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JD with Maritime Law Track & JD with Master of Marine Affairs Degree and Other Special Programs at RWU Law and Marine Affairs Institute in RI

roger williams university

Established in 1956, Roger Williams University (RWU) is a private coeducational liberal arts university located in Bristol, Rhode Island with a branch in Providence, RI. It was named after the Rhode Island cofounder Roger Williams. Roger Williams University is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges (NEASC), Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. Roger Williams University enrolls over 4000 undergraduate and 700 graduate students in eight schools. 140 acre main campus in Bristol is on Mount Hope Bay overlooking the part of Narragansett Bay.

The only law school in Rhode Island, Roger Williams University School of Law (RWU Law) offers students hands-on affordable legal education and is a leader in providing experiential and pro bono education opportunities. RWU Law is accredited and approved by the American Bar Association (ABA) & Association of American Law Schools (AALS). The School is the best-priced ABA-accredited private law school in the Northeast and one of the best values on the East Coast.

RWU Law has a concept called the Semester in Practice Clinical Externship, a full semester of credit training in Rhode Island, Boston, New York, or anywhere else that will benefit their educational and career goals. When combining the Semester in Practice with other clinical and skills courses, RWU law students can spend as much as one-third of their law school experience gaining hands-on, practical legal experience.

Academic Programs

  • Baccalaureate / Juris Doctor - Legal Studies and Law (3+3 years): Outstanding students who qualify for this special program may be able to complete all requirements for a baccalaureate degree and the Juris Doctor degree in six years. Full-time students who matriculate at the University in their freshman year and who maintain superior academic records with outstanding academic averages and superior scores on the Law School Admission Test (LSAT) may apply to the Roger Williams University School of Law in their junior year. This program is not available to transfer students.
  • Juris Doctor (JD) Maritime Law Track (3 or 4 years): JD is a graduate-entry professional degree in law. The Curricular Tracks are intended to provide guidance to students as they plan their academic careers.  No one set of courses is right for all students, even those with similar subject matter interests or career goals.  Nonetheless, all students should try to plan ahead in creating a curriculum that meets personal needs, interests, and goals. The maritime law track core electives include - Admiralty, Maritime Practice & Procedure, Marine Insurance, Collision & Limitation of Liability, Energy Law in the Maritime Economy, Marine Salvage, Law of the Sea and more. In experiential learning, following electives are available - Maritime Litigation: The Whips & Whirls of an Admiralty Practice; Legal Drafting and Advocacy: Environmental Law; Sea Grant Law Fellow Projects (capstone experience); and Public Interest Clinical Externship (includes Semester in Practice).
  • JD / Master of Marine Affairs (MMA) (3.5 years) Joint Degree with University of Rhode Island (URI): Students interested in more extensive study of marine law and policy may simultaneously earn a JD from RWU and a Master of Marine Affairs degree from the University of Rhode Island (URI) in 3.5 years through sharing of selected credits.  Joint degree students enhance their legal education with additional courses at URI on economic, international and policy considerations, positioning them well to address today’s complex maritime, ocean and coastal legal issues.
  • Master of Studies in Law Degree (MSL): The MSL is designed for students who want to bring legal knowledge to their work or whose job prospects would improve if they added legal knowledge to their existing knowledge base.  Anyone who works or would like to work regularly with lawyers or with laws and regulations could benefit from the MSL program. Students will have the freedom, with the help of a faculty advisor, to design a course of study that permits them to specialize in the area most valuable to their business and professional development. Please note that the degree required to sit for the bar exam and practice law is the Juris Doctor, or JD. By contrast, the Master of Studies in Law (MSL) program is designed for anyone who could benefit from  a formal understanding of the law but  does not need the three-year JD degree. The MSL program is not intended to prepare students for the JD program. Under ABA regulations, credits from the MSL program cannot count towards a JD degree.

Last updated: Mar 14, 2017

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