The cover of the last issue of Cardozo Life read, “It’s All New at 55 Fifth.” Well it was true then and continues to be. Our new Jacob Burns Moot Court Room —a world-class conference center pictured on this issue’s inside front cover— has opened, and proudly hosts conferences, special guests, moot court competitions, and, of course, our Intensive Trial Advocacy Program. Contemporary and stylish furniture graces our lobby, new faculty have joined Cardozo, and new programs have been founded. The strongest class in the Law School’s history enrolled this fall. We are pleased to have such a first-rate facility for them.
With all this, Yeshiva University has undergone significant change as well. In September, Richard M. Joel became Yeshiva University’s fourth president. This issue introduces President Joel to the Cardozo community. At the helm for just a few months, he sat with Cardozo Life editor Susan Davis and discussed his hopes and plans for Yeshiva, Cardozo, and the other schools that compose this most distinctive of universities.
Cardozo is sponsoring a new program in Family Law, Policy, and Bioethics codirected by professors Melanie Leslie and Edward Stein. At one time, few if any would have pondered the meaning of “family law” because most would have assumed a broadly shared meaning. The terrain covered by the term family law now comprises a burgeoning number of areas. Of course, divorce, alimony, and child support are included. But so are trusts and estates, as well as the entitlement programs affecting the elderly. Legal issues surrounding both the beginning and end of life are involved. Recent state law developments in Massachusetts and California have brought into sharp focus the definition of marriage and the meaning of the word family. Reproductive technology has complicated the field and given rise to novel questions that involve conflicting, intimate interests. These questions incorporate intricate bioethics questions that spill over into legal ones. In short, family law today is almost an entirely new field of law, encompassing familiar, frequently traveled roads, some new ones, as well as those still being blazed. I predict that this exciting and innovative program will make substantial contributions to the worlds of public policy and scholarship in addition to providing a varied educational experience for students with a professional interest in the field.
This issue of Cardozo Life includes so much more—the scholarly conferences that make Cardozo such a hotbed of intellectual life, the new approaches to Legal Writing, the dazzling achievements of Cardozo’s graduates (the world champion Marlins and Broadway’s hottest play, Avenue Q, have Cardozo grads in responsible positions). I cannot begin to touch all the mountain peaks. So take some time and take a look.