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Dean's Reception Area


Champions for Justice

Registration now open! See form below.

Please join us for a special evening
to celebrate and support the students, alumni, partners
and friends whose exceptional devotion to social justice
increases access to justice for all. 

Friday, January 26, 2018
Omni Providence Hotel
One West Exchange Street

Champions for Justice Reception
6:00 p.m.

Dinner, Awards & Auction
6:45 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.

This year’s Public Interest Auction will feature opportunities to connect with the RWU Law community of champions. Most of the auction items are “experience packages” featuring individuals who share our mission of public service, access to justice and the value of experiential education.

Registration is required for this event. Tickets will not be available at the door. Online registration closes on Friday, January 19, 2018.

For event registration questions, please call Special Events at (401) 254-3166.

Champions for Justice is quickly becoming a hallmark of the Rhode Island legal landscape, and we are proud to count so many as friends and supporters of the Law School. Proceeds from the evening will benefit the many social justice programs within RWU Law:

Alternative Spring Break
Pro Bono Collaborative
Public Interest Clinical Externships
Public Interest Summer Stipends
RWU Law Clinics


Presenting Sponsor Dinner Sponsor Reception Sponsor


Honors the 2018 Champions...

Judge Edward C. Clifton

Judge Edward C. Clifton has spent his professional life promoting the fair treatment of minorities in the courts and addressing problems of inequality in the legal profession.  In 2015 he retired from the Superior Court after more than two decades on the bench and became a faculty member at RWU Law, holding the title of Distinguished Jurist in Residence.

Judge Clifton is currently an emeritus member of the Board of Directors of the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts, an association managed by the National Center for State Courts.  He served as a member for nine years prior to reaching emeritus status in 2015.  In 2012, Judge Clifton was elected the consortium’s president/moderator for his commitment to the justice system and his vision to improve access and fairness in the courts.In 2014 NCSC President Mary C. McQueen remarked: “His contributions of innovation, experience, and expertise provide leadership that helps our courts work more efficiently.”

Judge Clifton was the 2014 recipient of the National Center for State Courts’ Distinguished Service Award, one of the highest awards presented by the organization – an award presented annually to those who have made significant contributions to the justice system and who have supported the mission of NCSC. During his time as an Associate Justice on the Rhode Island Superior Court, Judge Clifton, in addition to his regular trial calendar responsibilities, presided over the Providence County Adult Drug Court, the first adult drug court in the state.  He was a member of the Rhode Island Supreme Court’s Permanent Committee on Women & Minorities from 1997 to 2015, and served as chair for four years during this time.  He was one of the original incorporators of the Thurgood Marshall Law Society of Rhode Island, Inc.

Judge Clifton serves on the Board of Directors of Roger Williams University School of Law.  He also co-chairs the Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund, a fund at the Rhode Island Foundation. He is the recipient of numerous awards, including the  Neil J. Houston, Jr. Award from Justice Assistance for service to the criminal justice profession.

Judge Clifton earned a J.D. from UCLA in 1975.  Prior to law school, he completed his undergraduate studies at the University of California, Berkeley, in 1972, majoring in psychology. He served in the United States Army from 1966-1968. .  He began his legal career at Rhode Island Legal Services, Inc., as a Reginald Heber Smith Fellow, he served as a member of the Rhode Island Public Defenders Department, and later he became a partner in the firm of Stone, Clifton & Clifton.  In 1985 he was appointed as City Solicitor for the City of Providence, a position he held until 1992.  Governor Bruce Sundlun appointed Judge Clifton to the District Court in 1993 and to the Superior Court in 1994.

Luis Mancheno, Esq. L’13
Luis Mancheno, Esq. L’13

Luis Mancheno is an Immigration Attorney and the Immigration Advocacy Strategist at The Bronx Defenders. While in law school, Luis worked as a Refugee Status Determination Expert for the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in the Dominican Republic, took part in RWU Law’s Immigration Clinic, and was an extern at the Political

Asylum/Immigration Refugee (PAIR) Project in Boston. After graduating cum laude from RWU Law in 2013, he worked as an Immigration Attorney at the Florence Immigrant and Refugee Rights Project in Arizona. In 2014, he was selected as part of the inaugural class of Immigrant Justice Corps Fellows in New York and placed at the Bronx Defenders to represent detained clients in immigration and federal courts. More recently, he was a Clinical Teaching Fellow in the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic at the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. 

Less than a decade ago, after facing persecution in his native Ecuador for being gay, Luis sought asylum in the United States and became a refugee in 2009. His immigration story and his work as an attorney have been featured in The New York Times, on NBC News, and in other media outlets.  

Luis's writings have appeared in The Huffington Post, Public Radio International, and Vox.

In 2017, he was selected as one of the 30 LGBTQ change-makers and rising stars in the country by NBC News.  Luis was also selected by the New York City Comptroller's Office as the LGBTQ activist of the year for:

…dedicating his time and talents to immigrants in need be they Syrian refugees seeking asylum or detained Mexican men and transgender women facing deportation…

…and for being at the forefront of issues important to our city’s LGBTQ and immigrant communities; and for his tremendous contributions to the City of New York.

In addition to client representation, Luis works closely with the Immigration Practice and his office's Policy Reform, Community Organizing, and Communications departments in identifying and supporting non-legal advocacy strategies. 

Barton Gilman LLP
Barton Gilman LLP

2017 Community Partner Champion

Barton Gilman LLP is a litigation firm founded in 1995 with offices in Providence, Boston and New York.  The firm’s approximately 30 attorneys provide innumerable hours of pro bono legal service annually to those in need, most notably through the Pro Bono Collaborative, and the RI Bar Association’s Volunteer Lawyers Program.  Barton Gilman joined the Pro Bono Collaborative in 2008 and has been working in partnership with Bradley Hospital since then to provide legal services related to guardianship and its alternatives to low-income families with severely developmentally disabled children.  More recently the firm joined the PBC HOPE Court Project to assist participants with their family and housing legal needs.  Their firm-wide involvement in an array of non-profits working to increase social justice is further evidence of an exemplary firm culture that recognizes the attorney’s professional responsibility to give back.  RWU Law is proud to have five alumni at Barton Gilman LLP, all providing pro bono legal service through the PBC and other avenues.



2018 Champions for Justice Host Committee:

  • Kimberly R. Ahern, Esq. L'09
  • Jamie J. Bachant, Esq. L'12
  • Robert P. Brooks, Esq.
  • Jeannine A. Casselman, Esq. L'09
  • Angelyne Cooper-Bailey, Esq. L'08
  • Michael J. Daly, Esq. L'02
  • Kas R. Decarvalho, Esq.
  • Diana deGroof, Esq. L'03
  • Danielle Dufault, Esq. L'15
  • Linn Foster Freedman, Esq.
  • Deborah S. Gonzalez, Esq. '04 L'07
  • Nicholas J. Hemond, Esq. L'12
  • Kara A. Humm, Esq. L'08
  • Jillian Jagling, Esq. L'09
  • Patrick T. Jones
  • Dadriana A. Lepore, Esq. L'10
  • Zachary M. Mandell, Esq. L'11
  • Kelly Rafferty Meara, Esq. L'11
  • Michael J. Moloney, Esq. L'09
  • Ms. Valerie Morozov L'14
  • Lauren Motola-Davis, Esq.
  • Jenna Pingitore, Esq. L'12
  • Stephen M. Prignano, Esq.
  • Adam Ramos, Esq. L'06
  • Andrew C. Rodgers, Esq. L'14
  • The Honorable Judith Savage
  • Arlene Violet, Esq.
  • Michael A Voccola, Esq. L'97