Featured LLNE Library: Roger Williams University School of Law

Location, location, location: The sheer beauty of the place stops first-time visitors to Roger Williams University (RWU) in their tracks. 

And it is striking. Comprising 143 acres of New England waterfront, the RWU main campus overlooks Mount Hope Bay in Bristol, Rhode Island.  Sparkling water and scenic coastline seem to lie in every direction. The towers of the historic Mount Hope Bridge loom in southerly views.

Like many buildings on campus, the RWU Law School features bay-facing rooms with expansive windows that take full advantage of spectacular views.  Ample recreation areas and walking paths provide students, faculty and staff with plentiful opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. Our great law library staff is no exception, and on most days, you will find many of us walking, running, or swimming over our lunch hour. From the law and campus libraries to the wraparound deck of the Sailing and Education Center (photo), there are also plenty of quiet places to study and relax.

Of course, for law librarians, our favorite spot is the law library. Providing a year-round retreat from campus bustle and all weather, the library is designed to afford open, comfortable, and multi-functional spaces to meet student needs for study, work, and research. As the library adjusts its collection to an ever-increasing inventory of digital materials, planned renovations in coming years will see some shelving spaces converted to even more practical nooks for student use.

RWU Law is the only law school in Rhode Island. Bearing the responsibility of that distinction, the law library maintains a unique collection of current and historical materials related to Rhode Island’s state and federal jurisdictions.  The library also possesses a select collection of current and historical materials on other New England states, as well as key legal resources from farther afield.

Naturally befitting our coastal location, the law library collects heavily in maritime law. This collection supports the Marine Affairs Institute at RWU Law, a partnership with the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island Sea Grant.  The Marine Affairs Institute is home to the Rhode Island Sea Grant Legal Program, which prepares law students with academic training and practical experience to work in ocean and coastal law and policy.

With its bay-view perch, RWU’s location is intertwined with its academic programs, strategic priorities, and campus life.  With thoughtful interior spaces that complement outdoor natural beauty, RWU affords its community a healthy and supportive environment in which to thrive.