School Year 2023-2024: Celebrating 30 Years

Three decades later, Roger Williams University School of Law plays a leading role as one of the most dynamic law schools in the country.

Celebrating 30 Years, est. 1993

Dean Gregory W. Bowman, MA, JD

Thirty years ago, Roger Williams University School of Law welcomed its first class of 82 law students. At the time, the decision to open a law school in Rhode Island was controversial. Some thought Rhode Island was too small to support a law school. Others thought there were already enough law schools nearby. 

Three decades later, there is no question: RWU Law plays a leading role as one of the most dynamic law schools in the country. We have strong and supportive relationships with Rhode Island’s bench and bar. We are leaders in marine affairs law and maritime law. Our legal clinics and pro bono programs serve communities of need across Rhode Island and the Northeast. Through our research and teaching, we are changing how American law schools address matters of race in the law—including by establishing a new Institute for Race and the Law that will help lead the way in training the next generation of lawyers. My colleagues and I are proud of our work to train and mentor the lawyers and leaders of tomorrow. 

I am deeply grateful to be part of RWU Law’s community of servant leaders. I am proud of the impact we make. And I am excited to see what the next three decades have in store.

Gregory W. Bowman, M.A., J.D.
Professor of Law

We invite you to explore a timeline of where we've been – and to join us and help forge the path ahead.

On the occasion of the Law School's 30th anniversary, we are directing all gifts received to The Mandell-Boisclair Justice Scholarship Fund.  Double the impact of your gift by giving under the ongoing Matching Challenge for this fund to launch a scholarship supporting diverse students and public interest careers.  Prominent Rhode Island trial lawyer Mark S. Mandell has made an initial $250,000 to the Fund, and pledged up to an additional $250,000 to match other individual donations made to the Fund over the next five years.

Give a gift here

Saturday, September 9 – Annual Law Alumni Association Scholarship Golf Tournament – Hazelton Golf Club, Rehoboth, MA

Wednesday, September 13 – Thurgood Marshall Memorial Lecture featuring Keynote Speaker Danielle M. Conway – RWU Law Bristol Campus

Wednesday, September 13 – Reception in Celebration of RWU Law 30th Anniversary following Thurgood Marshall Memorial Lecture Keynote Speaker – RWU Law Bristol Campus

Thursday, November 2 – 7th Annual Stonewall Lecture Series - The Battle for Pride: Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow – Featuring Keynote Speaker Professor Regina Hillman - RWU Law Bristol Campus

Friday, November 3 – Symposium on Transformative Gender Law: A Roger Williams Law Review Event – A Virtual Program

Thursday, November 30 – Law Alumni Association Holiday Reception – Café Nuovo, Providence, RI

Additional RWU Law 30th Anniversary programming will be announced soon.

For 30 Years: A Justice-Centered Mission

RWU Magazine, page 21

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.