This is a Guide to the major categories of items and materials in the Roger Williams University School of Law Archives. A separate Register contains the box and folder listing of all items in the R.W.U. Archives to date and is maintained by the Catalog Librarian.

Academic Calendars, Course Listings, and Examinations Schedules

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Academic Calendars, Course Listings, and Examinations Schedulesare generated by the Associate Dean of Academic Affairsandcollected comprehensively. In addition, descriptions of the courses offered are provided. These items have been printed from the School of Law website as they are no longer being distributed in paper.

Academic Programs

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Collected are brochures about the joint degree programs and the Honors Program. There are two joint degree programs with the University of Rhode Island: JD/Master of MarineAffairs and JD/Master of Science in Labor Relations & Human Resources. There are currently three joint degree programs with Roger Williams University: JD/Master of Science in Criminal Justice; JD/Master of Science in Historic Preservation; and, JD/Master of Science in Cyber Security The Honors Program provides seminars, clinics, international training, and externships to qualified students.

Academic Support Programs

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Items are not collected comprehensively in this category. However, representative items from 2002 - 2005 have been collected to indicate the variety of programs and workshops offered by the Academic Support Program begun in 2002 by Dennis Tonsing as Dean of Students and Academic Support Program Director. Some of the topics include answering bar exam essays and multistate questions, creating the exam-targeted course summary, how to excel in law school, answering law school exam essays, time management, and stress management through meditation.

Office of Admissions

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Collected extensively from the Office of Admissions are the School of Law catalogs and profiles of the entering classes. Also collected are additional marketing materials produced by the Office of Admissions. A handful of items in this category pertain to School of Law open houses and law school fairs.

Law Alumni Association

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The inaugural annual meeting of the Law Alumni Association was held on March 20, 1999. Its Constitution and Bylaws were approved at that meeting. The Board of Directors is the Law Alumni Association’s governing body. The Law Alumni Association sponsors and co-sponsors a variety of programs and events. These events include the annual golf tournament, class reunions, holiday parties, and breakfasts in conjunction with the Rhode Island Bar Association’s annual meeting. Funds for the Law Alumni Scholarship Fund are raised through their annual golf tournament. Items in this category pertain to the above mentioned events. There is a copy of the Constitution and Bylaws dated March 1999. Meeting minutes and rosters of the Law Alumni Association Board are collected. There is a full run of the Amicus (Volume 1, Spring 2002 – Volume 9, Summer 2010), the newsletter of the Law Alumni Association. Amicus was replaced by RWU Law: The Magazine of Roger Williams University School of Law which is also collected.

Alumni News

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Collected are memos, press releases, and emails about individual Roger Williams University School of Lawalumni. There are significant items about Betty Anne Waters and the movie Conviction.

Alumni Newsletters

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Collected are Alumni News & Notes (1996-1998), News from the Alumni Association (Fall 2001) and Amicus (Spring 2002 to Summer 2010), RWU Law, and the e-newsletter RWU Law Alumni Connection published by the RWU Law Office of Alumni Relations. Amicus has been uploaded to the RWU School of Law Digital Repository. Current issue of RWU Law have been uploaded to the RWU School of Law Digital Repository.

American Association of Law Schools

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Materials consist of AALS Membership Application, Questionnaire and Exhibit and related correspondence from April, 2004 to January, 2006. The RWU School of Law was accepted into the American Association of Law Schools on January 4, 2006. A reception celebrating AALS membership was held on January 29, 2006 in Newport, Rhode Island.

American Bar Association

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Collected are correspondence, memorandum, news, announcements, and emails of congratulations from law librarians and vendors pertaining to provisional accreditation (February 14, 1995) and full approval (February 4, 1997) by the House of Delegates of the American Bar Association. The School of Law’s annual questionnaire to the American Bar Association is collected. Also collected are the self-study materials dated March 2000and January 2007 pursuant to the site visitations under the auspices of the American Bar Association.

The Building

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There are items pertaining to the groundbreaking in May, 1992 and the dedications in May 12, 1994 and April 30, 1997. There are materials by Mancini Associates Architects and Sheehan’s Office Interiors. Additional materials include a 1993 May - December Schedule and designs for the law school seal as well as materials about the Ruth Rodman sculpture exhibit.

Office of Career Services

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Christel L. Ertel, Associate Dean for Career Services and Kelly C. Shea, Assistant Director of Career Services were the first administrators to staff the Office of Career Services. Collected are items documenting the events sponsored by the Office of Career Services such as the annual Women in the Law speaker series, the annual Legal Career Options Day, and other programs with speakers. Not collected are generic notices about resume writing, interviewing, post-graduate clerkships, and job searching. Brochures for employers and handbooks for students are collected. (Not collected is the electronic newsletter Bridgelaw).


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The Inaugural Commencement was held on May 18, 1996 on the R.W.U. campus with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy as the Commencement Speaker. All subsequent commencements have been held on the R.W.U. campus. Collected are invitations to commencements and receptions honoring the graduating students, commencement programs; emails and memoranda about honorary degree recipients, and news articles about commencement in general, honorary degree recipients, and graduating students. (Not collected is the Commencement booklet on University and School of Law honorary degree recipients).

Continuing Legal Education

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A variety of Continuing Legal Education Programs are offered under the sponsorship of the Roger Williams University School of Law Alumni Association. Collected are brochures and emails/press releases about the CLE programs.

Deans - Law School

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Anthony J. Santoro served as consultant to the school of law beginning July, 1991. He was Vice President and Dean of the law school until his appointment as President of R.W.U. on August 23, 1993. He rejoined the faculty in Fall, 2001. John E. Ryan was appointed Vice President and Dean of the law school on September 7, 1993. He served until June 30, 1998. Bruce I. Kogan, formerly Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, served as Interim Dean from July 1, 1998 to June 30, 1999 and from July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2003. Harvey Rishikof served as Dean from July 1, 1999 to June 30, 2001. David A. Logan served as Dean from July 1, 2003, to June 30, 2014. Michael J. Yelnosky currently serves as Dean. The materials are organized by the name of Dean and consist of news of appointment and resignation, biographical information, and interviews as published in newspapers such as the Providence Journal, Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly, and Providence Business News. There are also invitations to receptions honoring some of the Deans. There is some correspondence.

Dean’s Blog (Logan)

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Begun in 2007, materials consist of printouts of the postings made to his blog.

Dean’s eNewsletter

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Materials are printouts of issues beginning with the inaugural Fall 2003 issue.

The Docket

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Under the auspices of the Student Bar Association, The Docket is the student newsletter of the Roger Williams University School of Law. The first issue of The Docket is dated January 18, 1994. Stephen Maguire, Class of 1996, is The Docket’sfounding editor. Earlier issues were published monthly while later issues were published quarterly during the academic year. Presently, publication is sporadic. Bound volumes of The Docket are shelved in the library’s periodicals stacks.

School of Law Employee Events & News

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There are memoranda and emails about newly hired staff, departing staff, staff promotions and staff reassignments. There are also invitations to School of Law employee events such as the Welcome Back Reception, Holiday Open House, Staff and subsequently added Faculty Holiday Luncheon, and Staff Appreciation events. There are some University Service Awards programs which lists those employees and their years of services in increments of five years.

School of Law Events & News

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The School of Law sponsors and co-sponsors numerous events for students, faculty, and the general public. Materials collected include news releases about the events, invitations, flyers, programs, registration materials, brochures, and postcards. Collected are some of the publications published in conjunction with the Annual Open Government Summit sponsored by the Rhode Island Department of the Attorney General and the R.W.U. Law Alumni Association. There are emails and news articles which provide information about the School of Law in general. There is a folder of articles from the Rhode Island Law Tribune published the week of February 12 , 2001 to the week of February 13, 2002 (this is complete). Articles about the founding of the School of Law, alumni, faculty, staff, students and School of Law administrative offices are filed under those categories.

Faculty News

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Materials consist of emails and memoranda regarding appointments, promotions, and tenure; news of individual activities; and full - text articles or links to articles in newspapers. There is biographical information; curriculum vita; semester adjunct faculty listings; compiled bibliographies of faculty publications; and miscellaneous correspondence. This collection is not comprehensive.

Faculty Publications

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Materials consist of offprints of law review and law journal articles. These are organized chronologically and alphabetically within the individual folders.

Feinstein Institute

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A one-million dollar donation was given from the Feinstein Foundation to the Roger Williams University School of Law to establish the Feinstein Institute for Legal Service and the Feinstein "Enriching America" community service program. The Louis Feinstein Legal Clinic was set up at the R.W.U. Metro Center (original clinics were criminal defense and family law)The Clinic was dedicated March 5, 1997. Julia Rueschemeyer was first Director of the Feinstein Institute for Legal Service. Materials include news about events such as the Public Interest Brown Bag series. Additional items include a guide for students about the public interest law opportunities available at the School of Law and a guide to the public service program for students.

Founding - R.W.U. School of Law

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Materials include the draft and final Feasibility study prepared by Anthony Santoro, news items, and related correspondence about the founding of the R.W.U. School of Law.

Law Review

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Collected are three copies of each issue of the Roger Williams University Law Review beginning with the inaugural issue published Spring, 1996.The Law Review is published twice annually. It contains articles, essays, notes and comments and a survey that reviews recent decisions of the Supreme Court of Rhode Island.


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There are a variety of materials collected which are generated by the Law Library. Among them are:

Library - Acquisitions Lists

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The Law Library published its first acquisitions list, "New Titles by Subject," for titles cataloged and added to the collection in July, 1995. The title was changed to "Recent Acquisitions and Titles Catalogued" for the September 1995 acquisitions list.

Library - Annual Reports

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From the 2000 - 2001 to the 2008-2009 academic year, Gail Winson, Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Professor of Law, prepared an annual report. The annual report covers staff changes, professional activities of librarians and support staff, and other noteworthy activities of the Public Services and Collection Services departments. Budget and library statistics for the fiscal year (July 1 to June 30) are included in the annual report.

Library - Collection Development Plan and Policy Manuals

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These are compiled by the Associate Dean for Library and Information Services, the Associate Law Librarian, and the Collection Services Librarian. They are periodically updated.

Library - Guides

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The annually revised Library Guide served as a general introduction to the resources, services, and policies of the Law Library. A floor plan and locator and a listing of library staff were included in the Guide. The Guidewas distributed to the incoming first year students as part of their orientation package until August, 2001. A one page Law Library Highlights instead of the Guide was  distributed to the incoming first year students as part of their orientation package. A brouchure is now included in the orientation packet. The Guide was distributed to the first year students in conjunction with their librarian-conductedlibrary tour through the 2011-2012 academic year. Other miscellaneous library guides include Quick Facts and Law Library Rules and Regulations. The annually revised Faculty Library Guide served to inform faculty of the Law Library services and policies which specifically pertain to them. There was also general information about the Law Library such as hours and staff. A map of the Law Library was included.The Faculty Library Guidewas distributed to faculty in conjunction with the Law Library’s Faculty Liaison Program until the 2011-2012 academic year. The Library Guides from 1994-2011 are in the RWU School of Law Digital Repository.

Library - LLNE Meetings

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Attendees, planning, and speakers materials document the Law Library as host of the 1997 Spring Meeting of the Law Librarians of New England (LLNE) and the 2005 Fall Meeting of the Law Librarians of New England. The theme of the 1997 Spring Meeting was "Sailing the Seas of Change" and was held at the Newport Harbor Hotel & Marina in Newport, R.I. The 2005 Fall Meeting was held at the Bristol Harbor Inn in Bristol, R.I. with "Law, Nature & Gifts from the Sea" as the theme.

Library - Newsletters

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Articles about the Law Library were initially included in the SBA sponsored student newsletter, The Docket. The Law Library published its own newsletter Law Library Illuminations from Fall 1996 through Fall 2000. In August 2002, Law Library Briefs replaced Law Library Illuminations under the editorship of the Reader Services Librarian, Nan Balliot. Law Library Briefs was a one page double-sided newsletter which was published generally on a monthly basis during the academic year and was posted to the Law Library’s website. In 2008, Law Library Briefs ceased publication and was replaced by the Law Library’s blog, the Legal Beagle. Law Library Illuminations and Law Library Briefs are available from the RWU School of Law Digital Repository as well as permanent links to the Legal Beagle.

Library - Self-studies

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The Law Library self-studies were compiled by the Associate Dean for Library and Information Services and Law Library staff in conjunction with site visitations under the auspices of the American Bar Association as part of the accreditation process. Topics in the self-studies include: administration, staff, services, collection, physical facilities, and statistics. Appendices contain a variety of law library publications.

Library - TimeSavers and TimeSavers International

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TimeSavers and TimeSavers International, the Law Library’s ongoing publication series of bibliographic guides, provides information pertaining to resources available on selected subjects and legal research techniques. Several are revised annually and distributed to first-year students and in previous years to students taking the Advanced Legal Research course. As of 2007, only three copies of the TimeSavers and TimeSavers International publications which have been "retired" will be kept in addition to three copies of each new publication.

Marine Affairs Institute

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The Marine Affairs Institute was established during the summer of 1996 with RWU School of Law faculty Jose L. Fernandez and Matthew P. Harrington as its co-directors. The Marine Affairs Institute is dedicated to exploring the legal, economic, and policy aspects of the development of the oceans and coastal zones. The School of Law in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island’s Department of Marine Affairs offers a Juris Doctor/Master of Marine Affairs. In partnership with the University of Rhode Island Department of Marine Affairs and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Program, the Law School established the Sea Grant Legal Program in November, 2003. The Marine Affairs Institute sponsors the biennial Maritime Law Symposium, the Maritime Law Society, the Admiralty Moot Court Team, seminars, workshops, and colloquia. Materials documenting these events are collected as well as news articles and other informational materials about the Marine Affairs Institute.

Orientation - Incoming First - Year students

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Orientation for incoming first-year students is held prior to the beginning of classes. Materials from 1993 to 2001 are sporadic, consisting of correspondence to the students and schedules of speakers and events. Beginning with the Fall, 2002 semester, orientation booklets have been published and they are collected in addition to other items pertaining to orientation.

Portuguese American Comparative Law Center

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The Portuguese-American Comparative Law Center was established pursuant to a 1999 protocol between the University, the Portugal Minister of Justice, Portugal Procurador Generale, and Luso-American Foundation. Professor David A. Rice was appointed Director in March 2000.

The materials document the activities of the Portuguese-American Comparative Law Center which include symposia, conferences, seminars, and lectures. There are emails about visiting research scholars, and the Occasional Paper series. There are brochures and press releases about the activities.

Student Directories

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Collected are directories consisting of student contact information published by the Student Bar Association from 1995/96 - 1999/2000 as well as pictorial directories of the entering first-year students beginning with the Fall, 1997 semester.

Student Handbooks

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The Student Handbook is periodically updated and consists of two basic documents: The Academic Code and The Code of Conduct. Also included in the Student Handbook are housekeeping rules and the Associate Dean’s interpretation of major academic regulations.

A Personal Computer Laboratory Guide from 1993/1994 is also among the student handbooks.

Student Events and News

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Collected are events and news items generated by or about individual students, student teams (e.g. moot court, trial team), various student organizations, and the Student Bar Association.

Summer Study Abroad Programs London and Lisbon

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The summer study abroad program in London was first offered in 1996 with the assistance of Robert Webster, a Barrister in Inner Temple. The summer study abroad program in Lisbon was initially offered the summer of 1999 in cooperation with Catholic University of Portugal in Lisbon. Collected are brochures describing the study abroad programs and application forms until the programs were discontinued.

Weisberger Papers Relating to the Establishment of RWU School of Law

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The Honorable Joseph R. Weisberger, who was on the Rhode Island Supreme Court at the time, chaired the Law School Committee from the summer of 1990 to the winter of 1992 to study the feasibility of establishing a law school at Roger Williams College. In this collection are studies, reports, meeting minutes and agendas, site selection materials, correspondence, and petition materials to the Rhode Island Supreme Court from 1989 to 1993.

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.