B.A., 1983, University of Oregon
J.D., 1991, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
Areas of Expertise
Dean Melanie Leslie became Cardozo Law's 7th dean on July 1, 2015. She has taught at Cardozo since 1995 and is a leading scholar in trusts and estates law, and an expert in fiduciary duties in the trust, and corporate and nonprofit governance. As a professor of law she teaches Property, Trusts and Estates, Nonprofit Governance, and Evidence. Dean Leslie is widely respected for her excellent teaching skills and engagement with the student body and has been presented the “Best First-Year Professor” award by three graduating Cardozo classes.
Prior to her appointment as Dean she served as Cardozo's Vice Dean where she oversaw the introduction of new professional concentrations to the curriculum, expanded Cardozo’s renowned intellectual property program to include initiatives on technology and data law, and directed the launch of the Fashion, Arts, Media, & Entertainment Law Center (FAME).
Dean Leslie is a prolific scholar, and has had articles published in the NYU Law Review, Boston College Law Review, Florida Law Review, William & Mary Law Review, Georgetown Law Journal, Indiana Law Journal. She is also the coauthor of a leading casebook, Estates and Trusts, Cases and Materials, as well as Concepts and Insights: Trusts and Estates. Dean Leslie has been a visiting associate professor of law at New York University and a visiting professor of law at Columbia Law School. She is a member of the NY State Bar and NYC Bar Joint Committee on the Uniform Trust Code, a Legal Fellow of the American College of Trusts and Estates Counsel (ACTEC), and she is on the Executive Committee of the AALS Section on Nonprofits and Philanthropy.
Prior to joining the Cardozo Law faculty in 1995, she clerked for Justice Gary S. Stein of the New Jersey Supreme Court. She was a Summer Associate at Debevoise & Plimpton, as at Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton, and ultimately chose to join the firm of McCarter & English as an associate.
Dean Leslie received her B.A. from the University of Oregon with Honors, and her J.D. from Cardozo Law magna cum laude in 1991, where she was executive editor of the Cardozo Law Review.
"Accidental Inheritance: Retirement Accounts and the Hidden Law of Succession,"(with Stewart E. Sterk). 88 New York University Law Review (forthcoming 2014).
"The Limits of Self-Regulation in the Charitable Sector."Symposium: Perpetual Conservation Easements: What Have We Learned and Where Should We Go From Here? University of Utah S.J. Quinney College of Law. Utah Law Review (forthcoming 2013).
"The Myth Revisited: New Challenges for Testamentary Freedom." Oñati International Institute for the Sociology of Law, Workshop on Wealth, Families and Death: Socio-legal Perspectives on Wills and Inheritance, Bilbao, Spain, April 2013. The Oñati Socio-Legal Series (forthcoming 2014).
Time to Sever the Dead Hand: Fisk University and the Cost of the Cy Pres Doctrine." 31 Cardozo Arts & Entertainment Law Journal 1 (2012).
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Melanie Leslie in the news
- Jan 6, 2016 Cardozo Law School Launches The Center for Rights and Justice
- May 15, 2015 Melanie Leslie Named Cardozo Law Dean: A Summary of News Stories
- May 14, 2015 CARDOZO LAW NAMES MELANIE LESLIE NEW DEAN
- Aug 18, 2014 Meet the New Vice Dean, Melanie Leslie
- Jul 16, 2014 Revamped Cardozo Courses Stress Practical Skills
- Apr 28, 2014 Vice Dean Edward Stein Stepping Down, Professor Melanie Leslie to Become First Alumna to Serve as Vice Dean
More from Melanie Leslie
“There is an unmistakable energy at Cardozo, and I look forward to advancing the creative and entrepreneurial spirit of this remarkable law school.”