The Magazine of Roger Williams University School of Law
A Chat with the Dean
Our Q&A with Dean David A. Logan
An institution and its alumni come of age…
Roger Williams was treated to
a visit from Justice Samuel Alito of the U.S.
Supreme Court this fall. What does that say
about the law school’s profile?
In the 19 years of this
school’s existence, our students have
interacted with eight U.S. Supreme Court
justices. Just in the past four years, four
justices came to Rhode Island to meet our
students, and some of our students have
met a total of six justices. We’re coming
of age, just as our alumni base is coming
of age. As our reputation grows, it is not
surprising that the events we are able to
bring to campus improve by leaps and
bounds as well.
Is that another way of saying
that – as RWU Law approaches its 20th
anniversary – the school and its alumni
We’re in an ongoing process of
arriving. Our alumni are practicing all over
the country and, indeed, around the world,
dealing with everything from intellectual
property to civil rights to tribal law. As
the articles in this issue of our magazine
illustrate, we have small-firm practitioners,
public interest lawyers, partners in major
law firms; we also have alumni achieving
success on non-traditional career paths.
It’s continuing proof of the versatility of a
Roger Williams J.D.
This fall also saw the
inauguration of RWU Law’s new Santoro
Business Law Lecture Series.
Once again, that’s a testament to
the success of our alumni. The Santoro
Business Law Lecture Series exists solely
because of alumni generosity in endowing
the lectureship. Brian Ali ’07 made the
lead gift and, within a period of weeks,
donations from other alumni doubled
that amount and we were in a position to
begin planning the series. It is our second
endowed lectureship, incidentally, which
is another sign of our increasing maturity.
Our first is the Thurgood Marshall Lecture,
held every other year and endowed by the
leading firm Hinckley Allen & Snyder.
Is the school seeing increased
alumni involvement overall?
Absolutely. And that involvement is
vital to the future of this institution. Our
alumni help RWU Law in many ways,
not least by being terrific role models in
the legal community, which builds our
reputation. In addition, many of them
remain involved with the law school as
adjunct faculty, as mentors to our current
students and by hiring our students
and graduates. On top of all that is the
critical importance of alumni in building
our institutional resources. That is why
contributions to the Annual Fund are so
important and will be a real focus of the
next year of my deanship.
Are you optimistic about
It’s already happening. Our initial
alumni base is continuously expanding,
and more alumni are achieving prominence
in their fields. So we want to build Annual
Fund participation from where it is today,
at about 11 percent, to 15 percent this
year, then up to 20 percent for our 20th
anniversary next year: “20 for 20.”
I am especially proud of the fact that 100
percent of RWU Law’s full-time faculty and
senior staff contributed to the law school
this year. That sends a strong signal to the
state and region, to the bar and, of course,
to our alumni. It’s a tremendous vote of
confidence in, and loyalty to, this unique
institution and its mission.