A Year in Review: Professor Levenson Recounts Her Efforts to Improve the Legal System

Students can find evidence of Laurie Levenson’s nationally renowned scholarship while studying casebooks, watching the news and sitting in her classroom.   “I have over 10 books out now, so I’m often updating a book or writing a new one,” she said, “Currently, some colleagues and I are publishing a new book for journalists who report on the legal system so they can cover cases with accuracy and develop a better understanding of the law.” 

Levenson recognizes the importance of experiential learning and leads two clinics on campus, the Project for the Innocent and the Capital Habeas Litigation Clinic.  Earlier this year, the Project for the Innocent was awarded a $250,000 grant from the Department of Justice's Office of Justice Programs that will fund the project's initiatives for two years. The Project for the Innocent fields claims from petitioners who allege that they have been wrongfully convicted.  “We exonerated a gentleman named Obie Anthony who served 17 years for a murder he didn’t commit. When he walked out of prison a free man, he walked into the arms of his family, Loyola students.”

Levenson provides legal commentary for NPR, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, BBC and international networks from Germany to Japan.  She recently discussed the plea deal made by the 2011 Tuscon shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, on PBS NewsHour

She founded the Fidler Institute on Criminal Justice, which invites leading experts to unite in a panel discussion on hot topics in the criminal world.  Panelists at the 2012 symposium addressed a variety of issues: AB 109 and prison realignment, drones and high-tech surveillance, prosecutorial ethics and pot shops.

Changing the Face of Legal Education

Levenson's publications appear in the curriculum of law schools across the nation and judges are known to reference her work.  Her scholarship includes the highly regarded casebook, Criminal Procedure, which she co-authored with Erwin Chemerinsky.  “It gives me great pride that when students walk into a courtroom they are likely to see “Levenson on” in one of my books.”  This year she has published the Federal Criminal Rules Handbook, 2012 edition, and California Criminal Procedure 2012.