LL.B., cum laude, Harvard Law School,
A.B., magna cum laude, from Smith College
Marjorie Fine Knowles, professor of law, served as dean of the college from 1986-1991. Knowles received the LL.B. in 1965 from the Harvard Law School, graduating cum laude, and the A.B., magna cum laude, from Smith College, where she was elected to Phi Beta Kappa membership.
After graduating from law school, Knowles clerked for a U.S. district judge, then served as an assistant U.S. attorney and as an assistant district attorney. She then became the executive director of Joint Foundation Support. Knowles joined the faculty of the University of Alabama School of Law in 1972, serving in various capacities, including associate dean.
In 1978, Professor Knowles was appointed as the first assistant general counsel for the Inspector General Division at the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1979, she was appointed as the first statutory inspector general of the Department of Labor.
After her service in Washington, Knowles returned to the University of Alabama. In 1986, she moved to Atlanta to become dean of Georgia State Law. After leaving the deanship, she returned to full-time law teaching, specializing in corporate law. She teaches courses in Corporate Law, Corporate Governance and Conflict of Laws.
Knowles is a member of the board of trustees of the Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association, where she serves as co-chair of the Committees on Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility and as a member of the Executive Committee. From 1983 to 2002 she was a trustee of the College Retirement Equity Fund (CREF), where she served on the Committee on Corporate Governance and Social Responsibility and as a member of the Executive Committee. She has also served on the Finance and Audit Committees, as well as the Nominating and Personnel Committee. Knowles is also a member of the Court-Appointed Task Force to Monitor Implementation of the Settlement Agreement in the Coca-Cola Race Discrimination Law Suit. She is a member of the board of directors of the Center for Working Capital, and on the Board of Advisors of the International Center for Corporate Governance and Accountability at the George Washington University Law School.
Knowles has also served as an advisor to CALPERS, the California Public Employees’ Retirement System, on the Visiting Committee of the Harvard Law School and as a member of the Committee on Academic Freedom and Tenure of the Association of American Law Schools; she chaired the committee in 1998 and 1999.
Knowles is the author of scholarly works including a comparison of the ALI Principles of Corporate Governance with Georgia Law, a description of the Share-Owner Affairs Program at the Coca-Cola Company, and a report on diversity in higher education.