Worcester Attorney Named General Counsel at Holy Cross

December 4th, 2012 by Cristal Steuer

Worcester attorney Vincent F. O’Rourke, Jr., who has represented the College of the Holy Cross in various capacities since 1981 when he joined the local firm of Bowditch & Dewey, has been named the College’s new general counsel, effective 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, 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. 

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 Southeastern Community College v. Davis.

O’Rourke 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.

He is married to Bonny Kaye O’Rourke, an English teacher and an academic support coordinator at Bancroft School in Worcester.  The O’Rourkes are parents of Lindsay A. Doherty ’02, a development officer for the Diocese of Scranton, Penn., who is married to James A. Doherty, III ’01; and Robert F. O’Rourke, a graduate of Georgetown University and Harvard Divinity School, who is an assistant director of admissions at Georgetown.

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