Wells Named Assoc. Dean at Law School

By Michael Seele
Chronicle Editor

Catharine Wells, a former Massachusetts assistant attorney general and University of Southern California law professor, has joined the Law School as associate dean for academic affairs.

"Catharine has a combination of stellar qualities," said Law School Dean Aviam Soifer. "She is a very successful scholar and is renowned for her ability to foster scholarship in others. She has extensive administrative experience in Massachusetts and knows her way around the state, and she brings a perspective from another academic discipline."

In addition to a law degree from Harvard University and a bachelor's degree from Wellesley College, Wells holds master's and doctoral degrees in philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley.

Prior to her arrival at the Law School, she had been a professor of law at USC since 1984, where she taught torts, criminal law, jurisprudence, American legal theory, business organizations, non-profit organizations, and women and the law.

From 1976-84, she held a number of posts in the Massachusetts Attorney General's Office. She was an assistant attorney general and director of the division of public charities from 1979-84; special assistant to the chief of public protection from 1978-79; and assistant attorney general in the consumer protection division from 1976-78. She was also an adjunct professor at the New England School of Law from 1981-84, chairperson of the National Association of State Charities Officials from 1983-84, and a member of the advisory committee to the Commissioner of Internal Revenue on Tax-exempt Organizations from 1987-90.

She has authored or co-authored a dozen publications on a variety of legal topics.

Wells, who is also a full professor, said she will be addressing a number of issues important to the Law School and legal education in general, including faculty enrichment, finding students work experience to help make them more marketable after graduation, and helping junior faculty realize their research goals.

"The one thing I've known about Boston College is the quality of the students and faculty, and the caring atmosphere that the school provides," said Wells. "BC Law School has always been a leader in classroom teaching and I'm very excited about being here."

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