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Dennis A. Dooley


Dean Dooley
The First Dean, Dennis Dooley, served from 1929 through 1936.

Dennis A. Dooley graduated from Boston College in 1912. While an undergraduate, Dooley started a business providing bus tours for tourists to Lexington, Concord, and other historic spots; eventually selling his interest to a group of nine bus companies. Dooley also served as his undergraduate class president, a position he was elected to in each of his four years at Boston College. After graduation, Dooley worked as a civil service examiner for the state, and then attended night school at Suffolk University, earning his L.L.B. degree in 1920. Dooley then became the director of classroom instruction for the state Division of University Extension, increasing annual student enrollment from 10,000 when he began to 40,000 when he left in 1929.

After being chosen by the Trustees of Boston College as the first dean of the newly formed Boston College Law School, Dooley put on a great publicity and recruiting effort in the months from April until September. The result was a pool of prospective students that was 700 strong, from which 54 were admitted to the day program and 47 were admitted for evening study. The first classes were held on September 26, 1929 on the third floor of the Lawyer’s Building at 11 Beacon Street. Tuition was $200 a year for day students, and the initial rent for the five rooms the Law School occupied was $7,500 a year. Among the five faculty members recruited by Dooley for that first year were Henry E. Foley and William J. O’Keefe (who was, aside from Dooley, the only full-time Law School employee), both of whom would serve as dean for the law school in later years.

Continued: the First Graduation Ceremony