Nancy Morawetz ’81, Interim Faculty Director

Professor of Clinical Law Nancy Morawetz ’81 is the interim faculty director for the Root-Tilden-Kern Program. As a former Root Scholar, Morawetz has a deep understanding of the RTK Program, and brings significant student mentorship experience from her years teaching the Immigrant Rights Clinic, an innovative program that combines litigation and non-litigation work on behalf of individual immigrants and community-based organizations. In addition to her teaching, Morawetz engages in scholarship focused on immigration and Supreme Court litigation. Prior to joining the Law School faculty in 1987, she clerked for Judge Patricia M. Wald of the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit and served as a staff attorney with the Civil Appeals Unit of the Legal Aid Society of New York for five years. She received the 2007 Daniel Levy Memorial Award for Outstanding Achievement in Immigration Law, the 2009 Albert Podell Distinguished Teaching Award, and the 2011 Elmer Fried Excellence in Teaching Award. Morawetz received her AB in Economics summa cum laude from Princeton University.


Andrew Williams ’02, Faculty Adviser

Andrew Williams ’02, director of NYU Law’s Lawyering Program and a former Root Scholar, is the Root-Tilden-Kern Program’s first faculty adviser. After law school, Williams was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to work at the Bronx Defenders’ Civil Action Project, where he continued as a staff attorney prior to joining the Law School. Williams provided civil legal advice, service, and representation to Bronx residents accused of crimes, as well as to their families, in order to mitigate the collateral consequences of being criminally charged. Williams joined the Law School as an acting assistant professor of Lawyering in 2006. He was the associate director of the Lawyering Program during the 2009-2010 academic year before becoming the director of the Lawyering Program in 2010. Williams received his AB in social studies and anthropology in 1997 from Harvard College summa cum laude.


Deirdre von Dornum, Executive Director

Deirdre von Dornum joined NYU School of Law from the Federal Defenders of New York, where she served from 2002 to 2013, first as an assistant federal defender in the Southern and Eastern Districts and then, from 2011 to 2013, 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 appeal. 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. Von Dornum has 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.

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. 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 BA in Classics from the University of California at Los Angeles, a MA from Princeton University, where she was a doctoral candidate in Classics, and a JD 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.