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NEW: Holy Cross Names Local Attorney as General Counsel

Wednesday, December 05, 2012


The College of the Holy Cross named Worcester attorney and Holy Cross alum Vincent F. O’Rourke, Jr. the College’s new general counsel this week.

O'Rourke, who has represented the school in various capacities since 1981 when he joined the local firm of Bowditch & Dewey, will begin his official tenure as general counsel on January 2, 2013.

In addition to his work through Bowditch & Dewey, O’Rourke, a member of the Holy Cross class of 1969, has served as the College’s acting general counsel for the past five months, and was secretary of the Holy Cross Board of Trustees from 1998-2000.

O’Rourke is a member of the bars of the United States Supreme Court, the states of Massachusetts and Illinois, and of the National Association of College and University Attorneys. He and his firm were appointed as the first Select Counsel by United Educators Insurance Company, an insurer of higher education institutions, in 1994. He has participated in a number of landmark higher education cases over the years including Bakke v. Regents of the University of California, and Davis v. Southeastern Community College.

The new general counsel has been an active participant in the Worcester community and has served as a director of many boards and organizations, including Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Worcester, United Way of Central Massachusetts, Worcester Area Community Health Center, Greater Worcester Community Foundation, and the Holden Youth Soccer League.

O’Rourke, a native of South Orange, N.J., majored in Political Science at Holy Cross, and received his law degree in 1972 from the University of Chicago Law School, where he was a member of the Order of the Coif. Following law school, he served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Irving L. Goldberg of the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, and then as a judge advocate in the United States Navy from 1973-1977, serving as a trial counsel with the First Marine Division, Camp Pendleton, Calif., and as an instructor in military justice at the Naval Justice School in Newport, R.I. From 1977-1981, he was a member of the Appellate Section of the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice, before moving to Worcester and joining Bowditch. He was named a firm partner in 1983, was chair of its litigation practice group from 1989-2010, and has been its general counsel since 2011.  


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