2020 - Present
“Not adapting puts the entire enterprise of legal education at risk – and thus places our democratic society and ideals at risk. And so we must innovate in the face of uncertainty.”
~ RWU Law Dean Gregory W. Bowman
When the COVID-19 pandemic puts a stop to in-person classes in March, RWU Law's faculty has just two weeks to train before moving all classes online. Though most had never taught online before, they rise to the challenge admirably. RWU Law students do so as well, maintaining strong academic and experiential engagement under considerable stress and adversity.
Soon after the death of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, RWU Law establishes its annual RBG Essay Contest, inviting Ocean State students from grades K through 12 to submit essays and artworks on how the iconic jurist inspired them.
Lawyers Weekly selects Professor Deborah Gonzalez as a Rhode Island Lawyer of the Year, citing her outstanding advocacy for the safety of immigrant detainees at Wyatt Detention Center at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic.
RWU Law’s compelling symposium, “Incitement, Insurrection and Impeachment: Inside the Second Trump Impeachment”, features trial participants Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Representative David Cicilline (D-R.I.), and Professor Michael Gerhardt, who served as special counsel to Senator Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), the presiding officer of the impeachment trial. More than 500 registrants attend the online event.
RWU Law makes national headlines as a leader in legal education when it becomes one of the first law schools in the country to pilot and then add a required course on race and the law to its core legal curriculum.
RWU Law acquires the Journal of Maritime Law and Commerce (JMLC), the premier periodical in the field of maritime law in the United States. Leading the JMLC’s editorial team are Julia Wyman, Director of RWU Law’s Marine Affairs Institute and the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program; Professor Justin Kishbaugh; and Professor Jonathan Gutoff.