Research, Writing, & Advocacy Program (RWA)

The RWA Program is an innovative, three-semester course series required of all Ave Maria law students. Working closely with one of six experienced RWA faculty members in classes of 15-18, students benefit from significant personalized feedback and coaching. Over the course of the three semesters, students develop those professional skills critical for the practicing lawyer, including:

  • Problem solving
  • Legal analysis and reasoning
  • Legal research
  • Factual investigation
  • Communication
  • Counseling
  • Alternative dispute resolution procedures
  • Organization and management of legal work
  • Recognizing and resolving ethical dilemmas


"The research and editing skills I learned in the RWA classes during my first year prepared me well for the summer internship at Nokia Inc. after my 1L year. My memos were regularly circulated to the highest levels of Nokia's executive management with very few edits. My writing and research skills, I think, also were a major part of my selection as an "Outstanding Summer Intern," which was only the second time that an intern within the legal department received this award. I think being able to do work at the level needed by a multinational corporation is a testament to just how well Ave Maria's Research, Writing, and Advocacy Program truly prepares students."

~Ken Wiltberger, Class of 2009