“I believe we had a moral commitment to that first class to get the school accredited as fast as humanly possible.”

~ RWU Law Founding Dean Anthony J. Santoro


Moot Arguments with Rhode Island Supreme CourtChief Justice Joseph Weisberger commences the tradition of the Justices of the Rhode Island Supreme Court presiding over the final rounds of the annual Moot Court Competition – a tradition that has continued ever since. Weisberger was joined by the Honorable Florence K. Murray, the Honorable Donald F. Shea, and the Honorable Victoria Lederberg.

RWU Law is awarded provisional accreditation from the American Bar Association.


Roger Williams University Law Review publishes its inaugural issue

Roger Williams University Law Review publishes its inaugural issue.




Justice Anthony KennedyInaugural Commencement held May 18, with U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice Anthony Kennedy as commencement speaker. There are 87 Day Division graduates (Extended Division students from the first class would graduate in 1997).

The Marine Affairs Institute is established, July 29.

The Feinstein Institute for Legal Service (now the Feinstein Center for Pro Bono & Experiential Education), the hub of RWU Law’s public service initiatives, is established with a $1 million donation from Rhode Island philanthropist Alan Shawn Feinstein on September 9.



American Bar AssociationRWU Law is awarded full accreditation by the American Bar Association. At the time, it is the fastest law school accreditation in ABA history.


Esther ClarkThe Clark Moot Court Competition,named for Distinguished Visiting Professor Esther Clark (1929-2002), a pioneering litigator and popular teacher in the school’s early years, is established.




Dean John RyanDean John Ryan steps down, effective June 30. Bruce I. Kogan, formerly Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, appointed Interim Dean effective July 1.



Harvey RishikofHarvey Rishikof is appointed Dean, effective July 1. Rishikof was previously legal counsel to the deputy director of the FBI, serving as liaison to the Office of the U.S. Attorney General. He had also served as U.S. Chief Justice William Rehnquist’s chief of staff from 1994 to 1996.




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.