Cynthia Fountaine served Southern Illinois University School of Law as its first woman Dean from July 2010 – September 2017. She now serves as a professor of law.
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 1997–2010, and served as Interim Dean of the law school from 2006–08.
Fountaine was a Fulbright Senior Scholar at the University of Bayreuth in Germany during 2009-2010. She taught U.S. Constitutional Law and U.S. Common Law Methods to German law students. Also, in 2010, Fountaine worked with the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative worked in Amman, Jordan, focusing 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 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.
Fountaine holds a Bachelor of Science degree from Indiana University, Bloomington, and received her JD from the University of Southern California Gould School of Law. She is also an alumna of the Harvard University Institute for Management and Leadership in Education.
Active in numerous professional and community service organizations, Fountaine is a member of the Executive Committee of the Association of American Law Schools Section on Women in Legal Education, the chair of the section’s Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award Subcommittee and serves as a member of the Deans’ Advisory Committee to the Illinois Supreme Court Access to Justice Commission. Fountaine has also served on various committees of the International Association of Law Schools, and as a volunteer for the American Bar Association’s Rule of Law Initiative.
Fountaine is a member of the Illinois State Bar Association and the Jackson County Bar Association and is admitted to practice as an inactive member of the State Bar of California.
Fountaine was appointed to the Illinois Supreme Court Commission on Professionalism in 2014.