Teaching legal writing has been one of Cardozo’s core undertakings since the school was founded by Yeshiva University in 1976. Since that time, the school’s mandatory Lawyering & Legal Writing course for first-year law students has been an important feature of each Cardozo student’s law school experience.

In 1985, Professor Leslie Newman took the reins of what is now the Lawyering & Legal Writing Center, and under her leadership the program has grown from a course, to a program, to a full-fledged center. When Dean David Rudenstine was appointed to his position in 2001, he strengthened the law school’s commitment to legal writing by focusing the program on extremely small seminar-style classes taught by working practitioners. This continues to be one of the key features of legal writing instruction at Cardozo.

In 2007, Professor Newman founded the Lawyering & Legal Writing Center to bring together under a single umbrella a wide range of services, including the first-year Lawyering & Legal Writing course, advanced writing workshops and courses, academic support services, skills workshops, writing advisors for various programs, and the center’s Judicial Appellate Advocacy talks.

In 2015, Dean Melanie Leslie recommitted the Cardozo to legal writing as a cornerstone of the school’s academic program.