Deborah Leff, former Senior Advisor to the Equal Justice Initiative, has held leadership positions public, private, and non-profit, most recently as Pardon Attorney of the United States. Prior to assuming the Pardon Attorney position, she served as Acting Senior Counselor for Access to Justice at the US Department of Justice, where she oversaw federal efforts to increase legal assistance and improve the justice delivery systems that serve people who are unable to afford lawyers. She received the Department of Justice’s John Marshall Award, the agency’s top award for litigation.
Prior to joining the Justice Department in 2010, Ms. Leff served as President and member of the Board of Directors of the Public Welfare Foundation, a national foundation based in Washington, DC, focusing on health reform, criminal and juvenile justice, and employment issues. She also has served as Director of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum; President and CEO of Feeding America, the nation's largest domestic hunger relief organization; and President of the Joyce Foundation. During much of the 1980s and early 1990s, Ms. Leff was Senior Producer at ABC News Nightline and World News Tonight overseeing coverage that won numerous national awards, including the Emmy and the DuPont awards.
Ms. Leff is the immediate past Chair and a founding member of the Board of Directors of StoryCorps, www.storycorps.org, and previously served on the Board of Directors of the CARE, the American Board of Internal Medicine Foundation, and the Children's Defense Fund. She has chaired and been a member of the executive, governance, nominating, and audit committees for numerous boards. She also chaired the Midwest Rhodes Scholars Selection Committee.
Ms. Leff received her undergraduate degree cum laude from Princeton University's School of Public and International Affairs, where she was named a University Scholar. She earned her law degree from the University of Chicago Law School and is the recipient of an honorary doctorate in humane letters from Lake Forest College.
Cross-Examination Trial Pack
NACDL’s new Cross-Examination Trial Pack includes three of our best-selling Cross-Examination resources: “Damage Control: Situational Cross-Examination Techniques Trial Guide”, "Ultimate Cross 2.0: Audio Recordings & Written Materials" and "Sample Cross-Examination Questions."
This masterful collection of cross-examination resources provide countless tips, techniques and strategies for a variety of criminal case-specific scenarios. Learn to cross-examine a variety of trial witnesses!
Death Investigation: Forensic Pathology in the Courtroom and Cause & Manner of Death (2022)
This unique program provides criminal defense lawyers with an accurate and clear overview of forensic pathology and the countless factors to consider in a death investigation and will methodically explain what happens during an autopsy to determine cause and manner of death.
You'll uncover the different types of medicolegal death investigations, what to request from your MDI expert, quality benchmarks for accreditation and certification, guidelines and standards, common terminology and frequently asked questions.
The Psychology of Persuasion & Storytelling for Criminal Defense Lawyers
This Trial Resource Guide is a masterful collection of practical tips, techniques and strategies focused solely on using the arts and sciences of persuasion to improve your storytelling skills at trial.
You'll learn how to master the ability to communicate with juries, deliver powerful openings and closings, perform convincing cross-examinations, use effective courtroom choreography and non-verbal communication, identify and develop the optimal theme and theory for your case, and offer compelling arguments during mitigation and sentencing.
Zealous Advocacy in Sexual Assault & Child Victims Cases (2022)
Defending charges of sexual assault and child abuse can be daunting — but with the right tools, it doesn’t have to be.
Every year, NACDL identifies the hottest topics and most pressing issues when defending these cases, and brings-in nationally-renowned lawyers and experts to help you prepare for battle. This year’s 13th Annual Defending Sex Cases training program is our best yet; packed with topics and speakers you won’t want to miss!