Mr. Kiernan joined the PLS Board of Directors as its Chair in April 2008. He received his B.A. in 1976 magna cum laude in English from Harvard and his J.D. in 1980 magna cum laude from Harvard Law School, where he was an editor of the Harvard Law Review. From 1980-81, Mr. Kiernan served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Walter R. Mansfield, US Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 1981, Mr. Kiernan joined Debevoise & Plimpton, LLP and became a partner in 1988.
Mr. Kiernan is also Co-Chair of the Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law (director since 1996, Executive Committee since 1997), director of Legal Services for New York City since 1989 (Chair, 2003-06; Vice-Chair, 1993-2003), Chair of Volunteers of Legal Service (President, 2002-07, director since 1998), a director of the Justice Resource Center since 1994 (Chair, 1995-2003), co-founder of the New York City Bankruptcy Assistance Project (and a director since 2005), and a director of the International Institute for Conflict Prevention & Resolution (“CPR”) since 2007. He was a director of New York Alliance for the Public Schools from 1992-1995, a director of Practicing Attorneys for Law Students from 1993-2007, and trustee of the Pelham Art Center from 1988-1996. He was the Mayor of Pelham Manor, NY from 1999-2001, having served as its Village Attorney from 1990-1993 and as a Village Trustee from 1993-1999. He also served from 1988-2003 as a volunteer coordinator for the AmeriCares/HomeFront home rehabilitation project and is a director of the United Way of Pelham, NY