Leigh Bienen

Criminal Defense Attorney & Author

Leigh B. Bienen is a senior lecturer at Northwestern University School of Law, an author, a researcher, and a criminal defense attorney whose areas of expertise includes capital punishment, sex crimes, and rape reform legislation.

A graduate of Cornell University, the University of Iowa Writers’ Workshop, and the Rutgers-Newark School of Law, she has worked as a journalist and an editor and published fiction and essays in TriQuarterly, The Ontario Review, Transition, and The O’Henry Prize Stories.

In December 2008, she launched a book and website about the first female factory inspector in the United States, The Life and Times of Florence Kelley in Chicago, 1890-1899, which serves as a repository for 35,000 legal and historical records and photographs.

Bienen is also a member of the Illinois Capital Punishment Reform Study Committee and the director of the Chicago Historical Homicide Project.