The Honorable William E. Smith

Photo of The Honorable William E. Smith
The Honorable William E. SmithAdjunct Professor of LawU.S. District Court, District of Rhode Island

Contact Information

judge_smith@rid.uscourts.gov

The Honorable William Smith is a judge on the United States District Court for the District of Rhode Island. Prior to his appointment to the bench, Judge Smith was a partner at Edwards & Angell practicing labor and employment law.

Courses Taught

LAW.965Federal Practice/Commercial Litigation

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Course Description

This course combines what has traditionally been taught in two separate courses on Pretrial Practice and Trial Advocacy. The idea behind this course is that federal litigation must be viewed holistically, meaning with an understanding and appreciation for the reality that litigation, from the filing of a complaint through trial, is an integrated process that begins with a well-pled complaint, proceeds through discovery, often involves substantive and dispositive motion practice, and ends (if it is not resolved earlier) at trial. The course is a full year long in order to mimic the actual life cycle of a case in federal court. Students will work on an actual case by drafting pleadings, taking/defending depositions, filing and arguing at least one dispositive motion, and ultimately trying the case before a judge and jury. In addition, throughout the year, students will receive lectures, practice exercises, and guest lectures on key aspects of litigation, including complaint drafting, deposition skills, settlement process and strategy, and trial tactics. This course will be taught primarily by a seasoned litigator and a faculty member, both of whom have practiced in federal court. The students will be split into teams and each team with have a lawyer-coach assigned to assist them. Judge William Smith of the U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island will attend a limited number of the class sessions and preside over some courtroom activities, as his schedule permits.

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Elective

Course Credits

3.0

Course Degree

Juris DoctorMaster of Studies in Law

LAW.796.A (4 Credits)Judicial Clinical Externship Program

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Feinstein Center for Pro Bono & Experiential Education

Course Description

Students are assigned to selected judges in Rhode Island and federal trial and appellate courts. The student externs conduct legal research, prepare memoranda of law, observe trial and appellate proceedings, participate in discussions with the court, and perform the duties of a judicial law clerk under the supervision of the assigned judge and a faculty member. The program requires the devotion of substantial amounts of time both in and out of the judge's chambers and must be taken in conjunction with Seminar: Judicial Process and Ethics.
4 Credits - 180 hours (approx. 2 days/week for 14 weeks)

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Clinic/Externship

Course Credits

4.0

Course Degree

Juris Doctor

LAW.796.B (6 Credits)Judicial Clinical Externship Program

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Feinstein Center for Pro Bono & Experiential Education

Course Description

Students are assigned to selected judges in Rhode Island and federal trial and appellate courts. The student externs conduct legal research, prepare memoranda of law, observe trial and appellate proceedings, participate in discussions with the court, and perform the duties of a judicial law clerk under the supervision of the assigned judge and a faculty member. The program requires the devotion of substantial amounts of time both in and out of the judge's chambers and must be taken in conjunction with Seminar: Judicial Process and Ethics.
6 Credits - 270 hours (approx. 3 days/week for 14 weeks)

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Clinic/Externship

Course Credits

6.0

Course Degree

Juris Doctor

LAW.796.C (8 Credits)Judicial Clinical Externship Program

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SUMMER ONLY

Course Description

Students are assigned to selected judges in Rhode Island and federal trial and appellate courts. The student externs conduct legal research, prepare memoranda of law, observe trial and appellate proceedings, participate in discussions with the court, and perform the duties of a judicial law clerk under the supervision of the assigned judge and a faculty member. The program requires the devotion of substantial amounts of time both in and out of the judge's chambers and must be taken in conjunction with Seminar: Judicial Process and Ethics.
8 Credits- 360 hours (approx. 5 days/week for 10 weeks) SUMMER ONLY

Course Type See Course Type Descriptions

Clinic/Externship

Course Credits

8.0

Course Degree

Juris Doctor
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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.