Voters on Tuesday chose an RWU Law professor as mayor of Providence and an alumnus as AG (and a student as state representative!)

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06/01/2015
By Dean Michael J. Yelnosky
Monday, May 11th began a week-long celebration of the graduation of the Class of 2015, culminating in commencement exercises on Friday, May 15th.   Monday’s event was a reception for the...


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Voters on Tuesday chose an RWU Law professor as mayor of Providence and an alumnus as AG (and a student as state representative!)

Professor Jorge Elorza, Mayor-Elect of ProvidenceElection Day 2014 was cause for pride at Roger Williams University School of Law, which saw several of its own win important offices – Professor Jorge O. Elorza became mayor-elect of Providence, Rhode Island’s capital and largest city; and alumnus Peter F. Kilmartin ’98 won a second term as the state’s attorney general.

 “We could not be more proud of Peter and Jorge,” said RWU Law Dean Michael J. Yelnosky. “They are the embodiment of one of RWU Law’s core values – public service. General Kilmartin has already served with distinction, and the voters obviously gave him a vote of confidence on Tuesday. I am certain that Mayor Elorza will serve the people of Providence with the same intelligence, integrity, compassion, skill and energy that he brought to his work as a law professor at Roger Williams.”

Yelnosky added that Elorza may continue to teach courses at the law school during his tenure as mayor, “which would only deepen the strong relationship that already exists between RWU Law and our capital city.”

 Raised by Guatemalan immigrant parents in Providence, Elorza returned to his childhood neighborhood after his graduation from Harvard Law School, giving back to his community as an attorney for Rhode Island Legal Services. He litigated race discrimination cases and represented both private and public housing tenants in Rhode Island courts and was eventually appointed to preside as a judge in the Providence Housing Court.

At RWU Law, Elorza has taught Property, Advanced Constitutional Law and Housing Law & Policy. His academic research focused on the intersection of law, science and religion and the economics of housing policy. He was also a founding co-chair of the Latino Policy Institute. As a practicing attorney, he has defended the constitutionality of the Rhode Island Lead Hazard Mitigation Act before the Rhode Island Supreme Court. 

Kilmartin ’88, ’98L first attended Roger Williams as an undergraduate majoring in criminal justice. A decade later, after a 24-year career with the Pawtucket Police Department (including an extended stint as officer in charge of prosecutions), plus 20 years in the state legislature (championing laws on such issues as tougher penalties for domestic violence offenders), he returned to earn his J.D from RWU Law. 

Other successful candidates from RWU Law were current 3L Daniel P. Reilly, who captured a General Assembly seat as state representative for District 72, encompassing parts of Middletown and Portsmouth; Robert B. Jacquard ’86, ’99L, who was reelected to his seat as a state representative for District 17, Cranston; and Stephen R. Archembault ’00, who was reelected as a state senator for District 22, covering parts of Smithfield, North Providence and Johnston.