“The law never is, but is always about to be.”
—Supreme Court Justice Benjamin N. Cardozo
The academic program at Cardozo School of Law is informed by the belief that the ultimate end of the law is the welfare of society. Law school should be a thrilling learning experience that prepares lawyers to function as leaders in their chosen fields. A Cardozo legal education requires both dedication to legal theory as well as a deep understanding of how lawyers take on their role in society as advocates and activists.
Our programs and centers help you explore areas of the law. Our hands-on learning offerings are unparralleled: Eleven in-house clinics and dozens of field clinics. Our faculty are dedicated to your future as a lawyer. You will graduate ready for a successful legal career with the tools you need to influence your world.
Students working on the J.D. requirements can choose among 10 concentrations.
The core first-year requirements teach critical analysis and require close reading so that students learn to think like lawyers. Cardozo's courses lay a foundation for understanding the law, fundamental legal concepts and doctrine. First year courses include:
- Civil Procedure, which examines legal rules governing the process of litigating a civil case in federal court.
- Contracts, which is the study of binding, voluntary, private agreements.
- Criminal Law, which covers the basic principles of substantive criminal law, such as when and why conduct is labeled and punished as criminal.
- Elements of Law, a course designed by Cardozo professors that teaches students how to read, analyze and use judicial decisions and statutes.
- Constitutional Law I, which introduces issues of governmental structure and authority arising under the U.S. Constitution along with approaches to judicial review by the Supreme Court.
- Lawyering Skills and Legal Writing, which teaches case reading, analysis and synthesis, research skills, and how to write legal documents and briefs. In this course, students participate in a mock oral appellate argument.
- Torts, a course concerning the civil legal remedies for private contract harms in which students examine questions such as: Under what circumstances should someone who harms another person or property pay for that harm?
- Property, a course exploring American property law, with a focus on real property and the many complex ways in which ownership of real property may be divided. Students study conflicts in nuisance law, easements and covenants, and takings and zoning law.
Upper-level courses enable students to specialize and to develop skills essential to practice. Courses include professional responsibility, advanced legal research, and classes that meet a student's choice of concentration. In addition, students in their second and third year participate in clinics, field clinics and externships.
Cardozo's programs are consistently ranked in the top tier. Our Intellectual Property & Information Law program is one of the strongest in the country, and the Kukin Program for Conflict Resolution is a pioneer in the field.
Seminars abroad allow students the opportunity to study international and comparative law around the world. Recent seminars abroad have been conducted in China, Ecuador, India, Cuba, South Africa and Israel.
In addition to our core offerings and certificate programs, joint degree programs give you numerous opportunities to distinguish yourself in the legal field. For example, we are the only law school with a joint J.D. and Masters of Science in Bioethics program. Offered in partnership with the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, the joint program in Bioethics immerses students at the nexus of science, health care and law.
No matter what academic path you take, Cardozo Law recognizes that the law lives and changes in a technologically advanced, round-the-clock global environment.