Commencement Speaker 2011: Chief Justice Roderick Ireland
The distinguished speaker for Boston College Law School Commencement 2011 will be Chief Justice Roderick Ireland of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Commencement is scheduled for 10:30 a.m. on May 27th at the Newton campus practice field across from Alumni House.
Chief Justice Ireland holds a B.A. from Lincoln University (1966), a J.D. from Columbia University (1969), an LL.M. from Harvard Law School (1975), and a Ph.D. from Northeastern University (1998). In 1969, following law school, Ireland worked as a staff attorney for the Neighborhood Legal Services and then later with the Roxbury Defenders Committee as executive director and chief attorney. After that he worked as chief legal counsel for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance and chair of the Massachusetts Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bond.
After he received his LL.M. from Harvard, he was appointed to be a judge on the State Juvenile Court in 1977, where he sat for thirteen years. In 1990 he was appointed to the Massachusetts Appeals Court and served there as an appeals judge until 1997. In 1997 he was appointed by Governor William F. Weld to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court as an Associate Justice. He is the first African-American justice appointed to the SJC. He later ascended to the position of Senior Associate Justice in 2008. In December of 2010 Governor Deval Patrick appointed Ireland as the thirty-fifth Chief Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Ireland is also the first African American Chief Justice on the Massachusetts SJC.
The Chief Justice also serves as an adjuct faculty member at Northeastern University School of Law as well as a member of the faculty at the Appellate Judges Seminar at New York University Law School.