Nina Kohn
Visiting Professor of Law

Nina Kohn is one of the nation’s top experts in the area of elder law. Her research is focused primarily on civil rights issues facing older adults. She has taught at Syracuse University College of Law since 2005, including courses on elder law, family law, torts, and an interdisciplinary gerontology course.

A native Vermonter, Professor Kohn earned an A.B. summa cum laude from Princeton University and a J.D. magna cum laude from Harvard University. She clerked for the Honorable Fred I. Parker of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. In 2003, Professor Kohn was awarded a two-year fellowship by the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, to represent frail elders and residents of nursing homes in upstate New York. Professor Kohn has published numerous articles on topics including decision-making by individuals with cognitive disabilities, financial exploitation of the elderly, age discrimination, and the practical and constitutional implications of elder abuse legislation. A book, Elder Law: Practice, Policy & Problems (New York: Aspen Publishers), is forthcoming in 2013.

Professor Kohn is a Commissioner of the ABA Commission on Law & Aging; Chair of the Elder Rights Committee of the Individual Rights and Responsibilities Section of the ABA; and Co-Chair of the Surrogate Decision-Making Committee of the ABA Section of Real Property, Trust & Estate Law. She is a board member and former Chair (2009) of the Aging and the Law Section of the American Association of Law Schools. Kohn was awarded the Syracuse College of Law Res Ipsa Loquitur Award for teaching in 2011, and the Syracuse University Judith Greenberg Seinfeld Distinguished Faculty Fellowship for 2012-2013.

Selected Publications

ELDER LAW: PRACTICE, POLICY, & PROBLEMS (Aspen Publishers) (forthcoming 2013).

Supported Decision-Making: A Viable Alternative to Guardianship?
, 117 PENN ST. L. REV. 1111 (2013) (co-authored with Jeremy A. Blumenthal, & Amy T. Campbell). [SSRN] [PDF]

Elder (In)Justice: A Critique of the Criminalization of Elder Abuse, 49 AM. CRIM. L. REV. 1 (2012). [SSRN]

Rethinking the Constitutionality of Age Discrimination: A Challenge to a Decades-Old Consensus, 44 U.C. DAVIS L. REV. 213 (2010). [SSRN] [PDF]

Outliving Civil Rights, 86 WASH. U. L. REV. 1053 (2009). [SSRN] [PDF]

Additional Publications

Journal Articles

Vulnerability Theory and the Role of Government (in review).

A Critical Assessment of Supported Decision-Making for Persons with Intellectual Disabilities,
6 DISABILITY & HEALTH JOURNAL (forthcoming 2013; co-authored with Jeremy A. Blumenthal). [ScienceDirect]

A Call to Action on Elder Law Education: An Assessment & Recommendations Based on National Survey, 21 ELDER L.J. (forthcoming 2013; co-authored with Edward D. Spurgeon).

Keynote Address: Elder Rights: The Next Civil Rights Movement, 21 TEMP. POL. & CIV. RTS. L. REV. 321 (2012) (symposium issue). [SSRN]

Elder Law Teaching and Scholarship: An Empirical Evaluation of an Evolving Field
, 59 J. LEGAL EDUC. 414 (2010) (co-authored with Edward D. Spurgeon). [SSRN] [PDF]

The Lawyer's Role in Fostering an Elder Rights Movement,
37 WM. MITCHELL L. REV. 49 (2010). [SSRN] [PDF]

Designating Health Care Decision-Makers for Patients without Advance Directives: A Psychological Critique
, 42 GA. L. REV. 979 (2008) (co-authored with Jeremy A. Blumenthal). [SSRN]

Cognitive Impairment and the Right to Vote: Rethinking the Meaning of Accessible Elections,
1 CANADIAN J. ELDER L. 28 (2008) (invited article). [SSRN]

Preserving Voting Rights in Long-Term Care Institutions: Facilitating Resident Voting While Maintaining Election Integrity
, 38 MCGEORGE L. REV. 1065 (2007) (symposium issue). [PDF]

Elder Empowerment as a Strategy for Curbing the Hidden Abuses of Durable Powers of Attorney
, 59 RUTGERS L. REV. 1 (2006). [SSRN]

Cambridge Law School for Women: The Evolution and Legacy of the Nation’s First Graduate Law School Exclusively for Women
, 12 MICH. J. GENDER & L. 119 (2005). [SSRN]

Second Childhood: What Child Protection Systems Can Teach Elder Protection Systems,
14 STAN. L. & POL'Y REV 175 (2003).

Book Chapters

Voting & Political Participation, in DEMENTIA: LAW & ETHICS
(Charles Foster et al. eds., Hart) (forthcoming 2014).

(Janet Wilmoth & Kenneth Ferraro eds., 4th ed., Springer 2013).

A Civil Rights Approach to Elder Law, in BEYOND ELDER LAW
(Israel Doron and Ann Soden eds., Spring 2012). [Springer]

Aging and Law – Using a Multi-Dimensional Model to Understand the Legal Response to Aging, in
AGING IN PERSPECTIVE AND THE CASE OF CHINA: ISSUES AND APPROACHES (Sheying Chen & Jason L. Powell eds., Nova Science 2010) (co-authored with Israel Doron). [NovaSceince]

Newsletter Article:
The Criminal Justice System's Response to Elder Abuse: Law-Psychology Research to the Rescue?, LEGAL UPDATE COLUMN, AM. PSYCHOLOGY-LAW SOC’Y NEWS. (Spring 2010).
Nina Kohn

A.B., Princeton University
J.D., Harvard University

Office Phone: (207) 228-8022

Research Interests:

Elder Law
Family Law
Civil Rights
Legal Education

Current Courses:

Elder Law
Trusts & Estates

Curriculum Vitae