John Quinn


John Quinn, PhD

Assistant Dean for Public Interest Law / Assistant Vice Chancellor for Government and Community Relations

Law School





UMass School of Law 103


University of Massachusetts BostonPhD
University of Massachusetts BostonMA
Harvard University, Kennedy School of GovernmentMPA
Southern New England School of LawLLD (Hon. c.)
Suffolk University School of LawJD
University of Massachusetts DartmouthBA

Professional background

Attorney John F. Quinn serves as the Assistant Dean of Public Interest Law Programs and External Relations at the University of Massachusetts School of Law – Dartmouth. In this role, Attorney Quinn works with law students and external partners to create internship and career opportunities across several academic disciplines, including law and public policy. In addition, Attorney Quinn serves as the Assistant to the Chancellor for Government Relations, where he advises the Chancellor and Senior Administrators on all aspects of government and external relations. Before joining UMass Law, Attorney Quinn practiced law in Bristol County and served in the Massachusetts State Legislature for eighteen years representing the greater New Bedford region. 

With a focus on preparing and placing law students in public interest internships and careers, Attorney Quinn also leads the law school’s Public Interest Law Fellowship program (PILF). The PILF Program offers a comprehensive, integrated program, which is designed to train students for careers in public service. As a part of this program, Attorney Quinn hosts and moderates ongoing events that expose law students to various public service professionals from across the state.  In addition, he is an adjunct faculty member at the law school and has taught courses in leadership at the undergraduate level.

Prior to joining UMass Law School, Attorney Quinn practiced law in Bristol County and served in the Massachusetts State Legislature for eighteen years representing the Greater New Bedford region. As a member of the Massachusetts Legislature, Attorney Quinn served in several leadership positions, including the Chairman of the Joint Committee on Banking and the Vice Chairman of the Judiciary Committee. Attorney Quinn has also testified at two Congressional hearings regarding banking and fishery law.

In addition to his experience in law and public policy, Attorney Quinn has extensive experience in fisheries and offshore wind regulatory law and policy as well as international education and relations. He served for nine years (2012-2021) as a member of the New England Fisheries Management Council (NEFMC) in many roles including as Chairman.  The first chairman from the port of New Bedford in over forty years. 

Attorney Quinn has also participated in Rule of Law Programs through the U.S. State Department, which has allowed him to develop extensive international experience. He has lectured and presented on the independence of the Judiciary and the separation of powers in places including Mongolia, China, Macedonia, Hungary, and Romania. Attorney Quinn also participated in the U.S. State Department Visiting Guest Speakers Program in the Republic of Georgia and served as a political analyst during the 2000 U.S. Presidential Elections. In the area of electoral politics and reform, Quinn was part of the Democratic Party Florida recount team and worked on the infamous Palm Beach County recount in 2000.

Attorney Quinn is very active in the local community and serves on the Board of Directors of the YMCA Southcoast, the New Bedford Ocean Cluster, the Leduc Center for Civic Engagement, the Bristol County Bar Association, the Advisory Board of the Bristol Community College Paralegal & Legal Studies program and is a member of the New Bedford Bar Association Bar Council.