Taino Palermo

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Taino PalermoAdjunct Professor of Law

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Dr. Taino Palermo is an educator and advocate working to address issues in policy and practice in the areas of organizational leadership, community and economic development, and urban education over the last twenty years. Dr. Palermo served as department chair of both the Community Development and Healthy Communities degree programs at Roger Williams University’s University College where he founded the state’s first and only graduate degree in Community Development. In 2019, Dr. Palermo left that role to pursue a law degree at Roger Williams University School of Law to better advocate for the Taino Indians of Puerto Rico. As a law student, Dr. Palermo co-founded the American Indian Law Student Association (AILSA), launched the law school’s first iteration of the legal education program, “Street Law,” in the state juvenile detention facility. Dr. Palermo has served on boards, committees, and commissions of numerous local and national organizations ranging from the arts and education to housing and public health. In 2022, Dr. Palermo co-founded the Center for Indigenous Peoples Rights, the east coast’s first and only pro bono law and policy center focused on the rights of indigenous peoples. Dr. Palermo’s areas of specialty include community and economic development, American Indian and international indigenous peoples rights, and education policy and practice reform. 

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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.


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.