Roger Williams University School of Law

Roger Williams University School of Law


Roger Williams University School of Law

Ten Metacom Avenue
Bristol, RI 02809
(800) 633-2727

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Academics & Programs: Learning at Roger Williams University School of Law is not only academic, but also experiential. “Through initiatives like the Pro Bono Collaborative, which links law students with area practitioners to work on pro bono projects, the school is always working to integrate itself into the fabric of the RI legal community.” The Office of Career Services sets up mock interviews with local attorneys to help students prepare for real interviews. They also regularly run “resume writing events, career fairs, and networking events.” “The Feinstein Institute for Legal Service is an integral part of the school. Many students obtain excellent public interest internships and externships through this office.” Students have “clerkships with judges,” as well as “access to the federal system.” The school makes certain that “we not only know the law, but we know how to apply it outside the academic realm.” Roger Williams also offers an honors program, comprised of seminars, clinics, and international training for those who qualify. There are summer programs in London, England; Tianjin, China; and Buenos Aires, Argentina and “great human rights– based courses.” Other strengths of RW are its public interest and pro bono programs, as well as a full maritime program. There are also criminal defense, immigration, and mediation clinics, which help students by providing “valuable, practical experience.”

At RWU, most students agree there are “more than a few shining stars” within the faculty, offering “great insight and wisdom.” One student says the professors “really have made a difference in my life.” This probably arises from the fact that most professors have either practiced law seriously before holding their current positions or are simultaneously working within the Rhode Island legal system. “I have had the excellent opportunity to take classes with five judges in all different levels of the judiciary.” Professors have “great practical stories to add to class” and feel they “are also here to mentor.” Students who mentioned the dean spoke highly of him, one suggesting he “knows every student personally.”

Not only are the dean and professors accessible, but so is the entirety of the Rhode Island legal system. The school has “excellent connections with the local bar,” and one student boasts, “I’ve already met both senators, the first circuit court of appeals judges, one congressman, and a RI Supreme Court judge in a semester and a half.” Another rhetorically asks, “How many law schools have a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals hear arguments in your mock court room.” The connections between students, faculty, and the real-world of law are many and fortuitous. This may be because Roger Williams is the only law school in the small state of Rhode Island. Those students who wish to practice there after graduation are pleased with these connections, one claiming there’s “a plethora of academic, clinical, and law firm opportunities.” Some who wish to live and work elsewhere after their time at RW feel differently. Alternately, one student mentions that there’s a “wide network of contacts and alumni working all across the nation.”

Campus Life/Facilities: As for the school itself, “Classrooms are always being updated,” and “The school feels comfortable, but professional.” There are some administrative “hiccups” and scheduling concerns, but overall, the students seem pleased. Students did express concern for the school’s ranking; however, one suggested RWU was “quietly becoming a great institution.”

While there is a healthy competition among the students, there is also great encouragement and camaraderie.” One student described life outside the classroom as “extremely social,” while another suggests that same social world has a “huge range.” A third says life at Roger Williams is “a perfect balance of work and social activities.” “Our fifteen-plus clubs are extremely active and supported by funds and time from the Student Bar Association.”

Bristol is “serene and beautiful” but can at times feel “remote.” “The location is lovely; however, winters can be pretty brisk.” What do you expect when your campus sits “directly on the water,” “literally ocean front property”? RWU is “a walk down the road from a historically zoned Main Street that has nice shops, excellent restaurants, and great views.” One student describes Bristol as “gorgeous and wonderful, if not a little quaint and boring.” Yet another says its “size is just right.” One definite perk is free public transportation for students, and almost everyone can agree, “It’s nice to be so close to Providence and Boston.”

* The Princeton Review is not affiliated with Princeton University.