Director, Criminal Law Clinical Programs
Interests: criminal procedure; law and social science; criminal trial practice and professional responsibility
Since 1978, David Rossman has served as director of BU Law’s Criminal Law Clinical Programs. He teaches courses in criminal procedure, criminal trial practice, criminal trial advocacy and issues in criminal justice. “Working with young lawyers on actual litigation is immensely satisfying,” he says. “I’m always energized by the new ways in which they attack problems that seem old hat to me.”
Professor Rossman has maintained an active criminal defense practice for nearly three decades. He has represented defendants at all state and federal court levels, including the U.S. Supreme Court. He also has served as an assistant district attorney in Middlesex County, Massachusetts, where he was responsible for grand jury investigations and prosecutions of white-collar crimes. As a Massachusetts special assistant attorney general, he represented bar counsel in federal litigation regarding the rules of ethics that regulate federal prosecutors. “Criminal law is exciting to me because the way it is formulated and implemented by police and the courts helps define the very society in which we live,” he says. “The issues involved are at the forefront of the public’s attention and literally have to do with life and death.”
Additionally, Professor Rossman has served as a law clerk on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit and a teaching fellow at Boston College Law School. He has consulted with the Massachusetts Department of Personnel Administration and the U.N.’s Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Program and has written a treatise on guilty pleas, as well as monographs and articles on criminal procedure. In 2000, Professor Rossman spoke on “The Fight Against International Crime and the Threat to Individual Liberties” at the “Globalization and Crime” conference in Mexico City. He is currently involved in a State Department grant that provides assistance to a law school clinic in Siberia.