Cynthia Godsoe

Professor of Law

250 Joralemon Street
Brooklyn, NY 11201
(718) 780-0681 |  Email  | CV
Areas of Expertise

Family Law
Criminal Law
Juvenile Justice
Professional Ethics

A.B., Harvard University
J.D., Harvard Law School

JOTWELL: Inconsistency, Marriage Equality, and Illegal Change by Stealth


Professor Cynthia Godsoe’s 2015 article Adopting the Gay Family is favorably reviewed.

Everyday Feminism: Your 5 Most Common Questions About Alcohol and Consent – Answered


Professor Cynthia Godsoe explains that a person is only legally considered incapable of consenting if she is unconscious as the result of drinking or using drugs.

In Letter to The New York Times, Professor Cynthia Godsoe Calls for Better Treatment of Non-violent Juvenile Offenders


In a Letter to the Editor published in The New York Times Dec. 10, Professor Cynthia Godsoe argues that we should stop jailing nonviolent juvenile offenders and start providing more services and shelters for young people escaping violence. Professor Godsoe was responding to the newspaper’s Nov. 30 editorial “Women Behind Bars.”

Comedian Avenges Sidewalk Assault By Launching Social Media Campaign Against Popular Brooklyn Bar


Professor Cynthia Godsoe points to a 2003 law intended to shift responsibility from the city to property owners after an assault occurred outside a bar in Williamsburg.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe in Yale Law Journal on the ‘perfect plantiffs’ in the same-sex marriage case


In her essay “Perfect Plaintiffs,” which appears in The Yale Law Journal Forum (Oct. 12), Professor Cynthia Godsoe examines the care in which the Supreme Court selected its plaintiffs in the same-sex marriage case Obergefell v. Hodges, and how “acutely aware” the Court was of public opinion and its own historic legacy.

Professor Godsoe Examines Marital Rape Laws in Light of Comment by Trump’s Adviser


Donald Trump’s adviser Michael Cohen, who is an attorney, created a media firestorm recently when he stated that marital rape is not a crime. In her Talking Points Memo op-ed “Why 20 States Treat Raping Your Wife as a Lesser Crime,” Professor Cynthia Godsoe calls the comment “both offensive and wrong on the law” and explores how this belief still informs how some states handle marital rape, which is recognized as a crime in all 50 states.

Brooklyn Daily Eagle: Challenges continue for both defense and prosecution in Gurley case


Professor Cynthia Godsoe comments on the challenges facing both the defense and prosecution in the light of the indictment of Officer Peter Liang over the shooting of Akai Gurley.

MCall: Pregnant women rarely face charges for drug use


Professor Cynthia Godsoe comments on the debate of whether pregnant women can be charged with endangering or murdering their fetuses.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe Comments to TIME on Victim-Blaming in Statutory Rape Case

Professor Cynthia Godsoe, an expert on criminal law and juvenile justice, commented to TIME questioning the strategy of the Los Angeles Unified School District in the case of an imprisoned middle school teacher who had a sexual relationship with a student. Specifically, Professor Godsoe questioned the wisdom of the School District's argument that the student invited the relationship.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe Speaks to New York Times About the ‘Poor People’s Court’

Professor Cynthia Godsoe was quoted extensively in a New York Times article about family courts, which have become notorious in recent years for long delays, soaring caseloads, and a flat supply of judges.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe on Restitution for Prostituted Minors in Huffington Post Op-Ed

In a new Huffington Post op-ed, Prof. Cynthia Godsoe sheds light on victims of sexual exploitation – specifically, the 100,000 children sold for sex in the U.S., many of whom are later prosecuted and jailed. “Children depicted in pornography…. have suffered terribly,” she writes. “But so have the thousands of young people who are sold for sex on websites and dark streets. All these children deserve recognition and restitution as the victims they are.”

Professor Cynthia Godsoe on Placement of Children with Gay and Lesbian Parents


With so much focus on same-sex marriage, we're paying little attention to the placement of children with gay and lesbian parents, argues Professor Cynthia Godsoe in a new Huffington Post op-ed.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe Discusses Impoverished Families in National Law Journal Op-Ed

In a recent op-ed for the National Law Journal, Professor Cynthia Godsoe criticizes a new bill in Wisconsin that attempts to criminalize “nonmarital parenthood” as child abuse and neglect. She argues that it is not single parent families that create instances of abuse and neglect, but the nation’s rising poverty rates that make it difficult for parents who lack the resources to properly care for their children.

Professor Cynthia Godsoe Discusses J.D.B. v. North Carolina in Op-Ed for The National Law Journal


Professor Cynthia Godsoe’s recent op-ed in The National Law Journal discusses J.D.B. v. North Carolina, for which the Supreme Court has just heard arguments. The case concerns the circumstances under which young people are considered to be in legal custody and therefore entitled to Miranda warnings. Citing the neurological immaturity and lack of life experience of those under 18-years-old, Professor Godsoe asserts, “Children are not miniadults. The Court should recognize this and require police to act accordingly.”

Professor Cynthia Godsoe’s Op-Ed on Pending NY Family Legislation Published in National Law Journal

Professor Cynthia Godsoe recently published an op-ed about family-focused legislation in New York State in the National Law Journal. The article discussed a newly passed amendment to the Family Court Act which would restore the rights of certain parents whose parental rights have been terminated, but who have been deemed “rehabilitated.”

Professor Godsoe Op-Ed on Juvenile Prostitution in National Law Journal

Professor Cynthia Godsoe’s op-ed in the National Law Journal applauded the enactment of New York’s Safe Harbor for Sexually Exploited Youth Act. The act aligns state criminal laws with federal by granting underage prostitutes the services they need while punishing the true offenders, those who patronize and pimp out the juveniles.