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Garvey Assumes AALS Presidency

1/07/08--Dean John Garvey became the 106th president of the Association of American Law Schools on January 6.

1/07/08--Boston College Law School Dean John H. Garvey succeeded Nancy Rogers (Dean of The Ohio University School of Law) as the 106th president of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS), at the conclusion of the annual AALS meeting held in New York City earlier this month.

Garvey is the second AALS President from Boston College, the first being former Law School Dean Richard Huber, who served as president in 1988. As president, Garvey will be responsible for upholding the AALS's dedication to "the improvement of the legal profession through legal education."

AALS Executive Director Carl Monk expressed full confidence in Garvey's ability to serve as an advocate for the group's aims. "John exemplifies the values to which AALS is committed. He is a renowned scholar who has demonstrated his commitment to high standards of teaching and scholarship, as well as fostering justice and public service in the legal community," he said.

Monk also pointed to Garvey's personal traits as elements that would strengthen the AALS presidency. "He is a thoughtful colleague on the AALS Executive Committee who always listens and respects the views of others," said Monk. "He will be an outstanding leader for the Association and we are pleased he has agreed to serve the profession through this position."

Dean Garvey expressed both enthusiasm and gratitude at the opportunity to serve the Association.  "I have attended AALS meetings since my first year of law teaching, when I was 28 years old," he said.  "I have made many of my best friends in the legal academy through the Association.  By participating in section meetings I have learned a great deal about the fields I teach in.  And as a dean I have benefited, and our Law School has benefited, from the work of the Association.  I am delighted at this opportunity to give something back to an organization that has meant so much to me."

Garvey graduated summa cum laude from the University of Notre Dame in 1970, and upon graduation received a fellowship from the Danforth Foundation.  He received his J.D. cum laude from Harvard Law School in 1974.  While in law school he served as Treasurer of the Harvard Law Review.  Upon graduation he worked as a law clerk for Irving R. Kaufman, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.  He then took a job in San Francisco as an associate at the law firm of Morrison & Foerster. 

From 1981-1984 he served as Assistant to the Solicitor General of the United States.  He has taught law at Notre Dame, Michigan, and Kentucky, where he was the Wendell Cherry Professor of Law, Ashland Professor of Law, and University Research Professor. 

Garvey is the author of influential textbooks on constitutional theory and the first amendment. In 1996 he published What Are Freedoms For? (Harvard University Press 1996).  He is a coauthor of Religion and the Constitution (Aspen, 2d ed. 2006), Modern Constitutional Theory (West Publishing, 5th ed. 2004), and The First Amendment (West Publishing, 2d ed. 1995). 

He was elected to the American Law Institute in 1982.   From 1989-1996 he served on the ABA Reading Committee charged with reviewing the credentials of Supreme Court nominees. He has also served as chair of the AALS Section for the Law School Dean.  From 2001-2002 he served on the ABA Task Force on Terrorism.

In 2004, Garvey was awarded the Alpha Sigma Nu Jesuit Book Award for Religion and the Constitution.