Jorge Elorza

Photo of Jorge Elorza
Jorge ElorzaProfessor of Law

Contact Information

401-254-4501jelorza@rwu.eduOffice 212SSRN Author Page


J.D., Harvard Law School
B.S., University of Rhode Island

Raised by Guatemalan immigrant parents in inner-city Providence, Professor Jorge Elorza returned to his old neighborhood after his graduation from Harvard Law School to give back to his community as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services. He litigated housing-related cases for two years before joining the Roger Williams University School of Law faculty. After 10 years of teaching, Professor Elorza was elected Mayor of the City of Providence and served two successful terms, until he was term-limited. He returned to the RWU Law faculty and continues to stay active on issues that he is passionate about, such as housing policy, charter schools, and mayoral leadership supports.
While at RWU, Professor Elorza has served as a Housing Court Judge and co-founded the Latino Policy Institute. He teaches Property, Constitutional Law, Housing Law & Policy, and Municipal Law. He has published law review articles on the Economics of Housing Policy and on the intersection of Law, Science and Religion; and he has also published several opinion pieces on a variety of topics. 
He is a graduate of the University of Rhode Island (summa cum laude) and Harvard Law School.


Secularism and the Constitution: Can Governance Be Too Secular, 72 University of Pittsburgh Law Review, 53 (2010)

Absentee Landlords, Rent Control and Healthy Gentrification: A Policy Proposal to Deconcentrate the Poor in Urban America, 17 Cornell Journal of Law and Public Policy, 1 (2007)

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.