Emily J. Sack

Photo of Emily J. Sack
Emily J. SackProfessor of Law

Contact Information

401-254-4603esack@rwu.eduSSRN Author PageCurriculum Vitae

Education

J.D., New York University
M.A., Columbia University
M. Phil., Columbia University
B.A., Swarthmore College

Joining the RWU Law faculty in 2001, Professor Emily Sack has become a nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and reform of the court system. As the Deputy Director for the Center for Court Innovation, Professor Sack helped develop and implement the first domestic violence courts in New York, as well as the first felony domestic violence court in the United States. U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stevens cited Professor Sack’s article The Struggle for the Future of Domestic Violence Policy in his opinion in the domestic violence case Castle Rock v. Gonzales.

Active in the community, Professor Sack is a member of the Elder Abuse Working group, assists the National District Attorney’s Association with developing elder abuse training curriculum for prosecutors, and serves as Member of the Board and Chair of EMERGE, a batterers’ intervention and parenting skills programs for men who abuse intimate partners. Prior to joining RWU, Professor Sack worked in diverse offices such as the Senate Judiciary Committee Staff of the late Edward M. Kennedy, the ACLU, and the law firm of Stillman, Friedman, & Shaw.

A magna cum laude graduate of NYU School of Law, Professor Sack earned her B.A. from Swarthmore with high honors and her M. Phil. from Columbia University. She teaches Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, Family Law, Children and the Law, Domestic Violence Law, and Death Penalty Law. She recently served as a Visiting Associate Professor of Law at Boston College. She has published in many top journals, including the Northwestern, Wisconsin, and Washington University law reviews.

Books

Domestic Violence and the Law: Theory and Practice, 3rd ed. (Eagan, MN: Foundation Press, forthcoming 2013) (with Elizabeth Schneider, Cheryl Hanna & Judith G. Greenberg).

“The Crime of Domestic Violence,” in Criminal Law Conversations, edited by Paul Robinson, Stephen Garvey & Kimberly Kessler Ferzan (New York: Oxford Univ. Press, 2009).

Articles

Illegal Stops and the Exclusionary Rule: The Consequences of Utah v. Strieff, 22 Roger Williams University Law Review 263 (2017)

United States v. Castleman: The Meaning of Domestic Violence, 20 Roger Williams University Law Review 128 (2015)

Is Domestic Violence a Crime? : Intimate Partner Rape as Allegory, 24 St. John’s Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development 535 (2010)

Judicial Selection in Rhode Island: Assessing the Experience with Merit SelectionResponse, 15 Roger Williams University Law Review 793 (2010)

From the Right of Chastisement to the Criminalization of Domestic Violence: A Study in Resistance to Effective Policy Reform, 32 Thomas Jefferson Law Review 31 (2009)

The Burial of Family Law, 61 Southern Methodist University Law Review 459 (2008)

The Domestic Relations Exception, Domestic Violence, and Equal Access to Federal Courts, 84 Washington University Law Review 1441 (2006)

Civil Unions and the Meaning of the Public Policy Exception at the Boundaries of Domestic Relations Law, 3 Ave Maria Law Review 497 (2005)

The Retreat from DOMA: The Public Policy of Same-Sex Marriage and a Theory of Congressional Power Under the Full Faith and Credit Clause, 38 Creighton Law Review 507 (2005)

Battered Women and the State: The Struggle for the Future of Domestic Violence Policy, 2004 Wisconsin Law Review 1657

Domestic Violence Across State Lines: The Full Faith and Credit Clause, Congressional Power, and Interstate Enforcement of Protection Orders, 98 Northwestern University Law Review 827 (2004)

Courses Taught

LAW.723Children & Law

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Course Description

This course would focus on the law and policies underlying the allocation of power and responsibility among children, parents and the state. Areas that the course covers include children’s constitutional rights; child abuse and neglect; and juvenile crime and delinquency.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack

LAW.623Criminal Law

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Course Description

This course examines the general principles of substantive criminal law and concepts of mens rea, causation, parties, elements, criminal responsibility and capacity, justification, excuse and defenses.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack

LAW.627Criminal Procedure: Investigation

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Course Description

This course examines the procedural aspects of the criminal justice system with emphasis on the impact of the fourth, fifth, and sixth amendments to the United States Constitution on state and federal prosecutions. Topics include the law of arrest, search and seizure, police interrogation and the privilege against self-incrimination.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Core Course

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.877Death Penalty

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Course Description

This seminar will examine legal issues surrounding the death penalty in America from a variety of perspectives. After a review of the goals of punishment and their relation to capital punishment, the course will explore: constitutional challenges to the imposition of the death penalty, focusing on claims relating to equal protection, due process and cruel and unusual punishment; race, gender and the death penalty; special offenders, including juveniles, the mentally retarded, and the insane; modes of punishment and ethical issues; the impact of international law; procedural issues in trials for capital offenses, as well as post-conviction proceedings; and perspectives from the families of victims and families of capital offenders. Materials for the seminar will include writings providing diverse views of the death penalty, as well as central Supreme Court case law in this area. Seminar requirements will include a final paper, a presentation on the paper; and class participation. This course is offered for 2 credits and will fulfill the paper writing requirement.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

2.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack

LAW.890Domestic Violence Law

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Course Description

This course will examine the dramatic changes in domestic violence laws and policy over the past twenty years, assess their impact, and explore potential new practices in this rapidly developing area. Discussion topics will include: the historical treatment of domestic violence by the justice system; changes in state and federal legislation, including the Violence Against Women Act, and developments in international human rights law; strategies in police and prosecution response; issues involving battered women defendants; use of civil remedies; the impact of changes in family law and immigration law on domestic violence victims; the interplay between the criminal justice and child welfare systems; and changing court responses to domestic violence cases.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack

LAW.722Family Law

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Course Description

This course examines the underlying social and economic principles of family life, its regulation by government, and constitutional limitations on regulation. Direct laws covering marriage, divorce, and child custody will be examined but also the course will cover those areas of law--property, income maintenance, medical care, schooling and crime--that also have direct impact on families in this society.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LSM.856 (Honors Course)Feminist Legal Theory

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HONORS COURSE

Course Description

Taught by Professor Emily Sack, this course examines how feminist legal theorists have understood and critiqued our legal system and its norms. The course will explore various schools and debates within feminist legal theory, and how feminist scholars bring feminist analysis to bear on a number of contemporary issues of law and public policy, including intimate and familial relationships, work and wealth distribution, and the regulation of sexuality.
HONORS COURSE

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Seminar

Course Credits

1.0

Course Degree

Juris Doctor

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack

LAW.713Juvenile Justice

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Course Description

This course will examine both the theory and practice of juvenile justice. After exploring the historical foundations of juvenile law, we will study several issues in current practice, including: status offenses and control of juveniles in schools and public places; the application of criminal procedure to juveniles in such areas as search and seizure, police interrogations, and pre-trial detention; juvenile court jurisdiction and the decision whether to prosecute as an adult or a child; trial rights and sentencing dispositions. We will also discuss some recent developments in juvenile law practice and consider the future of juvenile justice policy.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

Faculty Associated

Emily J. Sack
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.