Undergraduates Experience Law School in Yearlong Cardozo Course

On a recent Friday morning at Yeshiva University’s Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, Assistant Professor of Law Jessica Roth asked her class to consider these questions: Is it moral to imprison an elderly or ill criminal? Does punishing the insane serve a purpose? Is it ever justifiable to kill an innocent person to save your own life?

Yeshiva University undergraduate students explore principles of criminal law with Cardozo Professor Jessica Roth.

“I’m trying to test your intuitions about possible defenses,” said Roth.

Those intuitions proved uncanny as the group of 18 students—all undergraduates in YU’s Yeshiva College or Stern College for Women—engaged in a complex moral and legal debate about the evolution of criminal law, citing case studies that included a murder trial in 19th-century England and the 2009 sentencing of Bernard Madoff. During the fall semester of the yearlong course, titled “Dispute Resolution and Justice,” the class has grown familiar with a medley of legal terms and concepts that most students don’t encounter until their first year of law school. A rotating cast of Cardozo faculty shares their expertise with the class each week, delving into topics that range from contracts and torts to constitutional law and civil procedure. Read the rest of this entry…