RWU Law Names Judge Brian Stern as Chair of Board of Directors

Stern is a distinguished Associate Justice of the R.I. Superior Court

Jill Rodrigues
Judge Brian Stern

BRISTOL, R.I., Feb. 13, 2023 – Judge Brian P. Stern, Associate Justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, has been elected chairperson of the Roger Williams University School of Law Board of Directors.

Judge Stern’s appointment comes at an exciting moment for RWU Law, which is celebrating 30 years as a law school this year. With a longstanding mission of social justice in legal education, RWU Law has become a national leader in racial justice legal education. In 2020, the law school created a required course, Race and the Foundations of America Law, and soon after launched a national faculty-training program, Integrating Doctrine and Diversity, that teaches law professors how to design inclusive legal curricula and incorporate challenging racial topics into the classroom. As part of its celebration, later this year RWU Law will launch a Center for Race and the Law, formally dedicating its commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion and justice for all through teaching, research, programs and student scholarships.

“We are thrilled to have Judge Stern as the new chair of the law school’s Board of Directors,” said RWU Law Dean Gregory W. Bowman. “His leadership role in the Rhode Island Judiciary and his commitment to public service will benefit the law school greatly as we work to increase our law school’s reputation and impact over the next several years.”

Judge Stern has served on the Rhode Island Superior Court since 2009. He presides over the State Business Calendar and civil and criminal jury trials. Prior to his appointment to the court, held various state government positions, including as a former gubernatorial Chief of Staff, Executive Director of the Department of Administration, and Deputy Chief of Legal Services for the Department of Business Regulation.

“RWU Law plays an active and vital role in our legal community,” said Judge Stern “I am humbled and grateful for the opportunity to lead the Board and to support the university’s students, faculty, as well as the law school's mission overall.”

Judge Stern is also a director of the American College of Business Court Judges and co-chair of the Rhode Island Supreme Court Judicial Education Program. He has published numerous articles on legal and public policy topics, including insolvency, procurement, cyberbullying, and cryptocurrency, and is a frequent lecturer at universities and colleges. Prior to his work in Rhode Island’s judiciary and state government, he practiced law in New York.

Judge Stern has been a member of law school’s Board of Directors since 2020. He was elected chair on Feb. 3 by the board members, taking the place of outgoing chairperson, the Honorable William E. Smith, former Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Rhode Island. During the meeting, Hinna Upal, an employment attorney with Littler Mendelson, was elected as secretary, replacing Howard Merten, a litigation attorney with Partridge Snow & Hahn.

Judge Stern received a bachelor’s degree from Clark University and juris doctor from Brooklyn Law School. He lives in East Greenwich with his wife, Jennifer, and has three children.