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Department of Communications/
News Bureau
22 Davis Hall, 10 Lippitt Road, Kingston, RI 0288
Phone: 401-874-2116 Fax: 401-874-7872

URI, Roger Williams to mark new joint degree program
in labor relations/human resources and law with lecture May 10
Cornell Law Professor Stewart Schwab to speak

KINGSTON, R.I. -- April 30, 2001 -- The University of Rhode Island and Roger Williams University will mark the creation of a joint degree program in labor relations, human resources and law with a lecture by Cornell University Law School Professor Stewart Schwab on Thursday, May 10.

Schwab’s lecture, "Thinking Like a Lawyer and Labor and Human Relations Professional," will be held at 6 p.m. at the URI Alan Shawn Feinstein College of Continuing Education, 80 Washington St., Providence. The lecture is free and open to the public. A reception will follow.

The lecture coincides with the efforts of the Charles T. Schmidt Jr. Labor Research Center at URI and the Roger Williams University Ralph R. Papitto School of Law to establish the joint degree program.

At Cornell, Schawb teaches employment law, labor law, employment discrimination, comparative labor law and law and economics. He is co-author of two important books used in law schools nationwide—Employment Law: Cases and Materials, and Foundations of Labor and Employment Law. Schwab has a law degree and doctorate in labor economic and industrial organization from the University of Michigan. He earned his bachelor of arts in economics from Swarthmore College. Before his appointment to the Cornell faculty, he was law clerk to Judge Dickson Phillips of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and to Justice Sandra Day O’Connor of the U.S. Supreme Court.

In establishing the new joint degree program, the two Universities looked to a model that has been in existence for about five years—The URI master’s in community planning and the Roger Williams degree in law.

Like that program, the new combination of labor relations-human resources at URI with law at Roger Williams will allow students to reduce the overall time needed for the completion of the two degrees by up to one year.

"We are very excited about our new joint program with Roger Williams University," said Terry L. Thomason, associate professor and director of the Schmidt Labor Research Center at URI. "It is increasingly important for attorneys specializing in labor and employment law to have a strong background in the non-legal dimensions of human resources and labor relations practice. The joint program provides a vehicle to obtain both degrees within four years of matriculation."

"We are very excited about continuing and broadening our relationship with the University of Rhode Island by having this joint JD/MS in labor relations and human resources complement our other joint programs in marine affairs and community planning," stated Harvey Rishikof, dean of the School of Law. He added, "Professors Michael Yelnosky, of Roger Williams University School of Law, and Terry Thomason, of URI, have done an outstanding job putting a program together which will be a true benefit for both institutions."

To earn the degrees, students must complete 30 credits at URI’s Schmidt Labor Research Center and 75 credits at Roger Williams’ Papitto School of Law. Students must be accepted separately by each institution.

Typically, the master’s in labor relations and human resources and the law degree are pursued separately. The URI program requires 39 credits and can be completed on a full-time basis within two years. A law degree from Roger Williams requires 90 credits that can be completed on a full-time basis within three years.

The Schmidt Labor Research Center at URI will accept nine law credits toward the overall total of 39, so that the student in the joint program will only need to register and pay for 30 labor relations and human resources credits.

The Papitto School of Law will accept 15 labor relations and human resource credits as transfer credits, so that the dual degree student will need to register and pay for 75 law credits.

For Further information about the dual degree program, please call the Schmidt Labor Research Center at 401-874-2239 or the Papitto School of Law, Office of Admissions, at 401-254-4555

Those interested in attending the lecture should respond to Mary Pinch, Schmidt Labor Research Center at 401-874-2239 or by email, urilrc@etal.uri.edu.

Attorneys attending the lecture will be awarded one continuing education credit.

For Information: Dave Lavallee 401-874-2116

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