A Farewell Message from Dean Matthew Diller


Dear Fordham Law Community,

It’s hard to believe that it’s been more than 30 years since I joined Fordham Law as a junior member of the faculty. As I prepare to step down from the deanship and return to teaching, my heart is full of gratitude for our outstanding community. Serving as dean has been a privilege and a high point of my career.

The dean’s office provides a vantage point from which it is possible to see and appreciate all the elements that come together to make Fordham Law so special. Truly, the Law School is a shared project that has been nurtured over generations to create a culture of care and concern for others coupled with a commitment to rigor and excellence.

I am incredibly grateful to Fordham Law’s alumni, who are the bedrock of this community—building our reputation through their accomplishments and contributions to the public good while at the same time mentoring and championing our students. I am dazzled by the brilliance of our faculty members and by their commitment to nurturing students. And I am awed by our dedicated administrators who go the extra mile for our students. Collaborating with our alumni, faculty, and administration has been one of the pleasures of my tenure. It’s part of what made me want to be dean, and it’s something I will truly miss.

Throughout the past nine years, I have been fortunate to work with and learn from superb student leaders—including Student Bar Association presidents and executive committee members, journal and Moot Court editors, affinity group leaders, and heads of public service organizations. I am continually impressed by how many Fordham Law students are wise leaders even as they are just starting out on their legal careers.

I also appreciate the support and leadership of Fordham University Presidents Father Joseph M. McShane and Tania Tetlow, Provosts Stephen Friedman and Dennis Jacobs, and many other colleagues at our University who provide invaluable support to the Law School.

Looking ahead, I am excited to return to teaching, working directly with our amazing students, which is a privilege beyond measure. Our classrooms can be magical places that unlock our students’ potential by enabling them to see the ways in which lawyers can make a difference in people’s lives and in their communities. Our classes cultivate an approach to solving problems that emphasizes careful analysis, consideration of multiple perspectives, and attention to both short- and long-term human consequences. We equip students with the tools they need to not just enter the profession, but to make their mark over the arc of their careers. I eagerly look forward to returning to the classroom to once again participate directly in this transformative process as a teacher.

I am also excited about my new role at the Feerick Center for Social Justice. Upon my return from sabbatical in September 2025, I will join Dean Emeritus John D. Feerick ’61 as senior counsel at the Center. I look forward to working with the Center’s leadership to expand access to justice so that marginalized and disempowered individuals and communities can have a voice in our legal system. It is my hope that, together, we can come closer to realizing the elusive goal of equal justice under law.

Looking at all the challenges we face as a profession and in our society, I believe the mission of Fordham Law is more important today than ever before—educating the next generation of leaders to be thoughtful caring professionals who dig deeply into problems to find creative solutions and bring people together—all in the service of others. And I am excited that Joe Landau will lead us in our next chapter as dean. Joe brings his brilliance, energy, and enthusiasm to Fordham Law every day. I’ve worked closely with him as a colleague and have valued his counsel and leadership. He understands the DNA of Fordham Law and has the vision to carry our mission forward in a changing world.

At the end of the day, I’m optimistic for the future. The incredible passion and brilliance of our students and their deep desire to engage with the world and work for justice, coupled with the commitment of our community to educate and guide their positive energy, gives me hope.

Thank you for all your support and friendship these past nine years, and I look forward to more good things to come.


Matthew Diller
Dean and Paul Fuller Professor of Law


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