Richard A. Matasar was the 15th Dean and President of New York Law School. He joined the faculty and began his tenure as Dean on July 1, 2000 and served until December 31, 2011. In addition to being an authority on the legal profession and legal education, Dean Matasar has spent many years speaking and writing about law schools as institutions and how to use education to add value to society.
During his tenure, New York Law School developed several new research centers, expanded its international presence, raised its bar passage rate, and instituted a practice-based curriculum that includes an intensive first-year skills program. Dean Matasar demonstrated exceptional leadership in the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, providing a consistent message of support and purpose for students, faculty, staff, and alumni. Also during his tenure, the Law School opened a brand-new, state-of-the-art academic facility—the first major institutional project to be completed in Lower Manhattan post 9/11.
Dean Matasar was the Levin Mabie & Levin Professor of Law at the University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law, one of the ten largest law schools in the nation, and served as its ninth dean from 1996 to 1999. During his tenure, he created and implemented the school’s first comprehensive strategic plan, which led to the development of several new research centers and an expanded international presence. Technological strides under his leadership included the development of the International Center for Automated Information Research and the Legal Technology Institute. The law school also successfully completed a fundraising campaign of more than $40 million and tripled its endowment.
Dean Matasar also was dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law (1991–96). During his tenure, the school’s endowment rose from $5 million to more than $17 million. He was responsible for enhancing the faculty and helping Chicago-Kent establish a reputation as the nation’s leading institution in integrating technology into legal education.
At the University of Iowa College of Law, Dean Matasar was professor of law from 1980 to 1991 and served as associate dean for academic affairs from 1989 to 1991. He spent a semester as visiting professor of law at the University of Michigan Law School in 1989.
Dean Matasar has published extensively in scholarly and academic venues. His teaching and scholarly areas include civil procedure, constitutional litigation, federal jurisdiction, trial advocacy, and professionalism.
Dean Matasar resides in Manhattan with his wife Sharon.
University of Pennsylvania, B.A. 1974, magna cum laude, J.D. 1977
magna cum laude, Phi Beta Kappa, Order of the Coif (Law
Review, Research and Writing Editor).
Law clerk to Hon. Max Rosenn, U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.
Nationally recognized scholar in civil procedure and federal jurisdiction. Authority on legal profession and legal education. Former Dean of University of Florida Frederic G. Levin College of Law, one of the 10 largest law schools in the U.S., and of Chicago-Kent College of Law, where he more than tripled endowment and established the institution as a leader in integrating technology into legal education.