Visiting Associate Professor of Law
Policy Director, Wilf Impact Center for Public Interest Law
For many years, Andrew Scherer has played a prominent role in access to justice, housing policy, and other public interest issues, locally, nationally, and internationally. He has been an advocate for the right to counsel in civil matters, particularly eviction proceedings, for over 30 years. He was lead counsel in Donaldson v. State of New York, a class action that sought to establish a right to counsel for low-income tenants facing eviction and led to significant funding for eviction-prevention legal services by New York City. Under Professor Scherer’s direction, the Wilf Impact Center’s Right to Counsel Project works with the NYC Coalition for a Right to Counsel in Housing Court and others advocating for NYC legislation establishing a right to counsel in housing cases.
In 2010, Professor Scherer stepped down after nine years as Executive Director of Legal Services NYC (LS-NYC), the largest nonprofit exclusively devoted to civil legal services in the United States, where he had worked in a variety of capacities since 1978. At the time he stepped down, LS-NYC served approximately 25,000 low-income clients annually with legal matters involving housing, government benefits, family law, employment, immigration, and more. As Executive Director, Professor Scherer oversaw all aspects of the organization, including implementation of Board policy, management, legal work supervision, and program development.
Among his many affiliations, Professor Scherer is an active member of the NYC Bar Association and a former chair of its Executive Committee, an active member of the NYS Bar Association and the current chair of the Civil Gideon subcommittee of the President’s Committee on Access to Justice, a founding member of the National Coalition for a Civil Right to Counsel, and a former co-chair of the NYS Legal Services Project Director Association.
He is also a consultant to nonprofit, governmental, and private clients around matters of access to justice and the rule of law. Recent clients have included the New York Immigration Coalition, the Open Society Foundations, the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition, the Yangon (Myanmar) Heritage Trust, and the African Center for International Legal and Policy Research.
Professor Scherer has taught at CUNY Law School, NYU Law School, the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation, Yangon University in Myanmar (Burma), and Bennington College. He has lectured widely in the United States and in Latin America, Africa, and Asia.