professor Murphy’s scholarly articles have been published in many prestigious journals, including the Northwestern University Law ReviewVirginia Law Review, and Texas Law Review, and she was a member of the American Law Institute’s Members’ Consultative Group for the Restatement (Third) of Restitution and Unjust Enrichment.


Removing Statistical Discrimination in Personal Injury and Wrongful Death Compensation in Rhode Island, 29 Roger Williams University Law Review 555 (co-authored with student Natalie DeAngelis) (2024)

Note-Taking Mode and Academic Performance in Two Law School Courses, 68 Journal of Legal Education 207 (2019) (co-authored with C.J. Ryan & Yajni Warnapala)

Recognizing Restitutionary Causes of Action and Remedies Under Rhode Island Law, 20 Roger Williams University Law Review 429 (2015)

Reviewing Congressionally Created Remedies for Excessiveness,73 Ohio State Law Journal 651 (2012)

What is Specific about "Specific Restitution"? 60 Hastings Law Journal 853 (2009)

Money as a Specific Remedy, 58 Alabama Law Review 119 (2006)

The Use of Prior Convictions after Apprendi, 37 U.C. Davis Law Review 973 (2004)

Misclassifying Monetary Restitution, 55 Southern Methodist University Law Review 1577 (2002)

Judgment as a Matter of Law on Punitive Damages, 75 Tulane Law Review 459 (2000)

Judicial Assessment of Legal Remedies, 94 Northwestern University Law Review 153 (1999)

The Narrowing of the Entitlement to Criminal Jury Trial, 1997 Wisconsin Law Review 33

Context and the Allocation of Decisionmaking: Reflections on United States v. Gaudin, 82 Virginia Law Review 961 (1996)

Determining Compensation: The Tension between Legislative Power and Jury Authority, 74 Texas Law Review 345 (1995)

Integrating the Constitutional Authority of Civil and Criminal Juries, 61 George Washington Law Review 723 (1993)

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.