Elected Member

Professor Roderick L. Ireland

Boston, MA
Northeastern University, College of Social Sciences and Humanities
Lincoln University
Columbia Law School

Roderick L. Ireland served as a judge for 37 years, sitting in the Boston Juvenile Court from 1977 to 1990, the Massachusetts Appeals Court from 1990 to 1997, and the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court from 1997 to 2014. When he was appointed an associate justice of the Supreme Judicial Court in 1997, he became the first African-American to sit on that bench in its over three hundred year history. In 2010 he became the Court’s first African-American chief justice. He is the Distinguished Professor of Criminology and Criminal Justice at Northeastern University.

He began his legal career in 1969 as a Neighborhood Legal Services attorney. He then worked as a public defender with the Roxbury Defenders Committee, as chief attorney, deputy director, and executive director. He was also Assistant Secretary and Chief Legal Counsel for the Massachusetts Executive Office of Administration and Finance, and Chair of the Massachusetts Board of Appeals on Motor Vehicle Liability Policies and Bonds.

Chief Justice Ireland has also held teaching positions, including at the Northeastern University School of Criminology and Criminal Justice (1978-present); New York University School of Law Appellate Judges Seminar (2001-present); Northeastern University School of Law (1978-2004); Boston University School of Law (1982-1983); University of Massachusetts (1975); and Harvard Law School (1972-1977).

Chief Justice Ireland served as an Adviser on Restament of the Law, Employment Law.

EDUCATION: Lincoln University, B.A.; Columbia Law School, J.D.; Harvard Law School, LL.M; Northeastern University, Ph.D.

Areas of Expertise
Juvenile Law (Criminal Law)