Melanie Leslie

Vice Dean

Professor of Law


B.A., 1983, University of Oregon

J.D., 1991, Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law

Areas of Expertise

Nonprofit Organizations


Professor Leslie is the coauthor of both a leading trusts and estates casebook and Concepts and Insights in Trusts and Estates (both published by Foundation Press). Her scholarship has focused on wills, trusts and fiduciary duties in the trust, corporate and nonprofit contexts. She has been a visiting professor at New York University Law School, and visited at Columbia Law School in spring 2008.


Before joining the Cardozo faculty, Professor Leslie clerked for Justice Gary S. Stein of the New Jersey Supreme Court and was a litigation associate at the law firm of McCarter & English. Professor Leslie graduated magna cum laude from Cardozo, where she was executive editor of the Cardozo Law Review. Professor Leslie teaches Property, Trusts and Estates, Nonprofit Governance, and Evidence.




"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).