Matthew Diller, a prominent scholar of social welfare law and policy, has been dean of Cardozo School of Law since 2009. As dean, he has expanded partnerships with the legal community in the New York region, enhancing opportunities for students to gain real-world experience. Under his leadership, the school has built a field clinic program allows students to work at dozens of legal offices in the region. He developed new curriculum pathways for third year coursework, expanded clinical offerings at the school, developed a five-year strategic plan for new programs and centers, and expanded Cardozo’s top programs in Intellectual Property, Dispute Resolution, Corporate Law, Comparative Law and Legal Ethics.
Dean Diller has lectured and written extensively on the legal dimensions of social welfare policy, including public assistance, Social Security, and disability law and policy. He has published articles in the Yale Law Journal, UCLA Law Review, Texas Law Review, and Michigan Law Review. Dean Diller received an A.B. in 1981 and a J.D. in 1985, both magna cum laude, from Harvard University, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. He then clerked for the late Honorable Walter R. Mansfield of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, and worked for the Legal Aid Society in New York, where he was a staff attorney in the civil appeals and law reform unit.
Dean Diller is a member of the Chief Judge’s Task Force to Expand Access to Civil Legal Services in New York and is chair of the Task Force’s Committee on Law School Involvement. He is also a member of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York’s Task Force on New Lawyers in a Changing Profession. He is a fellow of the American Bar Foundation.
Dean Diller served as a member of the board of directors of Legal Services NYC from 1999 to 2009, serving as vice chair from 2003 to 2007. He was a member of the executive committee of the poverty law section of the Association of American Law Schools and was chair in 1999-2000. From 2000 to 2008, he was also a member of the board of directors of The National Center for Law and Economic Justice. In the fall of 1999, he was scholar in residence at the Brennan Center for Justice at New York University School of Law.
Prior to being appointed dean at Cardozo, he was associate dean for academic affairs at Fordham School of Law from 2003 to 2008. He was the Cooper Family Professor of Law and co-director of the Louis Stein Center for Law and Ethics at Fordham, and was honored in 2009 with the Dean's Medal of Achievement. He received the Eugene Keefe Award for outstanding contributions to the school in 2002, and in 2000 he received the Louis J. Lefkowitz Award for the Advancement of Urban Law from the Fordham Urban Law Journal. Dean Diller began teaching at Fordham in 1993. In 1991, the Association of the Bar of the City of New York honored him with a legal services award.
Dean Diller lives in Brooklyn with his family, and he bikes to school in good weather.