Dean Matthew Diller Named Senior Counsel at Fordham Law’s Feerick Center for Social Justice


The Feerick Center for Social Justice at Fordham Law School has announced that Dean Matthew Diller will be joining the Center as senior counsel, beginning in fall 2025.

Diller, who is stepping down as dean of Fordham Law on June 30 after nine years of service, is renowned as one of the nation’s leading voices on access to justice issues and a prominent scholar of social welfare law and policy.

As senior counsel, he will join Fordham Law’s signature center focused on advocacy for equal justice and serving low-income individuals and communities in need of legal representation. In taking on this role, he will be working side by side with Dean Emeritus and Senior Counsel John D. Feerick ’61, who founded the Feerick Center in 2006 to advance access to justice, economic justice, education equity, gender-based justice, immigrant justice, and veterans justice. At the Center, Diller will also be joined by Center Faculty Director Professor Elizabeth B. Cooper, Executive Director Dora Galacatos, and a team of four staff and seven AmeriCorps VISTA members.

“We are so fortunate and delighted to have Dean Diller join the Center and be part of our next chapter,” said Feerick. “His tenure was a historic and transformative one and he brought to everyone a thoughtfulness that made him a dean forever to be remembered for expressing the best of Fordham. I look forward to Matthew’s return to the teaching faculty and hope my energy is sufficient enough to be a colleague of his for a little while longer while serving under his talented successor, Dean Joe Landau.”

Recognized for its leadership in New York City and beyond, the Feerick Center’s acclaimed work includes signature initiatives such as its consumer defense CLARO Programs, its partnership with the courts to leverage senior attorneys through the New York State Attorney Emeritus Program with court partners, and work on behalf of vulnerable migrants at home and the border. The Center’s initiatives have had a multiplier effect by leveraging thousands of volunteer law students and attorneys who, in turn, have donated tens of thousands of hours; the Center’s programs have had positive and sometimes life-changing impacts on the lives of people in need. In addition to its access to justice efforts, the Center also engages in fact-finding, education, advocacy, convening, and coalition building.

As senior counsel, Diller will bring significant expertise in social welfare policy, including public assistance, Social Security, disability programs, and disability law and policy to the work of the Feerick Center. A lifelong champion of access to justice, Diller is a member of the New York State Permanent Commission on Access to Justice and chairs the commission’s Committee on Law School Involvement. He has served on the boards of The Legal Aid Society of New York, Legal Service NYC, the National Center for Law and Economic Justice, and Volunteers of Legal Service. During his tenure as dean, Diller established the Law School’s Access to Justice (A2J) Initiative, which brought a variety of acclaimed programs to the Law School and expanded teaching, direct service, research, and advocacy in the field.

“I look forward to joining the Feerick Center team and helping build on its track record of success in creating access to justice programs that engage students, alumni, and other volunteers,” said Diller. “I am excited by the possibilities of expanding and enhancing the Center’s access to justice impact even more.”


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