Matthew G. Kiernan’s distinguished legal career includes time in private practice, public service, the court system, and academia. He is the former Public Administrator for the County of Suffolk, appointed by order of the Surrogate of Suffolk County. He held that position on two separate occasions, from 1998-2002, and again from 2018-2023. In this role, Kiernan served as fiduciary for numerous estates and guardianships, marshaling estate assets, paying creditors, searching for heirs, making distributions to beneficiaries, and coordinating estate administration and litigation with outside counsel.
From 2016-2018 he held several different positions at the Maurice A. Deane School of Law at Hofstra University. He served as the Associate Dean of Academic Operations, where his responsibilities included fundraising; the development of new programs and interdisciplinary efforts, including the medical-legal partnership; approval of the academic calendar; appointment of adjunct faculty; and supervision of the faculty assistant staff.
While at Hofstra Law, he also served as the Faculty Administrative Editor of the Family Court Review, published in conjunction with the Association of Family and Conciliation Courts, and as an adjunct professor, teaching the Family Court Review Seminar and the Guardianship 17A Practicum.
Matt also served as Hofstra Law’s Director of Policy and Planning for the Center for Children, Families, and the Law, and as a member of its Executive Board assisting the Center’s Executive Director in all phases of the operation, structure, and development of the Center, including the launching of its two demonstration projects: Guardianship for Indigent and Developmentally Delayed Youth and a mediation project for separating and divorcing parents.
From 2016-2017 he served as Special Counsel to the Executive Director for the New York State Permanent Judicial Commission on Justice for Children. He was Special Counsel to the Chief Administrative Judge of the State of New York from 2011-2016, advising the Chief Administrative Judge issues involved with the administration and operation of a court system with 3,500 Judges, over 15,000 personnel and a budget in excess of two billion dollars. He assisted the Chief Administrative Judge in working collaboratively with the executive and legislative branches of government to enhance the administration of justice.
From 2002-2010, Kiernan served as Deputy Clerk of the Court and Director of Professional Services, and then Clerk of the Court for the Appellate Division, Second Judicial Department — the highest non-judicial position in the Court. As Director of Professional Services, he was responsible for the oversight of fiduciary appointments, the designation of Court Examiners, the supervision of the Assigned Counsel Advisory Committee and the Civil Appeals Management Program (CAMP), and coordinating the in-house continuing legal education program for court attorneys.