James Tierney, ’69 is currently a professor at Columbia Law School and also works as a consultant to attorneys general and others regarding state regulatory structures and multi-state incentives. After UMaine, Tierney received his JD from the University of Maine School of Law in 1975 and was then elected to the Maine House of Representatives at the age of 25, representing Lisbon, Maine. After eight years of serving in the Maine Legislature, he was elected Majority Leader of the House from 1977 to 1980. Following his time in the Maine Legislature, Tierney served as the Attorney General of Maine for ten years during which time he was active on a wide variety of state and national issues. In 1986, Tierney was the Democratic candidate for Governor of Maine.
As Maine’s Attorney General, Tierney played an active role in the National Association of Attorneys General (NAAG), including service on NAAG’s Executive Board and various communities. He has also held a variety of special appointments, including servings as Special Counsel to the Attorney General of Florida during the contested 2000 Presidential election; and membership on the Federal Trade Commission’s Advisory Committee on On-Line Access and Security in 2000. Tierney taught at Columbia Law School from 2000-2016 as a Lecturer-in-Law and Director of the National State Attorneys General Program.
Currently, Tierney is a Lecturer at Harvard Law School where he directs the Harvard Attorney General Clinic. In the past, he has taught at Boston College Law School, Northeastern Law School, and the University of Maine School of Law. He has served on the Board of both the American Judicature Society and was a member of the Board of Commentators of the Courtroom Television Network where he appeared regularly as a guest. In 2006, Professor Tierney was selected by a vote of Columbia University students as the “Public Interest Professor of the Year” for his inspirational support of the public interest law student community.