LGBTQ Community

RWU Law offers an inclusive and supportive environment for all members of our community. 

We have a substantial LGBT student population and a number of openly gay members of the administration and faculty.  The Alliance, our LGBT student organization, is extremely active, hosting national speakers and organizing symposia and several members of our faculty write on LGBT related topics ranging from sodomy laws to gay marriage to LGBT tax law.  

Our students are connected to the Rhode Island LGBT legal community through both the RI Bar Association's LGBT Committee and Lawyers for Equality and Diversity (LEAD).  Through our public service requirement, our students work with Marriage Equality Rhode Island (MERI) and the Boston-based Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD).  Our Pro Bono Collaborative, an innovative program bringing together our students, community organizations, and top law firms, has partnered with Youth Pride RI to assist transgender youth who face discrimination in public schools.  

LGBT issues come into consideration in many ways both big and small at the school of law from including partners in our Orientation programming to offering gender neutral bathrooms for transgender students.  Rhode Island is a very LGBT friendly community.  Providence offers a diverse gay scene with a range of LGBT and LGBT-friendly bars, coffee shops, restaurants, and clubs. 

RWU Law Faculty Research

  • Diana Hassel - An expert on Constitutional and Civil Rights Law, Professor Hassel has been recognized with a National Award for best Law Review article on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity.
  • Emily Sack - A nationally recognized expert on domestic violence and reform of the court system, Professor Sack has spoken widely on topics related to same sex marriage and the Constitution.

Gender Neutral Bathrooms

Roger Williams University School of Law strives to create and sustain a campus environment that supports and values all members of our community. One aspect of creating a comfortable environment is providing safe, accessible, and convenient restroom facilities. Consequently, the School of Law encourages individuals to use the restroom that corresponds with their gender identity. In addition, the School of Law is committed to maintaining gender neutral bathrooms. Gender neutral restrooms are located on the first floor near the Dean’s Suite.

Chosen Name Policy

Roger Williams University recognizes that some current members of the campus community may prefer to identify themselves by a first name other than their legal first name. For this reason, the University provides students and employees with an opportunity to use a “Chosen Name” where possible in the course of University business and education. Under Roger Williams University’s Chosen Name Policy, students and employees may designate a chosen or preferred first name in addition to the legal name. Individuals may request the use of a chosen name online via RogerCentral. To learn more about the policy and how to designate a chosen name and gender designation, please click HERE.


  • Marriage Equality Rhode Island - Marriage Equality Rhode Island is a grassroots organization that worked to secure equal marriage rights for all Rhode Island couples, regardless of sexual orientation or identity.
  • Options Magazine - Rhode Island’s Lesbian, Gay Bisexual and Transgender Community Newsmagazine since 1982.
  • Youth Pride RI - YPI’s goals are to meet the social, emotional and educational needs of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and questioning (LGBTQQ) youth and their allies through empowering programs of support, education, organizing and advocacy, while working to change the homophobic, biphobic and transphobic environments in which they live.
  • Rhode Island Pride - Web resource designed to create opportunities for integrating and promoting visibility for the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered community in RI.
  • Gay & Lesbian Advocates & Defenders (GLAD) -Leading legal rights organization in New England dedicated to ending discrimination based on sexual orientation, HIV status and gender identity and expression.
  • National LGBT Bar Association - The National LGBT Bar Assocation is a national association of lawyers, judges and other legal professionals, law students, activists, and affiliates lesbians, gay, bisexual, transgender legal organizations. The LGBT Bar promotes justice in and through the legal profession for the LGBT community in all its diversity.
Close Course Type Descriptions

Course Types

We have classified RWU Law classes under the following headers. One of the following course types will be attached to each course which will allow students to narrow down their search while looking for classes.

Core Course

Students in the first and second year are required to take classes covering the following aspects of the law—contracts, torts, property, criminal law, civil procedure, and constitutional law, evidence, and professional responsibility.  Along with these aspects, the core curriculum will develop legal reasoning skills.


After finishing the core curriculum the remaining coursework toward the degree is completed through upper level elective courses.  Students can choose courses that peak their interests or courses that go along with the track they are following.


Seminars are classes where teachers and small groups of students focus on a specific topic and the students complete a substantial research paper.


Inhouse Clinics and Clinical Externships legal education is law school training in which students participate in client representation under the supervision of a practicing attorney or law professor.  RWU Law's Clinical Programs offer unique and effective learning opportunities and the opportunity for practical experience while still in law school.