Michael A. Simons joined the St. John's faculty in 1998 and was appointed Dean of the School of Law in 2009, making him one of the longest serving law school deans in the country.
Before joining academia, Dean Simons practiced law as a criminal defense attorney with the firm of Stillman, Friedman & Shaw and as a federal prosecutor with the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York. He also served as a staff attorney for The Washington Post and as a law clerk to Judge Louis F. Oberdorfer in the United States District of Court for the District of Columbia.
Dean Simons teaches in the areas of criminal law and evidence, and he continues to teach larges classes each year as dean. He was selected by the students as "Professor of the Year" in 2000 and 2011. His scholarship, which is informed by his experiences as a criminal defense lawyer and prosecutor, has focused on sentencing, prosecutorial decision-making, and punishment theory. At St. John’s, he is also a Senior Fellow with the Vincentian Center for Church and Society.
In addition to his work at St. John’s Law, Dean Simons is active in public service. He currently serves as the Chair of the New York State Commission on Prosecutorial Conduct, as well as a member of the Commission on Reimagining the Future of New York’s Courts. He has also served as a member of the New York City Mayor’s Advisory Committee on the Judiciary.
Dean Simons resides in Westbury, New York, where he and his wife Karen both grew up and where they raised their five children.
American Legal Education, Skills Training, and Transnational Legal Practice: Combining “Dao” and “Shu” for the Global Practitioner, 8 Tsinghua China Law Review 125 (2015)
Sense and Sentencing: Our Imprisonment Epidemic, 25 Journal of Civil Rights and Economic Development 153 (2010)Prosecutorial Discretion in the Shadow of Advisory Guidelines and Mandatory Minimums, 19 Temple Political and Civil Rights Law Review 377 (2010)Prosecutors as Punishment Theorists: Seeking Sentencing Justice, 16 George Mason Law Review 303 (2009)
Born Again on Death Row: Retribution, Remorse, and Religion, 43 Catholic Lawyer 311 (2004)Retribution for Rats: Cooperation, Punishment, and Atonement, 56 Vanderbilt Law Review 1 (2003)Vicarious Snitching: Crime, Cooperation, and "Good Corporate Citizenship," 76 St. John's Law Review 979 (2002)
Departing Ways: Uniformity, Disparity, and Cooperation in Federal Drug Sentences, 47 Villanova Law Review 921 (2002)
Prosecutorial Discretion and Prosecution Guidelines: A Case Study in Controlling Federalization, 75 N.Y.U. Law Review 893 (2000)
St. John’s Law: Launching Pad to the New York Court of Appeals, in Historical Society Program: Illustrious Alumni of St. John’s University School of Law, 93 St. John’s Law Review 553, 564 (2019)
Scholar, Teacher, Servant: On the Installation of Marc O. DeGirolami as the Cary Fields Professor of Law, 93 St. John’s Law Review 543 (2019)
Catholic Teaching, Catholic Values, Catholic Voters: Reflections on "Forming Consciences for Faithful Citizenship," 47 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies 205(2008)
Talking Sense About Sentencing, NPR’s Talking Justice Blog (January 2008)
A New Era for the Catholic Lawyer, 44 Journal of Catholic Legal Studies (2005) (with Susan J. Stabile)Perjury, in Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice (J. Dressler ed., 2d ed. 2001)Ray Exercised Proper Discretion with Clinton, Newsday, Jan. 22, 2001, at A3 (with John Q. Barrett)
Student Speech - Free Press in High Schools: Hazelwood School District v. Kuhlmeier, 102 Harvard Law Review 271 (1988)
A Radical Intent (Review of M. Curtis, No State Shall Abridge: The Fourteenth Amendment and the Bill of Rights), 101 Harvard Law Review 869 (1988)
Recent Developments in Criminal Evidence, New York State Judicial Institute (Summer 2006, Winter 2007, Summer 2007, Winter 2008)
Prosecutors as Punishment Theorists, Hofstra University School of Law Faculty Workshop (January 2007)
Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: The Just and Moral Society, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2007)
Hon. Lawrence J. Finnegan, Jr. and Prof. Frank S. Polestino Memorial Seminar, Queens County Judges (November 2006)
Religion and Morality in the Public Square, St. John’s University, Journal of Legal Commentary (Conference Co-Organizer) (March 2007)
The Jurisprudential Legacy of John Paul II, St. John’s University, Journal of Catholic Legal Studies (Conference Co-Organizer) (March 2006)
Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: Hope: Foundation of a Civilization of Love and Justice, Immigration Workshop, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2005)
Seeking Justice at Sentencing: The Prosecutor’s Changed Role Under Booker, St. John’s University School of Law Faculty Colloquium (April 2005)
Seeking Justice: The Challenge of Prosecutorial Discretion in an Age of Fixed Sentences, St. John's University School of Law Faculty Colloquium (February 2004)
Vincentian Chair of Social Justice Conference: The Faces and Facets of 21st Century Poverty: Criminal Justice Workshop, St. John's University, Vincentian Center for Church & Society (October 2003)
Post 9/11 Race and War: A Comparative Analysis of the Wars on Poverty, Drugs and Terrorism, St. John's University School of Law (February 2003)
Corporate Fraud in the 21st Century, Alexander Hamilton Inn of Court (November 2002).
The Role of the Professional, Enron and Its Aftermath, St. John's University School of Law (September 2002)
Departing Ways: Uniformity and Disparity in Federal Drug Sentences, New Voices on the War on Drugs, Villanova Law School (October 2001)
The Rules Are Changing: Federal Civil Practice Update, Nassau Academy of Law, Nassau County Bar Association (January 2001)
Litigation Updates: Federal Rules of Evidence, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (October 2000)
Experts in the Jury Room: Professional Jurors after People v. Maragh, Theodore Roosevelt American Inn of Court (October 2000)
Updates in the Federal Rules of Evidence, Association of the Bar of the City of New York (March 2000)