A Better Way to Teach Law School: Laurie Levenson at TEDxUCLA

What if all lawyers had a chance to experience the legal system as the unjustly accused do?

Laurie L. Levenson, is a Professor of Law, William M. Rains Fellow, the David W. Burcham Chair in Ethical Advocacy, and Director of the Center for Legal Advocacy at Loyola Law School. She teaches evidence, criminal law, criminal procedure, ethics, anti-terrorism, and white collar crime. She served as Loyola’s Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 1996-1999. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, Professor Levenson is also the Director of the Loyola Center for Ethical Advocacy. Professor Levenson was the 2003 recipient of Professor of the Year from both Loyola Law School and the Federal Judicial Center.

Prior to joining the Loyola Law School faculty in 1989, Professor Levenson served for eight years as an Assistant United States Attorney in Los Angeles. While a federal prosecutor, Professor Levenson tried a wide variety of federal criminal cases, including violent crimes, narcotics offenses, white collar crimes, and immigration and public corruption cases. She served as Chief of the Training Section and Chief of the Criminal Appellate Section of the U.S. Attorney’s Office. In 1988, she received the Attorney General’s Director’s Award for Superior Performance. Additionally, she received commendations from the FBI, IRS, U.S. Postal Service, and DEA.

Professor Levenson lectures regularly throughout the country and internationally for the Federal Judicial Center, National Judicial College, international bar associations, bar review courses, community groups and legal societies. She also testifies before the Senate Judiciary Committee and the California Legislature regarding SB 490 (Death Penalty). Professor Levenson has been a legal commentator for CBS, CNN, ABC, NBC and NPR. She has commented on a wide range of high-publicity cases, including the O.J. Simpson murder trial, Rodney King beating trial, Menendez murder trials, Michael Jackson molestation case, Scott Peterson murder trial, Bernard Madoff investigation, Clinton impeachment, Robert Blake murder trial, trial of Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich, prosecution of Anna Nicole Smith’s physicians, UCI Medical Scandal, and prosecution of Dr. Conrad Murray.

About TEDx, x = independently organized event

In the spirit of ideas worth spreading, TEDx is a program of local, self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience. At a TEDx event, TEDTalks video and live speakers combine to spark deep discussion and connection in a small group. These local, self-organized events are branded TEDx, where x = independently organized TED event. The TED Conference provides general guidance for the TEDx program, but individual TEDx events are self-organized. (Subject to certain rules and regulations.)



  1. I strongly believe that one of the reasons why crim pro is one of the easier subjects in law school is because of how well the course is being taught by the professors. Including Laurie levenson

  2. I met Professor Levinson through a Law School prep course back in 2001 and, although I was never a student in her class, her guidance and wisdom as I worked my way through law school had a profound impact on me.

  3. When applied to Law School I found (1)I could cheat on the GRE, and so could anyone else. This means that the 'secure test is not secure, and so the Law Schools have breached the contract of EVERY applicant. (2) The LSAT now requires the essay to be written at home on one's own computer, watched by software downloaded from the LSAT publishers. I wrote to the test publishers asking 'is this SPYWARE?' Instead of answering the question, they offered to let me take the test on one of THEIR computers at a school. So they are compiling a database of the interior of thousands of predominantly wealthy homes. (3)To do well on one of the sections of the LSAT 'logic games' requires taking a an expensive course to learn the rules of the game. I wrote to many Law Schools about these problems, their response? SILENCE. I will take them to court.. '

  4. If I had a professor like this all through those grueling years of studying law, my perception of the practice of law would not be as low as it was before watching this talk. She is phenomenal and in less than 18 minutes has inspired me to think and be better at my profession.

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