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Roger Williams University School of Law is committed to shaping attorneys with a dedication to public service. Our Centers of Excellence in Public Interest Law and Ocean and Coastal Law show our institutional commitment to this philosophy.
Our Public Interest mission is centered in our Feinstein Institute for Public Service. In this center, students will find 4 attorneys who are dedicated to assisting students in achieving their public interest goals. As the only law school in Rhode Island, the Feinstein Institute offers an extensive array of public interest internships throughout the state and region.
Our graduates enter public interest law at nearly twice the national average. Applicants with top public interest credentials before entering law school are considered for half tuition public interest scholarships. In 2008 the School of Law began offering a public interest loan repayment program for graduates in working in non-profit legal offices representing low-income clients in either civil or criminal proceedings.
The School of Law is also the home of the Pro Bono Collaborative, an innovative partnership mobilizing law firms, law students, and community organizations to provide desperately needed legal assistance to the underserved. Through this program our students have assisted community-based organizations on issues affecting Southeast Asian youth, Liberian refugees, families renting homes that are facing foreclosure, LGBTQQ youth, children in need of special education services, and homeless victims of domestic violence, among others.
All Roger Williams University School of Law students are required to perform 50 hours of legal community service before graduation. Our students have contributed more than 54,000 hours of unpaid law-related public service since 2000.
Our public interest programs are ranked 25th in the country and 2nd in New England.
Our Marine Affairs Institute will be of interest to applicants interested in issues like marine renewable energy, marine pollution, shellfish restoration, natural resource allocation, and global climate change. Our seaside campus is home to some of North America's top experts on marine law and policy. In partnership with the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Sea Grant, this strong coalition of scholars, educators, and advocates is dedicated to preparing the next generation of marine law professionals. As one of only a handful of law schools offering a significant ocean and coastal law curriculum, our law students are able to partake in significant course offerings in these unique topics. As Rhode Island's Sea Grant Legal Program, the Institute hires law students as Sea Grant Law Fellows who conduct research and analysis for government agencies, industry, and non-profit organizations. Students also have the unique opportunity to earn a joint degree in law and a Master's in Marine Affairs through our interdisciplinary partnership with the University of Rhode Island.