Christopher Dunn is the Legal Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union. As the Legal Director, he supervises the litigation program and related advocacy of the NYCLU’s Legal Department and manages the department’s 20+-person staff.
Dunn joined the NYCLU in 1996 and served as its Associate Legal Director from 2001 until January 2019, when he became the legal director. He led the NYCLU’s challenges to the death penalty in the mid-1990s, led its wave of First Amendment litigation against the Giuliani administration in the late 90s, led the NYCLU’s police and stop-and-frisk work during the Bloomberg years, and most recently has led its litigation against the Trump administration’s attack on immigrants.
Dunn has authored the Civil Rights and Civil Liberties column in the New York Law Journal since 2004 and has written and spoken extensively in a wide variety of other forums. He has published numerous op-eds, including in The New York Times, The Washington Post, the New York Daily News, and Newsday and has appeared on CNN, Fox News, and Court TV. Between 2001 and 2015, Dunn taught the Civil Rights Clinic at New York University Law School, and in the spring of 2016 he taught as a visiting professor at the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany.
Prior to joining the NYCLU, Dunn was a senior staff attorney with the ACLU’s Children’s Rights Project, where he was responsible for class-action, foster-care reform cases and for federal child-welfare legislative matters. Dunn holds a J.D. from the University of Pennsylvania Law School and a B.A. from the University of Virginia. Prior to starting at the ACLU in 1987, he clerked for the Honorable John J. Gibbons of the United States Court of Appeals, Third Circuit.