portrait of visiting associate professor andrew scherer

Andrew Scherer

Visiting Associate Professor of Law
Policy Director, Impact Center for Public Interest Law

Andrew Scherer

Visiting Associate Professor of Law
Policy Director, Impact Center for Public Interest Law

Andrew Scherer is the Policy Direc­tor of the Impact Center for Public Interest Law at New York Law School and a Visiting Associate Professor at the Law School, where he teaches Land Use Regulation. He also directs the Impact Center’s Right to Counsel Project.

Professor Scherer is the author of the treatise, Residential Landlord-Tenant Law in New York (Thomson Reuters), originally published in 1994 and updated annually, and of numerous law review articles and other published works.

For many years, Professor Scherer has played a prominent role in access to justice, housing policy and other public interest issues, locally, nationally and internationally.  Professor Scherer has been an advocate for the right to counsel in civil matters, particularly eviction proceedings, for over thirty years.  He has written law review articles on the topic for the Harvard Civil Liberties Civil Rights Law Review, NYU Review of Law and Social Change and Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal, among others.  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.  (While the case was ultimately dismissed by an appellate court, it led to significant funding for eviction-prevention legal services by New York City.)  Under Professor Scherer’s direction, the Impact Center’s Right to Counsel Project currently focuses on working 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, 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, education, immigration, community development, consumer and civil rights. As Executive Director, Professor Scherer had overall responsibility for all aspects of the organization, including implementation of Board policy; management, administration and legal work supervision; fundraising; maintenance of positive relations with external entities; strategic planning; and program development.  Accomplishments during his tenure as Executive Director included: significantly improved quality and impact of legal work; significantly increased funding, staffing and participation of pro bono attorneys; new offices and many new service programs.  Prior to becoming Executive Director of LS-NYC, Professor Scherer had been a staff attorney, the Coordinating Attorney for Housing Law and the Director of the Legal Support Unit at the organization.

Among his many affiliations, Professor Scherer is an active member of the New York City Bar Association and a former chair of its Executive Committee, an active member of the New York State 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.

Professor Scherer is also a consultant to nonprofit, governmental and private clients around matters of access to justice and the rule of law; delivery of legal aid services; housing, property and land rights; social, economic and civil rights; and poverty law.  Recent clients have included the New York Immigration Coalition, the Open Society Foundations, the Pennsylvania Civil Legal Justice Coalition, the Massachusetts Legal Assistance Corporation, the Legal Services Corporation, the Yangon (Myanmar) Heritage Trust and the African Center for International Legal and Policy Research.

Professor Scherer is also an Adjunct Professor at the Columbia University Graduate School of Architecture, Planning and Preservation and has taught at CUNY Law School, NYU Law School (in the Root-Tilden public interest scholars program), Yangon University in Myanmar, and Bennington College. He has lectured widely in the U.S. and in Latin America, Africa and Asia. He received his B.A. from the University of Pennsylvania and his J.D. from NYU Law School.  He is fluent in Spanish.


RESIDENTIAL LANDLORD-TENANT LAW IN NEW YORK, Thomson-Reuters, 2014-15 (first published in 1995 and updated annually), a comprehensive treatise, with Views from the Bench by Hon. Fern Fisher

“The Price of Equal Justice: How Establishing a Right to Counsel for People Who face Losing Their Homes Helps Tackle Economic Inequality,” in IMPACT: COLLECTED ESSAYS ON THE THREAT OF ECONOMIC INEQUALITY, New York Law School, Vol 1, 2015.

“Eviction” and “Housing Courts,” entries in Andrew Carswell, Ed., ENCYCLOPEDIA OF HOUSING, Second Edition, Sage Publications, 2012 and in First Edition, Willem Van Vliet, Ed., Garland Publishing, Inc., 1997.

“Basic Landlord-Tenant Law,” Practicing Law Institute, published annually 1997-2002, co-edited with Hon. Richard Rivera

“Housing Law and the Elderly,” chapter in Practicing Law Institute, NEW YORK ELDER LAW HANDBOOK, 1998 (updated annually 1995-1998)


Law Review Articles

“Why We Need a Right to Counsel in Civil Matters Where Basic Human Needs are at Stake,” edited transcript of a New York State Bar Association panel discussion, 64 Syracuse L. Rev. 3 (2014)

“Securing a Civil Right to Counsel:  The Importance of Collaborating,” 30 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Ch. 675 (2006)

“Why People Who Face Losing Their Homes in Legal Proceedings Must Have a Right to Counsel,” 3 Cardozo Public Law, Policy and Ethics Journal 699 (2006)

“The Human Right to Housing: Making the Case in U.S. Advocacy,” Clearinghouse Review Journal of Poverty Law and Policy, with Maria Foscarinis, Brad Paul and Bruce Porter (July-Aug. 2004)

“Report Of The Working Group On Assessment Of Systems For Delivering Legal Services,” 67 Fordham L. Rev. 1869 (1999)

“United States Violations of the Right to Shelter under International Law,” 1990 International Review of Contemporary Law 69, with Renee Steinhagen

“Gideon’s Shelter: The Need to Recognize a Right to Counsel for Indigent Defendants in Eviction Proceedings,” 23 Harv. C.R.-C.L. L. Rev. 557 (1988)

“Is There Life After Abandonment? The Key Role of New York City’s In Rem Housing in Establishing an Entitlement to Decent, Affordable Housing,” 13 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Ch. 953 (1984-1985)



“Do No Harm: Proposals for a Set of Eight Core Principles and a 15-Step Sequencing Process for Land Rights Sensitive Mine Survey and Clearance in Myanmar,” with Scott Leckie and Geoffrey Myint, Displacement Solutions, October 2014

“Myanmar at the HLP Crossroads:  Proposals for Building an Improved Housing, Land and Property Rights Framework that Protects the People and Supports Sustainable Economic Development,” with Scott Leckie, Displacement Solutions, October 2012

“Occupy the Justice System: The Civil Right to Counsel and the Equitable Distribution of Justice,”  MIE Journal, Summer 2012

“Nassau Kicks the Down-and-Out to the Curb,” Op-Ed, Newsday, March 13, 2001

“Housing Rights in Latvia,” with Scott Leckie and Anna Pomykala, Centre on Housing Rights and Evictions, Geneva, February, 2000

“Special Rent Increases Spark Much Litigation,” New York Law Journal, March 11, 1996, p. S1, col. 1

“Rent Regulation is Source of Friction,” New York Law Journal, Oct. 10, 1995, p. S9, col. 1

LSNY EVICTION PREVENTION MANUAL, a comprehensive manual on New York Landlord-Tenant law, funded by a grant from the New York Community Trust (1992), revised 1993, 1994

“Health Care Proxies and Living Wills,” New Choices for the Best Years, vol. 31, no. 9 (October, 1991)

“Right to Counsel for Low-Income Tenants Faced with Eviction,” New York Law Journal, Nov. 25, 1986, p. 1, col. 1.

“Stemming the Tide of Displacement: Housing Policies for Preventing Homelessness,” Coalition for the Homeless, Community Action for Legal Services and New York Lawyers for the Public Interest, co-authored with Simha Rosenberg and Leslie Salzman (1986)

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