The Association of American Law Schools (AALS) has named Vincent D. Rougeau, dean of Boston College Law School, AALS President-elect. Rougeau is a nationally recognized leader in legal education who completed a three-year term on the AALS Executive Committee in 2018. Rougeau will join two other prior BC Law Deans who served as AALS presidents, Richard Huber and John Garvey.
“[Dean Rougeau] is well positioned to lead the Executive Committee through the challenges facing law schools today,” said AALS Executive Director Judith Areen in an email to the AALS membership.
Rougeau has been the dean of BC Law since 2011. He came from Notre Dame, where he was a professor of law and where he also served as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1999-2002. He is a vocal advocate for change in legal education and writes and speaks extensively on legal education reform.
At BC Law he has led a reorganization in leadership structure that supports a more holistic approach to student services, expands the school’s national and international recruitment of a diverse student body, and enhances the school’s commitment to experiential learning and global engagement.
BC Law’s Center for Experiential Learning brings all the school’s hands-on training programs under one roof, while the Global Practice Program builds on the school’s longstanding presence in Europe by launching new opportunities for students in Dublin, Germany, Chile, France, and other locations around the globe.
Rougeau is an expert in Catholic social thought. His book Christians in the American Empire: Faith and Citizenship in the New World Order was released by Oxford University Press. His current research and writing consider the relationship between religious identity and notions of democratic citizenship and membership in highly mobile and increasingly multicultural democratic societies. He is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for Theology and Community (CTC) in London, where he researches broad-based community organizing, immigration, and citizenship in the UK as part of the Just Communities Project. Just Communities began as a partnership among Notre Dame, the CTC, and Magdalen College at Oxford University that explored the role of religious communities in community organizing and the formation of democratic citizens in the multicultural neighborhoods of East London. The project is now a collaboration between Boston College and the CTC.
Rougeau is a member of the bar in Maryland and the District of Columbia. Before entering the academy, he practiced law at the Washington, DC, office of Morrison & Foerster from 1988-1991. He received his AB magna cum laude from Brown University, and his JD from Harvard Law School, where he served as articles editor of the Harvard Human Rights Journal.
The AALS Committee also nominated Austen L. Parrish, dean and James H. Rudy Professor at Indiana University Maurer School of Law, and Melanie D. Wilson, dean and Lindsay Young Distinguished Professor of Law at University of Tennessee College of Law to three-year-terms on the Executive Committee. The nominations were voted on at the second meeting of the AALS House of Representatives at the 2020 Annual Meeting in Washington on January 4.
The AALS is a nonprofit comprising of 179 member schools and 18 fee-paid law schools dedicated to advancing legal education. The association encourages excellence in the classroom through teaching and scholarship, academic freedom, and promoting diversity in the legal profession. It supports professional development through meetings, mentorships, conferences, and workshops hosted throughout the year.