open menu

In Brief

On to the Next Chapter

Two leading professors’ accomplishments were celebrated at a BC Law retirement party on June 6.

Dan Coquillette 

A Serious Scholar with a Kind Heart: Dan Coquillette was BC Law’s dean from 1985–1993 and he has held the title of J. Donald Monan, SJ, University Professor since 1996. He is credited with putting BC Law on the map as a nationally ranked law school and with overseeing the building of BC Law’s library, which houses the Daniel R. Coquillette Rare Book Room in recognition of his legal history scholarship and his considerable contributions to the collection.

After attending Oxford University and Harvard Law School, Coquillette clerked for Chief Justice Warren E. Burger of the US Supreme Court, and later became a member of the Rules of Practice and Procedure of the Judicial Conference of the United States, on which he has served for almost four decades.

A brilliant scholar, Coquillette has written a two-volume history of Harvard Law School—On the Battlefield of Merit and The Intellectual Sword—and numerous other titles on legal history and professional responsibility published by Harvard University Press, Edinburgh University Press, and the Colonial Society of Massachusetts, among others. 

In remarks about Coquillette at the retirement party, Professor Ingrid Hillinger praised him as a “consummate community builder” and Professor Bob Bloom good-naturedly recalled how Coquillette enjoyed coaching the school’s faculty/staff basketball team when he was dean.

Former student Erik Kimball ’90 will always remember Coquillette’s words to his class on the first day of law school. “He made it clear we were expected to be collegial, we were expected to work together, and we were expected to support one another. The BC Law culture that Dan described—expected, nurtured—was real. And it was powerful,” he said.

Above all, colleagues and students will fondly remember Coquillette’s kindness. Speaking for them, Hillinger thanked him for embodying the school’s “special, Jesuit, humanistic, caring culture.” Addressing him, she said, “Every kind thing you have said to any of us has made us want to be…our best selves for you—for the school. And for that, we are eternally grateful to you.”

Daniel R. Coquillette and Judith A. McMorrow, who served more than seventy-eight years combined, have had a lasting impact on the lives of countless students and colleagues.

Judy McMorrow 

An Educational Powerhouse: During Judy McMorrow’s thirty-nine-year tenure, her warm and approachable presence became a hallmark of BC Law, particularly in her famous torts and professional responsibility courses, which she kept lively with “her characteristic impossible energy and quirky sense of humor,” as former student Brandon Bigelow ’01 put it.

After receiving her law degree from Notre Dame, McMorrow, like Coquillette, clerked for Supreme Court Chief Justice Burger. At BC Law, she led programs in London and Dublin, taught in Beijing on a Fulbright grant, and managed the Semester-in-Practice externships. She also served as Associate Dean of Experiential Learning and Global Engagement from 2018 to 2021. 

While her contributions as a legal educator have been exemplary, many would say they are exceeded by the personal impact she has had on her students. 

In a recent email, Gerry Cahill ’07 shared how a chance encounter with McMorrow on an airplane changed his life. Making conversation during the flight, he revealed to his former teacher a dream website project that he wasn’t sure about pursuing, but she wholeheartedly encouraged him to do it. “It is no exaggeration to say that without her the website would never have been made,” he said.

Another favorite memory of McMorrow was that in 2004 she donated two coveted post-season Red Sox tickets—the year they won their first world series in eighty-six years—to the annual PILF auction to raise money for public interest students. 

At the retirement celebration, Professor R. Michael Cassidy reflected on some practical advice that she once imparted to him with her characteristic wit—to always keep candy outside of his office so that people leave a little happier than when they entered. He also named  three of McMorrow’s great attributes: kindness, generosity, and institutional loyalty.

A former student’s sentiments echoed Cassidy’s accolades. “Over time, she became more of a mentor, colleague, and friend; she immediately became one of my biggest champions and cheerleaders,” said Camille Nightingale ’08. “To me, the best educators are those who challenge you and care about you in equal amounts, and no one exemplifies this more than Judy McMorrow.”