Thomas M. Leith

Adjunct Professor
Curriculum Vitae [PDF]

Thomas M. Leith joined the College of Law as an adjunct professor in January 2023. He teaches trial advocacy.

Leith is the Managing Attorney of the Criminal and Appeals Programs at Hiscock Legal Aid Society in Syracuse, New York. He joined HLAS in 2020 as a Staff Attorney in Appeals. Now as Managing Attorney, he oversees the programs at HLAS representing indigent clients in their criminal, SORA, and family court appeals, post-conviction advocacy, and indigent parole clients in their hearings and appeals.

Leith spent the previous ten years as a trial-level public defender: first with Brooklyn Defender Services in Brooklyn, New York, then with the Law Offices of the Shelby County Public Defender in Memphis, Tennessee. In his years in the courtroom, he has defended every type of criminal case, from violations and misdemeanors to clients charged with first degree murder.

Before entering public service, Leith worked as an associate at Sidley Austin, LLP in New York, New York, practicing commercial litigation. He then moved to the boutique firm Spears & Imes, LLP, also in New York, where he focused on white collar defense and SEC investigations.

Leith clerked for then-Chief Judge Raymond J. Dearie of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York. He earned a bachelor’s degree from University of Wisconsin-Madison, graduating with distinction, and received a Juris Doctor from New York University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude and was a Dean’s Scholar and McKay Scholar. Before his legal career, he was a professional musician.


  • New York University
    School of Law
    J.D., cum laude 2006
  • University of Wisconsin-Madison
    B.S., with distinction 1996