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Law Student Profile

Chelsea Rosenthal, New York University School of Law By Teresa Cajot As one of 50 graduate students to take part in the Fellowships at Auschwitz for the Study of Professional Ethics (FASPE), she was granted a unique opportunity to examine ethics through the lens of the past. The international program, which ran for the duration of two weeks during the summer, gave Rosenthal and others within the fields of law, medicine, journalism, and theology, the opportunity to approach current ethical issues through an exploration of the Holocaust.

The two-week program was initiated at the Museum of Jewish Heritage - A Living Memorial to the Holocaust in New York, where students had the opportunity to meet holocaust survivors and tour the museum. The participants then proceeded to Berlin, where they examined the activities of members of their given field in Nazi Germany, as a means of examining ethical issues of today. The students then traveled to Poland, where they toured the concentration camps and further considered the modern ethical implications of their given profession. Law students from six schools were in attendance to focus on the on the themes “Breaching Government Secrecy” and Obedience to Authority.” Rosenthal notes that because FASPE highlights the ‘power of place’ the group’s discussions on issues “of legal ethics and the Holocaust were” appropriately paired with stops at significant historical sites including the House of the Wannsee Conference, Berlin’s Memorial to the


Murdered Jews of Europe and Topography of Terror Museum, the concentration camps at Auschwitz, and the Auschwitz Jewish Center. “We examined legal ethics as applied to Nazi perversions of justice, but also drawing on themes from that context in an effort to illuminate contemporary legal ethics issues,” said Rosenthal. Through the program, students were able to draw comparisons between the Holocaust and current ethical issues, such as the Department of Justice’s “torture memos” and the role of the legal field in the confinement of JapaneseAmericans during World War II. Rosenthal says that the experience was an emotional one but also extremely rewarding because it allowed her “the chance to reflect on these issues and experiences with…a perceptive group.”

Chelsea Rosenthal, New York University School of Law  
Chelsea Rosenthal, New York University School of Law  

Chelsea Rosenthal, a prospective 2012 JD/PhD graduate at New York University, is particularly interested in issues pertaining to legal ethic...