NYU Law welcomes Deirdre von Dornum as new assistant dean for public service

Deirdre von DornumNYU Law has appointed Deirdre von Dornum as the new assistant dean for public service. Von Dornum joins the Law School from the Federal Defenders of New York, where she has served since 2002, first as an assistant federal defender in the Southern and Eastern Districts, and since 2011, as the deputy attorney-in-charge for the Eastern District of New York. At Federal Defenders, von Dornum advocated for indigent clients charged with federal crimes, and handled a wide range of cases from investigation to sentencing, including narcotics, weapons, immigration, espionage, and RICO, among others. She supervised numerous attorneys in trials, hearings, motion practice, sentencing litigation, and client counseling, as well as investigators and social workers in litigation and client support. During this period, von Dornum also co-taught the yearlong Federal Defender Clinic at NYU Law, and taught as a guest lecturer at Columbia Law School in evidence, criminal procedure, and sentencing.

“Deirdre is a brilliant lawyer and inspiring leader with a deep commitment to public interest and public service,” said NYU Law Dean Trevor Morrison.  

“I’ve had the pleasure of knowing Deirdre professionally for several years, as she practices before me. The combination of her supervisory status, her interest and abilities when it comes to policy matters affecting federal defendants and defenders, and my interest in those issues has put us together on important issues that transcend individual cases,” said Judge John Gleeson of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York. “No one inspires, leads, or solves problems better than Deirdre.”

Prior to joining Federal Defenders, von Dornum was a litigation associate at Wilmer, Cutler, Pickering, Hale & Dorr in New York, where she specialized in white collar criminal defense and securities litigation, and represented individual and corporate clients in criminal, regulatory enforcement and civil litigation matters.  She also did extensive pro bono work during that time, including assisting the Capital Defenders of New York in LaValle v. New York and representing immigrants in proceedings in Immigration Court and before the Second Circuit.

Von Dornum earned a B.A. in Classics from the University of California at Los Angeles, a M.A. from Princeton University, where she was a doctoral candidate in Classics, and a J.D. from Columbia Law School, where she was a review and essay editor for the Columbia Law Review.  After graduating, she clerked for Judge Anita B. Brody of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, Judge Stephen Reinhardt of the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, and Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg of the United States Supreme Court.

Von Dornum will begin in her new position on September 1.

Posted on August 13, 2013