Hofstra Law Faculty

Theo Liebmann

Clinical Professor of Law and Executive Director of the Monroe H. Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics


JD, 1995, Georgetown Univ; BA, 1990, Yale Univ


Professor Liebmann teaches ethics and clinical courses. He serves as the Executive Director of the Freedman Institute for the Study of Legal Ethics, and has directed the Youth Advocacy Clinic since its inception. His advocacy and scholarship focuses primarily on issues related to immigration, ethics, and the representation of children and youth. Professor Liebmann and his students have represented hundreds of immigrant children in family and appellate courts, as well as in immigration proceedings and removal cases in federal immigration courts.

Professor Liebmann currently serves as the co-chair of the New York State Advisory Council on Immigration Issues in Family Court with Judge Mildred Negron. The Advisory Council was formed by Chief Administrative Judge Lawrence Marks in October 2015 to provide guidance to the bench, bar, and litigants, on immigration issues that arise in family court. The Council has issued statewide guidance related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, a form of immigration relief for immigrant children who have been subjected to abuse, neglect, abandonment or similar family crises; U-Visas, a pathway to lawful status for victims of crimes who cooperate with courts and other government agencies; and the adverse immigration consequences to a variety of family court orders and adjudications.

Professor Liebmann regularly conducts trainings on ethical issues and on the overlap of immigration matters and family court proceedings. He also serves as Director of the National Institute for Trial Advocacy's Training the Lawyer to Represent the Whole Family program, a yearly week-long trial skills program for lawyers working in family courts. He is on the editorial board of the Family Court Review and serves as a Special Advisor to the American Bar Association Commission on Youth at Risk.

Professor Liebmann has written law review articles and legal journal columns on the overlap between child welfare and immigration law, the impact of family law legal standards on the physical and emotional well-being of youth and children, and ethical problems in the representation of children. 

Prior to his current position at Hofstra, Professor Liebmann was a lawyer for children in dependency and juvenile delinquency cases at the Manhattan office of the Legal Aid Society's Juvenile Rights Division, an investigator at the New York City Commission on Human Rights, and a Community Worker at the Neighborhood Defender Service of Harlem.

Curriculum Vitae


Adverse Consequences and Constructive Opportunities for Immigrant Youth in Delinquency Proceedings, 88 Temple L. Rev. 869 (Summer 2016).

Book Chapter: Family Court in Family Law in New York (Barbara Stark and Joanna L. Grossman eds., 2016).

Ethical Advocacy for Immigrant Survivors of Family Crisis, 50 Fam. Ct. Rev. 650 (October 2012).

Special Issue Introduction: Immigrants and the Family Court, 50 Fam. Ct. Rev. 570 (October 2012)(Guest Special Editor with Lauris Wren).

Immigrants and the Family Court, New York Law Journal, July 30, 2012 (with Lauris Wren and Andrew Schepard).

Charting a Better Future For Transitioning Youth: Report From a National Summit on The Fostering Connections To Success Act (American Bar Association, 2011)(co-reporter with Miriam Krinsky).

Hear My Voice - Perspectives of Current and Former Foster Youth, 48 Fam. Ct. Rev. 253 (April 2010)(with Emily Madden).

Ending 3.5 Minute Justice in New York's Family Court, New York Law Journal, November 13, 2009 (with Andrew Schepard).

Keeping Promises to Immigrant Youth, 29 Pace Law Review 511 (Spring 2009).

New Professional Responsibility Rules and Attorney for the Child, New York Law Journal, March 11, 2009 (with Andrew Schepard).

Teamwork by Child Protection Lawyers, Social Workers, New York Law Journal, March 13, 2008 (with Andrew Schepard).

IN RE PEÑA: Interdisciplinary Collaboration In Dependency Cases (National Institute for Trial Advocacy, 2008).

LGBTQ Teens in Foster Care and Homeless Youth Systems, New York Law Journal, November 1, 2007 (with Andrew Schepard).

Family Court and the Unique Needs of Children and Families Who Lack Immigration Status, 40 Columbia Journal of Law & Social Problems 583 (Summer 2007).

N.Y. Judges to Consult Children at Permanency Hearings, New York Law Journal, September 14, 2007 (with Andrew Schepard).

Keeping Siblings Together in Foster Care, New York Law Journal, March 12, 2007 (with Andrew Schepard).

What's Missing From Foster Care Reform? The Need for Comprehensive, Realistic, and Compassionate Removal Standards, 28 Hamline Journal of Public Law & Policy 141 (Fall 2006).

Undocumented Youth: Gaining Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, New York Law Journal, June 19, 2006 (with Andrew Schepard).

Making Law School Affordable for Child Advocates, New York Law Journal, January 18, 2006 (with Andrew Schepard).

The Law Guardian Caseload Crisis, New York Law Journal, July 7, 2005 (with Andrew Schepard).

Book Review: What's Wrong with Children's Rights, New York Law Journal, June 16, 2005.

Nicholson: Defining Neglected Child, Taking Child from Parents, New York Law Journal, March 14, 2005 (with Andrew Schepard).

Law and Children: The High Stakes in Temporary Removal Determinations, New York Law Journal, July 9, 2004 (with Andrew Schepard).

Law and Children: Incorporating the NYCRR Into Law Guardian Practice, New York Law Journal, March 9, 2004 (with Andrew Schepard) (Re-printed in Law Guardian Reporter, December, 2004).