Anthony Dillof

Anthony Dillof

Professor of Law

Room 3253

Photo Download

(313) 577-9450

Anthony Dillof


Professor Anthony Dillof currently teaches Torts, Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure and Appellate Advocacy. In the past, he has taught Civil Rights and Jurisprudence. These classes complement his scholarly interest in exploring the forms of justice that underlie our civil, criminal and constitutional law systems respectively.

Dillof has published articles in many of the nation's leading law journals. Topics he has written on include the concept of causation in personal injury law, the moral justification of the entrapment defense, the nature of wrongdoing of possessory offenses, the criminal law doctrine of transferred intent, the significance of harm for punishment assessment, and the free speech implications of hate crime laws. He believes that careful inquiry into the law's areas of stress, uncertainty and contradiction is necessary to chart its course forward. Throughout his academic career he has sought to employ such tools in his writings and to impart such tools to his students.

Dillof earned a bachelor’s in philosophy from Harvard University. At Columbia Law School, he was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar and a member of the law review. He worked at the Center for Law in the Public Interest in Los Angeles before taking a position as a law clerk for the Honorable William C. Canby, judge for the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. He then served as special legal assistant for the American Civil Liberties Union where he worked on immigration issues.

Dillof later joined the New York City Law Department, Office of the Corporation Counsel. There, as a member of the General Litigation Division, he handled a wide range of civil matters including civil rights, employment, education, homeless and class-action litigation. In the Environmental Division, he was involved in high-profile lawsuits involving challenges to New York City's recycling, solid waste disposal and sewage treatment programs. As a member of the Appeals Division, he argued many cases before state and federal appellate courts.

In 1994, Dillof was selected as one of three participants in Columbia Law School’s Associate of Law fellowship program. During the two-year fellowship, he developed curriculum and taught Legal Writing and Research. Based on his research on hate crime laws, he was awarded a master of laws degree from Columbia in 1996. He subsequently joined the faculty at Texas Wesleyan University School of Law where he organized a student chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union and a Pro Bono Criminal Law Project. In 1999, he was a visiting professor at Washington and Lee University School of Law. Since 2002, he has been a member of the faculty of Wayne State University Law School.

Dillof's interests outside of law include chess, aerogami, mathematics and book collecting. He also sings lead for a couple of local punk rock bands.

Degrees and Certifications

LL.M., J.D. Columbia University
A.B., Harvard University 

Courses Taught

Appellate Advocacy
Advanced Topics in Criminal Law
Criminal Law
Criminal Procedure I
Criminal Procedure II
Law and Economics

Selected Publications

Doomed Steamers and Thin Skulls: The Problem of Preempted Innocent Risks in Torts,30 Georgia State L. Rev. 703 (2014).

Modal Retributivism: A Theory of Sanctions for Attempts and Other Criminal Wrongs, 45 Richmond. L. Rev. 467 (2011).

Unraveling Unlawful Entrapment, 94 J. Crim. L. & Crim. 827 (2004).

Unraveling Unknowing Justification, 77 Notre Dame L. Rev. 1547 (2002).

Putting Hate in Its Place: The Codification of Bias Crime Statutes in a Modern Penal Code, 4 Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 341 (2000) (Model Penal Code Symposium issue).

Transferred Intent: An Inquiry Into the Nature of Criminal Culpability, 1 Buff. Crim. L. Rev. 501 (1998) (New Voices in Criminal Theory symposium issue).

Punishing Bias: An Examination of the Theoretical Foundations of Bias Crime Statutes, 91 Nw. U. L. Rev. 1015 (1997).


  • Anthony Dillof

    wrote “Possession, Child Pornography and Proportionality: Criminal Liability for Aggregate Harm Offenses” for the Florida State University Law Review. The article explores federal penalties for possessing child pornography. Read the full article.

In the news

  • Anthony Dillof

    was quoted by Mlive for its report, "Jessica Heeringa and Baby Kate: Why 'no body' murder cases are difficult."

    Read article

Advocating for justice, serving the community, revitalizing Detroit and Michigan