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About Catharine P. Wells

Catharine Wells is a Professor of Law and Law School Fund Research Scholar at Boston College Law School, where she teaches and writes in various areas of legal theory, including Pragmatic Legal Theory, Feminist Jurisprudence and Civil Rights Theory. In addition, she teaches a class in American philosophy in College of Arts and Sciences. She is a nationally recognized expert on Pragmatism and its relationship to American legal theory. Prof. Wells has taught at a number of law schools including those at the University of Southern California, Stanford University, the University of Arizona and the University of Utah. Her law review articles have been published in many journals including the Harvard Law Review, theMichigan Law ReviewUniversity of Southern California Law Review, and the Northwestern Law Journal. Her current work in progress is a book on Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Professor Wells has also held many positions of leadership within the academic community. In addition to serving as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs at Boston College, she has served as chair of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Torts and Compensation Systems, and the Section on Teaching Methods. She has organized numerous symposia including one on Neo-Pragmatism in American Law, which was published in the USC Law Review. She has also been elected to membership in the American Law Institute. Currently, she is working on a book about Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. and the pragmatic tradition in American law.

Prior to entering law teaching, Prof. Wells served as an Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Division of Public Charities for the state of Massachusetts. In the area of charities law, she has a national reputation based upon her service as past President of the National Association of State Charities Officials, as an advisor to the Commissioner of the Internal Revenue Service with respect to Non-Profit Organizations; and as a participant in many panels and symposia on non-profit law.

Professor Wells received her law degree Magna Cum Laude from Harvard Law School. She also earned an MA and PhD in Philosophy from the University of California, Berkeley. Her dissertation was titled Peirce on Logic: the Phenomenological Bases of Normative Science. Her undergraduate degree was received from Wellesley College.


Present Faculty Member, Boston College Law School

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  • Fall 2020: American Legal Theory, Oliver Wendell Holmes: Making of Modern American Law
  • Spring 2021: Torts

Contact Information

Catharine Wells
Boston College Law School
885 Centre Street
Newton, MA 02459
Office Location:
East Wing 426

Articles (31)