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Fast Facts

Our Pro Bono Collaborative mobilizes Rhode Island law firms, law students and community organizations to provide desperately needed legal assistance for the underserved residents of the state.  The unique program includes 10 major law firms, over 20 community-based organizations and several dozen law students.



Tim Gumkowski '06

Tim Gumkowski '06When Timothy P. Gumkowski ’06, a public defender with Brooklyn Defender Services, left a successful career in the gourmet food and beverage industry to become a lawyer, he knew he’d need more than just classroom theory to succeed – he needed concise, practical training.

At RWU Law, that’s just what he got as a student attorney with the Criminal Defense Clinic (through which he became the first law student in Rhode Island history to act as lead attorney in a Superior Court jury trial), and volunteering for the New England Innocence Project. He quickly developed a taste for making a difference.

“My clinical experiences were instrumental and fundamental in shaping my career,” Tim says. “Not only did I gain the skills I needed; they also showed me that this is the work I want to do.” Passionately fighting for indigent clients, he continues to relish the role of underdog: “I enjoy making the judges work, making the prosecutors work and making myself work,” he says

While at RWU Law, Tim also found time to write for the Law Review on spoliation of evidence – an article that was recently cited by the Honorable Brian P. Stern, associate justice of the Rhode Island Superior Court, in Laurent v. St. Michaels School, WC-09-0545.

Judge Stern wrote, in a kind note to Tim afterward. “I reviewed many of the excellent public policy arguments from your Law Review Note in the Roger Williams Law Review [Gumkowski, “Protecting the Integrity,” 10 Roger Williams U. L. Rev. 795 (2005)] advocating for a change in the law.”