About Cynthia Fountaine


Cynthia Fountaine is a Professor of Law at Southern Illinois University School of Law, where she served as Dean from July 2010 to September 2017.

Before joining SIU, she was a Professor of Law at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law (now Texas A&M University School of Law) from 1997 to 2010, and served as Interim Dean of that law school for over two years. She previously taught at the University of Cincinnati College of Law, and 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.

She has received two Fulbright awards and is currently on the Fulbright Specialist Roster. The first enabled her to serve as a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Bayreuth in Germany, where she taught constitutional law and common law methods. The second facilitated her participation in the Fulbright International Education Administrators Program in France. She has also worked with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative in Amman, Jordan, focusing on legal education reform in Jordan.

She graduated from Indiana University Bloomington where she earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Economics & Public Policy from the Kelley School of Business. She holds a a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is an alumna of the Harvard University Graduate School of Education Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.

Fountaine is a frequent speaker on issues related to legal education and the legal profession. Her areas of expertise include civil procedure and federal jurisdiction, civil rights, legal globalization and international courts, the jury process, and legal ethics. Her scholarship focuses on issues relating to the powers of government and access to justice, and also explores the lawyer’s role in assuring effective representation and participation in the legal system and in safeguarding the Rule of Law.

Throughout her career, Fountaine has been active in professional, university, and community service. She serves as a Civil Rights Analyst with the United States Commission on Civil Rights, an independent, bi-partisan, fact-finding federal agency.  She also serves as a Commissioner on the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism, and chairs the Commission’s Education Committee. She is Chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education, has held various offices on the Section’s Executive Committee, and served as Chair of the Section’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award Committee from 2013-2017. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Professional Responsibility. She has been active with the ABA Section on Legal Education, serving on numerous accreditation site teams and chairing three. She is a member of the Steering Committees for the ABA Section on International Law International Refugee Law Committee, International Human Rights Committee, and International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee. She serves as the Co-Vice Chair for Programs for the International Legal Education and Specialist Certification Committee, and is the Liaison for International Legal Education on the International Human Rights Committee. She directs the Russian Law Students Project as a collaboration with the ABA Section on International Law International Human Rights Committee. She served for two terms on the Fulbright Discipline Peer Review Committee. 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 organized and led continuing education programs for lawyers and physicians in Germany and Australia. She has been active on numerous committees of the American Bar Association, the International Association of Law Schools, and the Southeastern Association of Law Schools, among other organizations.

She is admitted to practice as a member of the State Bar of California, and is a member of the Bar of the Supreme Court of the United States.

Download her full CV here: FountaineCVweb