As Dean, Maureen A. O’Rourke has overseen the construction of the 93,000- square-foot, state-of-the-art Sumner M. Redstone Building and gut renovation of the adjacent law tower. This project is the culmination of decades of planning and provides students with first-rate community spaces, high quality classrooms, and amenities.
Dean O’Rourke has also focused on improving the student experience to keep pace with changes in the legal marketplace. She has increased career development support for students through the Career Development & Public Service Office; expanded opportunities for students to obtain practical skills in clinics, externships, semester-in-practice and the transactional law program; and increased financial aid support for students. She has raised the school’s public interest profile through adoption of the pro bono program, enhanced loan repayment assistance for young alumni, and spring break service trips. Under her leadership, the faculty has adopted innovative Lawyering Lab and Business Fundamentals requirements for all JD students, and launched new graduate programs including a blended Executive LLM in International Business Law, Legal English Certificate Program, and online version of the LLM in Taxation.
Dean O’Rourke joined the faculty of the School of Law in 1993 after working at IBM Corporation, where she handled a variety of issues surrounding software licensing. Her primary academic interests lie at the intersection of intellectual property law and other fields, such as contract and antitrust law, particularly in the context of software and high technology.
She is a co-author of one of the leading copyright casebooks in the US, Copyright in a Global Information Economy (Aspen Law & Business). She has published articles in the law reviews of Columbia, Duke, Iowa and Minnesota, the technology journals of Berkeley, Harvard and Boston University, and other publications including the Journal of the Copyright Society. She was the associate reporter on the American Law Institute's (ALI) Principles of Software Contracting project and is a member of the ALI.
Prior to becoming dean, she taught courses in commercial law and intellectual property law in addition to helping supervise the student-run Journal of Science and Technology Law. In May 2000, she became the School's sixth recipient of the Metcalf Award, the University's highest teaching honor. She served as acting dean for two years prior to accepting the post of Dean of the School of Law in 2006. She has lectured extensively and has been a visiting professor at Columbia University Law School and LaTrobe University in Australia.