Heather E. Cucolo ’03

Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law

Heather E. Cucolo ’03

Distinguished Adjunct Professor of Law

Heather E. Cucolo ’03

Contact Information
T 212.431.2367  
E heather.cucolo@nyls.edu 

Faculty Assistant
Rosamond White

T 212.431.2127   
E rosamond.white@nyls.edu

New York Law School, J.D. 2003; State University of New York, Binghamton, B.A. 1997


Heather Ellis Cucolo has been teaching at New York Law School since 2007. She is the acting facilitator of the joint J.D./M.A. program with John Jay College of Criminal Justice and the former acting director of the Online Mental Disability Law Program. She teaches a variety of courses at NYLS in the areas of criminal law, professional responsibility, and mental disability law.

Professor Cucolo co-designed a course, Legal and Ethical Controversies in Health Care, for Emory University School of Law, where she is also an adjunct professor in the online program. She is appointed as fellowship faculty at Albert Einstein College of Medicine where she lectures doctoral students on legal research, legal practice, and landmark case law for expert clinicians.

Outside of teaching, Professor Cucolo is the co-owner of Mental Disability Law and Policy Associates with Professor Emeritus Michael L. Perlin. The company offers continuing education for attorneys, judges, law enforcement, and clinicians. She also serves on the Executive Board of Collier Youth Services, a nonprofit which addresses the therapeutic and social issues of at-risk youth, and has partnered with affiliated organizations to advise, design, and implement crisis intervention training for law enforcement on university campuses. Formerly, in her full-time legal practice, Professor Cucolo dedicated her career to representing individuals at trial facing civil commitment under both the New Jersey Mental Hygiene Law and New Jersey’s Sexually Violent Predators Act. She drafted a model Bill of Rights statute for the State of New Jersey and authored and argued appeals before the New Jersey Appellate Division with over 27 reported decisions.

Professor Cucolo’s international work includes expert testimony on extradition from the United Kingdom to the United States for persons convicted of a sex offense; pro bono advocacy for LawAid International; speaking at the United Nations on the rights of persons with disabilities in the Asia-Pacific region; and the creation of an instructional course on disability legislation for attorneys in Japan.

Professor Cucolo has published three textbooks, a mental health law treatise, and numerous law review articles with mentions in an Eastern District of New York court decision, an Iowa appellate decision, and a District of Columbia appellate decision. She was honored with the Otto L. Walter Distinguished Writing Award for two consecutive years in 2018 and 2019.

Professor Cucolo has provided legal commentary to numerous media outlets on mental health law, criminal law, and sexual violent predator law.


Office of Marketing and Communications  •  T 212.431.2872  •  E communications@nyls.edu