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Professor of Law and Robert E. Knowlton Scholar

In Vera Bergelson’s popular seminar, Moral Puzzles of Criminal Law, students study cases, stories, articles, and current events to explore complex issues of law and morality, answering perplexing questions such as how the law should treat persons who do the right things but for the wrong reasons. In addition to the Moral Puzzles of Criminal Law seminar, other courses Bergelson teaches include introductory and advanced criminal law, punishment and sentencing, and property law.

A native of Russia, Bergelson is fluent in Russian and Polish and has a reading proficiency in Bulgarian, Belorussian, and Ukrainian. A prolific writer, Bergelson contributes her articles to various law journals and other publications. She is the author of a book entitled Victims’ Rights and Victims’ Wrongs: A Theory of Comparative Criminal Liability (Stanford University Press, 2009), and two of her articles are forthcoming in Criminal Law and Philosophy (2012): “Vice Is Nice but Incest Is Best: Problem of a Moral Taboo” and “Choice of Evils: In Search of a Viable Rationale.”

In 2010-2011, Bergelson chaired the Association of American Law Schools’ Section on Jurisprudence. She is a Fulbright Specialist (2009-2014) and serves on the editorial boards of BdeF and Edisofer (Buenos Aires and Madrid) and Law and Philosophy.

Before joining the faculty of Rutgers School of Law – Newark in 2001, Bergelson was an associate for six years with Cleary, Gottlieb, Steen & Hamilton in New York where she helped to structure sophisticated domestic and international transactions. Bergelson received her baccalaureate diploma in Slavic languages and literatures with distinction from Moscow State University and her doctoral degree in philology from the Institute of Slavic and Balkan Studies in Moscow, Russia. She earned her juris doctor, cum laude, from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she was a member of The University of Pennsylvania Law Review and was named to the Order of the Coif.