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Faculty Profile: Mike Cassidy
New Professors Bring Expertise
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Bringing The Courtroom To The Classroom

Michael Cassidy, BC Law's outgoing associate dean for administration, says it was fate that brought him to the campus in 1996. Then-criminal bureau chief in the Massachusetts Attorney General's office, Cassidy managed a staff of more than 100, had a lot of say about litigation strategy, and briefed the attorney general on pending legislation. A respectful but firm courtroom presence-he stands just a hair under six feet, five inches-he also tried headline-making cases. "I loved every minute of it," says Cassidy, who decided on a law career early in life, after reading To Kill a Mockingbird. "I was impressed by the power of advocacy to influence people," he explains.

There was only one problem with working for the AG: raising two children on a state salary. As a man whose family is his first priority, he was not interested in an eighty-hour work week, so he resisted the pull of the big law firms. Then he heard about the BC job. "I was a manager in a law office," he says, "and they were looking for someone with management skills in a legal environment." The fateful match was made.

Those skills came in handy, he adds, in a job where "you juggle 500 balls a day." As associate dean he managed admissions, financial aid, career services, public relations, and finance. He also had to oversee the construction of the East Wing. He came in with no construction background, but learned fast, a skill he developed as a litigator. "Every time you try a new case, you have to absorb a new set of facts. It's like learning a new field," he says.

When he arrived at BC Law, he was concerned he'd miss the courtroom and fighting for justice, but, he says, "I've learned that lawyers can contribute in so many other ways." He has, for example, edited the Massachusetts Law Review and served in unpaid positions on numerous panels and committees, including the state ethics commission. He brings to the latter task a longtime prosecutor's well-developed sense of rectitude and his experience with public corruption cases. "It is not a very glorified or glorious job, but someone has to do it," he says. "I took the job because it's important to have an enforcement arm that holds government officials accountable."

This fall, Cassidy becomes a full-time associate professor teaching criminal law, evidence, and professional responsibility. In the classroom, he doesn't tell old war stories, but he does draw on an encyclopedic knowledge of the criminal statutes and the courts. And then there's his style of addressing a class, which is not so different from the way he pitched a case to a jury. "In litigation," he observes, "a certain premium is placed on clarity. A final argument in a courtroom is a lot like teaching."

-David Reich

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Specialists Deepen Curriculum

The Law School is closer to its goal of an enhanced business law curriculum with the addition of Lawrence A. Cunningham and Renee M. Jones to the faculty.

Professor Cunningham is part of the new initiative to develop programs involving students from the Law School and the Carroll School of Management. "This is a tremendous opportunity and I am just delighted to be part of a top law school working with a top business school," he said.

Cunningham was Director of the Samuel and Ronnie Heyman Center on Corporate Governance at the Benjamin N. Cardozo Law School of Yeshiva University before coming to BC Law as a visiting professor last year. He's taught at Columbia, George Washington, Fordham, and St John's universities. The author of several books and scores of articles, Cunningham received international acclaim for Essays of Warren Buffett: Lessons for Corporate America, and made the bestseller list with How to Think Like Benjamin Graham and Invest Like Warren Buffett. He also wrote the popular textbook, Introductory Accounting and Finance for Lawyers. Cunningham is a regular contributor to Aspen Law & Business and was editor of the treatise, Corbin on Contracts, from 1994 to 2001.

Assistant Professor Jones, as an associate at Hill & Barlow in Boston, concentrated on corporate and securities law, including venture capital financing, mergers and acquisitions, and securities regulation. She was a summer associate at Wilmer, Cutler & Pickering in Washington, DC, and at Sidley & Austin in Chicago. In 1986, she received her bachelor's degree from Princeton University and in 1993, her J.D. from Harvard University. She has worked for WGBH-TV, United Asset Management Corporation, J. P. Morgan Securities, and the Lirhembe Girl's Secondary School in Khayega, Kenya.

Jones has published in the Harvard Law Review, served in the House of Delegates for the American Bar Association (ABA), and worked on the editorial board of Human Rights Magazine. A member of the Board of Overseers for the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court Historical Society, she is an active member of the New England Committee of the NAACP Legal Defense Fund. Her research interests include securities law issues as they relate to corporate governance and shareholder activism.

Jones is pleased "to be joining such a vibrant academic community and sharing what I have learned in corporate law practice with the Law School students." She will teach Corporations and Securities Regulation.

The hiring of Cunningham and Jones comes on the heels of the announcement last fall that Professor Paul R. McDaniel, one of the world's leading tax theorists, is returning to the Law School faculty.
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Professor David Wirth has been named by Dean John Garvey to the newly created position of Director of International Programs. Wirth will be responsible for coordinating numerous projects, including the London Program, Jessup International Moot Court, the International Law Society, the International and Comparative Law Review, and the creation of externship-based courses. The appointment is part of an initiative to build the size and quality of the Law School's international programs.
Three Law School professors received the University's highest accolades at Faculty Day in May. All three won the awards for which they were nominated, beating competitors from throughout Boston College. R. Michael Cassidy received the Distinguished Service Award, Ingrid Hillinger won the Distinguished Teaching Award, and Aviam Soifer accepted the Distinguished Senior Research Award.
Ingrid Hillinger and Judy McMorrow have been promoted to full professor. Their appointments become effective in the 2002-2003 academic year.
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