Doctor of Law

A headshot of Curtis

Curtis T. Haynes, RWU Law Class of 2019

Juris DoctorStudent

Three years ago, Curtis T. Haynes was attending class, much as he does now – but in a very different setting, wearing a lab coat at the renowned Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown University. 

Yet after a year and a half at one of the country’s most selective medical schools, the Mississippi native made one of the toughest decisions in his life: he stepped away from the career trajectory he’d been planning for years, and took a leap into the unknown.

“I came to the realization that medical school just wasn’t right for me,” Curtis explains. “So against the advice of many, I did what was right in my heart.” But it wasn’t easy.

 “I always thought I would pursue a career in science or medicine – maybe one day become a doctor,” Curtis says. It was an aspiration his mother encouraged in both him and his twin sister. 

“When we were young, believe it or not, my sister and I would attend science camps during the summer!”

To break away was traumatic. “I did a lot of soul searching during that time,” he says. “It was a humbling experience.” Curtis taught for a while in an afterschool program at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School in Providence. At night, he worked at a local UPS distribution center. 

Finally, he says, “I decided to pursue law school because of the challenges it presented. I wanted to solve problems and interact with people.” Curtis chose RWU Law because “it offered the opportunity I was looking for. The faculty and staff were there to help me. Dean Yelnosky, Professors Logan, Spacone, Thompson, and Kishbaugh, all stand out as individuals who made an impact on my life, especially during that first year. And they’ve maintained it ever since.”

Haynes hopes to someday work as a corporate attorney. For now, he’s content serving as president of the Student Bar Association. He also completed an internship with Robinson & Cole, LLP, in Providence over the summer. 

“My path to success is reliant on patience, humility, and hard work,” Curtis says. “These values were instilled in me growing up, and reinforced through my life experiences.”