2015.07.13: Leon Letwin (1929-2015)

Leon Letwin (1929-2015)

Leon PixPhoto credit: Rick Clarke

An expert on evidence, civil procedure and constitutional law, Leon Letwin was on the faculty of UCLA Law School for more than fifty years. A lifelong social justice activist, he pioneered law school affirmative action programs, was an outspoken opponent of the Vietnam War, and was at the forefront of defending the rights of political protesters, criminal defendants, high school students, and many others.

Family Background

Leon Letwin was born on December 29, 1929 to Bessie (née Rosenthal) (1898-1987) and Lazar Letwin (née Litvak) (1892-1957), who came from the Jewish shtetl (town) of Mogilev-Podolski in the Ukraine. His parents had participated in the Russian Revolution of October 1917, and narrowly escaped an anti-Semitic pogrom during the ensuing civil war by fleeing across the frozen Dniester River into Romania. Arriving in Milwaukee in 1921, they joined the fledgling Communist Party, and later opened Letwin’s Grocery…

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