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Cowan to Speak at May 24 BC Law Commencement

US Sen. William “Mo” Cowan (D-Mass.) (Official US Senate portrait)

By Nathaniel Kenyon | Law School Marketing and Communications Director

Published: May 9, 2013

US Sen. William “Mo” Cowan (D-Mass.), former chief of staff for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, will speak at this year’s Boston College Law School Commencement, which will be held in Conte Forum on May 24 at 10:30 a.m.

Cowan was appointed to the US Senate by Gov. Patrick on Feb. 1, filling the vacancy caused by the resignation of John F. Kerry, JD’76, who was named US Secretary of State by President Barack Obama. He is a member of the Senate Agriculture, Commerce, and Small Business committees.

In 2009, Cowan joined the Patrick administration as chief legal counsel, advising the governor on legal and policy issues, judicial selection, legislation and all legal issues concerning the governor and the Office of the Governor. Gov. Patrick appointed him to serve as his chief of staff in December of 2010.

For the 12 years prior to his entering government, Cowan practiced civil litigation as an associate, and later as a partner, in the Boston office of Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC. He represented a diverse array of commercial clients in matters involving corporate governance, financial mismanagement and malfeasance and money laundering investigations, as well as clients at trial on cases involving environmental releases and remediation, patent disputes and consumer protection claims.

From 1994-97, he was a litigation associate with Peabody and Arnold. Cowan also served for six months as a special assistant district attorney in the Office of the Middlesex County District Attorney during 2000.

Among other honors, Cowan has been cited as an “Outstanding Young Leader” by the Boston Jaycees, a “Corporate Citizen of the Month” by the Boston Bar Journal, and a “Top 40 Business Leader Under 40” by the Boston Business Journal.

His community work includes serving on the Corporation for Northeastern University, as director and officer for Project STEP Inc., and as a trustee for the Discovering Justice Foundation and The Chestnut Hill School.

A native of Yadkinville, NC, Cowan graduated from Duke University in 1991 and Northeastern University School of Law in 1994.

“I’m very pleased that Senator Cowan has agreed to address our graduates this year,” said BC Law Dean Vincent Rougeau. “He has had a remarkable career as a litigator, has shown great leadership in serving as special district attorney and Gov. Patrick’s chief legal counsel and chief of staff, and was an excellent choice to fill the vacancy in the US Senate. I think he is an inspiring example for our students, and I’m looking forward to hearing what he has to say to the class of 2013.”

More information on the Boston College Law School Commencement is available at