Cynthia L. Fountaine
Dean and Professor of Law
Office: Lesar Law Building, Room 134
Phone: (618) 453-8761
Cynthia Fountaine joined Southern Illinois University School of Law as Dean and Professor of Law in July 2010. Before that, she was on the law faculty at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law from 1997–2010, and served as Interim Dean of the law school from 2006–08.
During the first part of the 2009–10 academic year, Fountaine was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. She taught U.S. Constitutional Law and U.S. Common Law Methods to German law students. After leaving Germany, Fountaine spent the rest of her sabbatical in Amman, Jordan, working with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative on legal education reform.
She taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Law from 1992–97, and during the 2005–06 academic year, she was a visiting professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Prior to teaching, Fountaine practiced law at O’Melveny and Myers in Los Angeles, California, where she was a litigator.
Fountaine holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is an alumna of the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.
Fountaine focuses her teaching and scholarship on issues relating to the powers of government and access to justice, with particular emphasis on the federal courts' role in enforcing individual rights. In addition, her scholarship explores the lawyer's role in assuring effective representation and participation in the judicial system. Her areas of expertise include civil procedure, federal courts, civil rights, the jury process, complex litigation, and legal ethics.
Fountaine has been active in professional and community service as well. Dean Fountaine serves on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism and is a member of the Deans’ Advisory Committee to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Access to Justice. In addition, she is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education, and the chair of the Section’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award Subcommittee. She has been active on various committees of the International Association of Law Schools, and a volunteer for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative. She has served on the Law School Admission Council’s Finance and Legal Affairs Committee and the Committee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process. She has also served on various ABA committees, and is a Life Fellow of the Tarrant County Bar Foundation. She has served as a member of the Board of Directors of Texas Re-Entry Services, and been a member of the Rotary Club of Fort Worth. In addition, she served on the Tarrant County Bar Association’s Diversity Committee. She is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association, the Jackson County, Illinois Bar Association, and is admitted to practice as an inactive member of the State Bar of California.