David M. Zlotnick

Photo of David M. Zlotnick
David M. ZlotnickProfessor of Experiential Education

Education

J.D., Harvard
B.A., State University of New York at Binghamton

After graduating from the Harvard Law School, cum laude, Professor Zlotnick clerked for a federal appellate judge, worked as a white collar defense attorney in a national law firm, and served as a federal prosecutor in Washington, D.C. In 1995, Professor Zlotnick founded a litigation project for the public interest group, Families Against Mandatory Minimums ("FAMM"), which opposes the indiscriminate use of mandatory minimum penalties for non-violent crimes. As the Litigation Director and afterwards, Professor Zlotnick has worked on U.S. Supreme Court cases as co-counsel and as amicus curiae. In 2002, he was selected to be a Soros Senior Justice Fellow to document judicial opposition to the federal sentencing regime. Professor Zlotnick's work on sentencing issues has received coverage in a variety of media including; Rolling StoneBBC TelevisionThe Washington Post and The New York Times. He has also testified before the Judiciary Committees of the United States Senate and the House of Representatives and his articles on sentencing and other subjects have appeared in top fifty legal journals.

Professor Zlotnick directs the District of Columbia Semester in Practice which immerses students in Washington, D.C.’s legal and policy world through a full-time placement with a federal agency, legislative office, non-profit, or trade group.  His students appreciate his quick wit, his focus on problem solving, and his funny exams. He has sought to infuse his teaching with lessons he has learned from yoga and meditation. In 2008 he was awarded a Contemplative Practice Fellowship by the Center for Contemplative Mind in Society to teach a course in trial advocacy that integrated mindfulness concepts and practices. He has also taught at the Washington College of Law at American University and Stetson College of Law and has been a Visiting Scholar at the George Washington University Law School.

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.

Elective

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.

Seminar

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

Clinics/Externships

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.