Southern Illinois University School of Law

Southern Illinois University Carbondale

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Cynthia L. Fountaine

Dean and Professor of Law


Courses Taught:

602 - Legal Globalization and Comparative Law
580 - Legal Profession
501A & B - Professionalism and the Law


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 & Lee University School of Law. Prior to teaching, Fountaine practiced law at O’Melveny & 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. As a law student, she served as the publications editor of the Southern California Law Review. 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. Her work has been published in the Washington University Law Quarterly, the University of Cincinnati Law Review, the University of Michigan Journal of Race & Law, the American University Law Review, the University of Pittsburgh Law Review, the Southern California Law Review, and the Widener Law Journal.

Fountaine has been active in professional and community service as well. She has been a volunteer for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative, and she served on the Law School Admission Council’s Committee on Misconduct and Irregularities in the Admissions Process, and on various ABA committees, such as the Ethics 2000 Advisory Committee and the Commission on Women Committee. Fountaine has served on two ABA law school site inspection teams. She is a member of the Tarrant County (Texas) Bar Association and the Dallas Bar Association. She 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 was on the planning committee for the Wingspread VIII P-20 Pipeline Conference, which brought together lawyers, judges, and scholars to discuss ways to enhance diversity in the legal profession by reaching out to school-aged children with mentoring programs and enhanced civics education. She is an inactive member of the State Bar of California.





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Lesar Law Building
Mailcode 6804
Carbondale, IL 62901
(618) 453-8761