Christine Hughes has practiced law in the public and private sectors for over 30 years, including 24 years in higher education. She is currently Vice President and General Counsel of Emerson College in Boston. In that capacity, she oversees all legal matters including governance, employment and labor relations, intellectual property, business contracts, tax, gifts and bequests, real estate, construction, government investigations, litigation, and supervision of outside counsel.
Christine began her legal career at Goodwin Procter LLP and Hale and Dorr (now Wilmer Hale), where she specialized in real estate development and finance, land use, and commercial leasing. She resigned her partnership to join the Office of the General Counsel at Harvard University. At Harvard, Christine focused on real estate, land use and environmental law, and business transactions. She was counsel in the development of Rosovsky Hall, the Inn at Harvard, the François-Xavier Bagnoud Building at the Harvard School of Public Health, and the Taubman Center at the Kennedy School of Government.
Christine left Harvard to become lead counsel to the University of Washington in Seattle. As senior assistant attorney general, appointed by then-Attorney General (subsequently Governor) Christine Gregoire, Christine managed all legal matters for the three-campus flagship university of 41,000 students and 23,500 faculty and its teaching hospitals. Among other accomplishments, she supervised the University's successful defense of a reverse-discrimination case that resulted in a Ninth Circuit decision upholding the Bakke case.
Returning to Boston in 2001, Christine served as general counsel to the New England Legal Foundation, a non-profit law firm with a mission to assist the New England business community through courtroom advocacy, seminars and conferences, and publications. She joined Emerson College as general counsel in 2004, and was promoted to Vice President in 2006, assuming responsibility for the Emerson College Police Department in addition to the College's legal affairs.
Christine was elected to the Boston Bar Association's governing board (the BBA Council) in 2007 and served a three-year term. She served as co-chair of the BBA College and University Section from 2005 to 2007. She is also a member of the Board of the Northeast Chapter of the Association of Corporate Counsel, and member of the National Association of College and University Attorneys, and the Winsor School Corporation.
Christine was educated at The Punahou School, Dartmouth College (magna cum laude) and University of Virginia School of Law.