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BC Law Timeline

ebrief enewsletter

Lawyer's Building

  • 1929: Boston College announces the opening of its law school at the prestigious Lawyer's Building at 11 Beacon St. in Boston. Dennis A. Dooley was the first dean. Among the first faculty were Henry E. Foley, later dean and a founder of Foley, Hoag & Eliot.
Dennis A. Dooley
Dennis A. Dooley, Dean, 1929-1936


  • 1932: First class graduates. Accreditation by American Bar Association--the first school to be so rated within three years of admitting the first students.


New England Power Building

New England Power Building

New England Power Building

  • 1937: BCLS moves to the New England Power Building at 441 Stuart St. Enrollment is now at 350 students. Boston College Law School becomes a member of AALS.
William J. Kenealy
William J. Kenealy, S.J., Dean, 1939-1956


  • 1939: The Alumni Association operates as a formal part of the Law School. Library holdings are enlarged to 20,000 volumes and the full-time faculty is expanded.


First Women Class

  • 1941: Women are admitted.


Kimball Building

  • 1945: BCLS moves to the Kimball Building at 18 Tremont St. A faculty committee concludes that as the only Catholic law school in Boston, BCLS should stress public service and be active in shaping and interpreting the legal world. Focusing on preventinve lawyering is urged and academic standards are tightened.
Emil Slizewski
Longest-serving faculty member Emil Slizewski joins faculty in 1943 and remains until his retirement in 1999


  • 1953: Faculty votes to require undergraduate degrees from all applicants. First law review, Annual Survey of Massachusetts Law is authorized.
Main Campus 1947
Main Campus building proposed in 1947 was never built


More Hall

  • 1954: BCLS builds St. Thomas More Hall on Commonwealth Ave. Longtime university donors buy the property-construction cost $1.2 million. The building was dedicated by Archbishop Richard J. Cushing.
More Hall under construction
More Hall under construction


  • Rev. Robert F. Drinan
    Rev. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., Dean, 1956-1970
  • 1956: Rev. Robert F. Drinan, S.J., becomes dean, with the goal of creating a national reputation for BCLS. The faculty vote to make the LSAT mandatory for all applicants.


  • 1958: BCLS founds the Boston College Industrial and Commercial Law Review.
Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity
Window from Chapel of the Most Holy Trinity, built in 1961


  • 1963: The Uniform Commercial Code Reporter-Digest is founded.


  • 1964: BCLS awarded a chapter of the "Order of the Coif," the National Law School Honorary Society.
More Hall addition
More Hall Proposed addition was never built


  • 1968: Legal Assistance Bureau founded.


  • 1969: The faculty vote to award a J.D. to graduates rather than a LL.B.
Richard G. Huber
Richard G. Huber, Dean, 1970-1985


Stuart House

  • 1975: BCLS moves to its current facilities at the Newton campus.


Barat House Door

  • 1980: Henry E. Foley Moot Court Room built in Stuart House.

Newton Campus

Kenny Cottle Library
Students in the Kenny Cottle Library


  • 1984: James W. Smit Faculty Wing dedicated. Owen M. Kupferschmid '86 founds the Holocaust/Human Rights Research Project, devoted to the worldwide study of legal responses to persecution and mass murder.
Daniel R. Coquillette

Daniel R. Coquillette, Dean,


  • 1985: BCLS Black Alumni Network founded to support the school, to support black students in the law school community, and to further their professional development.

Aireal View of Campus

  • 1996: The four-story, $16.4 million law library opens, offering students the lates in information technology for legal research and writing. It includes group study rooms, audiovisual resourse rooms, a legal research laboratory and a computer center.
Aviam Soifer
Aviam Soifer, Dean, 1993-1998


  • 1998: An Intellectual Property Inn of Court is founded at BCLS. The Inn is chartered by the American Inns of Court Foundation.

BC entrance sign

New Law School Library

  • 1998: BCLS wins the national J. Braxton Craven Moot Court championship and takes top honors in the best brief competition.
James S. Rogers
James S. Rogers, Interim Dean, 1998-1999


New East Wing

  • 1999: The new East Wing, a $12.5 million modern classroom and faculty office building, opens for occupancy. The building includes five classrooms, 15 faculty offices, a Career Resources Library, conference rooms, a student lounge and student organization offices.
John H. Garvey
John H. Garvey, Dean, 1999-2010
  • 2010-2011: John Garvey leaves the law school to become the 15th president of Catholic University. After a year of leadership under Interim Dean George Brown, Notre Dame professor Vincent Rougeau is hired as the new dean of Boston College Law School.
Vincent Rougeau
Vincent Rougeau, Dean, 2011-