Jean Zorn taught at CUNY School of Law from 1985 through 2001, coordinating the lawyering seminar program and teaching LME, property law, business associations and legal anthropology. She then spent eight years bringing the CUNY educational method to Florida International University College of Law, as Director of their first-year lawyering seminar program. At FIU, she also taught property law, family law, and gender and the law. She is back at CUNY, as a professor emeritus, teaching property law and Native American law.
Professor Zorn graduated from the University of California at Berkeley, and received her M.A. and J.D. degrees from the University of Wisconsin at Madison. She was at both schools during times of intense student activism on civil rights and anti-war issues, and has carried the ideas and passions of those times with her throughout her teaching career. Professor Zorn's first job, after graduating from law school, was as a member of the University of Papua New Guinea Law Faculty, in the South Pacific. Papua New Guinea was just about to achieve independence; Professor Zorn's students were among the first lawyers in the country, so it is not surprising that they now fill most of the major roles in Papua New Guinea's legal system, including Chief Justice of the Papua New Guinea Supreme Court, Attorney General, and Minister for Justice. Nevertheless, she expects that her CUNY students will do no less.
Professor Zorn has written extensively about the interplay of the customary law of indigenous peoples in the South Pacific and the imported state legal system. Recently published articles include "Engendering Violence in the Papua New Guinea Courts: Sentencing in Rape Trials," in Engendering Violence, Margaret Jolly and Christine Stewart (eds.), Australian National University Press, 2012, and "The Paradoxes of Sexism: Proving Rape in the Papua New Guinea Village Courts" 2010 LawAsia 14. Her article on "Translating and Internalizing International Human Rights Law: The Courts of Melanesia Confront Gendered Violence" will be published in Contemporary Pacific. She is currently working on a history of the colonial legal system in Papua New Guinea.