Leah Christensen

Leah Christensen
Professor of Law
J.D., University of Iowa College of Law;
B.A., University of Chicago
Phone: (619) 961-4264

Professor Christensen is a nationally respected teaching and learning expert. Her main scholarship interest focuses on how students learn most effectively in the law school classroom. She possesses particular expertise in the fields of law school pedagogy, cognitive psychology, legal reading and learning disabilities, and has published two books and several articles examining the correlation between the way in which law students read and learn the law, and their success in law school. Professor Christensen is currently drafting a new type of casebook for Professional Responsibility that focuses on the "uncasebook" method of learning the law. Professor Christensen has spoken about a wide variety of law teaching, learning and curriculum design topics as a conference presenter and as an invited speaker at law schools around the nation. She is currently working to design an innovative and experiential Academic Success and Bar Preparation Program at TJSL that provides all students with the necessary skills and support to succeed in law school and beyond.

Courses include:

Evidence, Lawyering Skills, Legal Writing and Professional Responsibility


The Weekend MPRE: Complete Preparation for the MPRE in Only a Weekend's Time (West Academic Publishing 2016)

A Short & Happy Guide to the MPRE (West Academic Publishing 2016)

Learning Professional Responsibility: From the Classroom To the Practice of Law (with Brooks Holland) (West Academic Publishing 2015)

1L of a Year: Research-Based Learning Strategies to Maximize Your Success in Law School (Carolina Academic Press 2012)

Learning Outside The Box: A Handbook for Law Students Who Learn Differently (Carolina Academic Press (2010)

Articles, Book Chapters, And Article-Length Works

The Attorney-Client Privilege in U.S. and China, T. Jefferson L. Rev. (Spring 2012)

Legal Reading and Success in Law School: The Reading Strategies of Law Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) , 12 The Scholar 173 (2010)

The Power of Skills: An Empirical Study of Lawyering Skills Grades as the Strongest Predictor of Law School Success (Or in Other Words, it’s Time for Legal Education to get Serious About Skills Training if we Care About How our Students Learn), 83 St. John's L. Rev. 795 (2009)

Sticks, Stones and Schoolyard Bullies: Restorative Justice, Mediation and a New Way to Approach Conflict Resolution in Our Schools, 9 Nev. L.J. 545 (2009)

Enhancing Law School Success: A Study of Goal Orientations, Academic Achievement and the Declining Self-Efficacy of our Law Students, 33 Law & Psychol. Rev. 57 (2009)

Show Me Don’t Tell Me: Using The Think Aloud To Teach Case Analysis, Perspectives  Winter 2007 J.L. & Pub. Pol’y 174 (2008-2009)

Law Students Who Learn Differently: A Narrative Case Study of Three Law Students with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), 21 J.L. & Health 45 (2008)

The Paradox of Legal Expertise: A Study of Experts and Novices Reading the Law, 2008 BYU Educ. & L.J. 53 (2008)

Going Back to Kindergarten: Considering the Application of Waldorf Education Principles to Legal Education, 40 Suffolk U. L. Rev. 315 (2007)

Navigating the Article Selection Process: An Empirical Study of Those with All the Power—Student Editors, 59 S.C. L. Rev. 175 (2007)

Legal Reading And Success In Law School: An Empirical Study, 30 Seattle U. L. Rev. 603 (2007)

Legal Reading For The Practice Of Law, Volume 21, No. 2, The Second Draft (2007)

The Psychology Behind Case Briefing: A Powerful Cognitive Schema, Lead Article, 29 Campbell L. Rev. 5 (2006)

Teaching The Difficult Concept Of Respect, Volume 20, No. 1, The Second Draft (2005)

Download a list of Shorter Work for Professor Christensen

The Pedagogy of Teaching International Students: U.S. and China, AALS 2010, Teaching Methods Section, New Orleans, LA 

Goodbye Langdell: Using the Problem Method to Teach in Larger Classrooms, Institute for Law School Teaching (ILST) 14th Summer Conference, held at Gonzaga Law School, WA, June 2009

Legal Reading and Law School Success, University of Alberta School of Law, Faculty Roundtable, Edmonton, Canada, Mar. 2009

Goal Orientation and Law School Success: An Empirical Study, AALS Annual Meeting, Section on Balance in Legal Education, San Diego, CA, Jan. 2009

Legal Reading and Law School Success, Howard University Law School, Faculty Colloquium Series, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2008

Legal Rhetoric and Legal Reading, American University School of Law, Legal Rhetoric and the Language of Violence Conference, Washington, D.C., Nov. 2008

Sex, Lies and Law Reviews: Navigating the Law Review Article Selection Process, University of Indiana School of Law, Legal Writing Institute Bi-Annual Conference, July 2008

White Professor/Black Student: Leveling the Playing Field of Achievement in Law School, Howard University Law School, May 2008

Law Students with ADD: A Study of Those Who Learn Differently, The Humanizing Legal Education Conference, Washburn Law School, Oct. 2007

Combating School Violence: The Social Inclusion Approach, Education Law Association, Annual Conference, San Diego, CA, Nov. 2007

Legal Reading: The First R in Legal Education, Too! (co-presenting with Professor Ruth Ann McKinney and Professor David Novotny), LSAC Academic Support Training, University of Miami, June 2007

Legal Reading and Law School Success: An Empirical Study, Institute for Law School Teaching (ILST) 13th Summer Conference, held at Suffolk University Law School Boston, Massachusetts, June 2007

Successful Reading Strategies for ESL Students, The John Marshall Law School, Global Legal Skills Conference, May 2007

Empirical Research Principles as Applied to the Study of Law Students and Lawyers Reading Cases, Midwest Qualitative Research Conference, University of St. Thomas, Apr. 2007

Reading Success and Law Students, University of Nevada at Las Vegas, The Rocky Mountain Regional Legal Writing Conference, Mar. 2007

Legal Reading and Law School Success, AALS Annual Meeting, Section on Academic Support, Integrating Academic Success Across the Curriculum, Washington, D.C., Jan 2007

Legal Reading and Law School Success: An Empirical Study, AALS Annual Meeting, Poster Presentation, Washington, D.C., Jan 2007

The Qualities Women Lawyers Bring to the Legal Profession, University of St. Thomas School of Law, Women’s Law Student Legal Symposium, Apr.2006

Make Em’ Laugh: Using Humor to Teach Difficult Legal Concepts, University of Arizona, The Rocky Mountain Regional Legal Writing Conference, Mar. 2006

Using the First Year Writing Curriculum to Explore Legal Ethics, Boston University College of Law, The Northeastern Regional Writing Conference, Dec. 2005

Teaching Teachers, Seattle University Law School, The Bi-Annual Legal Writing Institute Conference, July 2005

The Thomas Jefferson School of Law faculty is highly prolific in the field of legal scholarship and our professors are in demand as speakers and panelists at legal events in the U.S. and abroad.

Honoring our Veterans

Honoring our Veterans

November 13, 2013

Honoring those who served has become a tradition at TJSL and the 8th floor was filled with individuals honoring our active duty and military...

Third Annual NSLNC Continues to Raise the Bar

Third Annual NSLNC Continues to Raise the Bar

September 24, 2013

By Jonathan Stahler (3L), NSLNC Assistant to the Director  

The Third Annual National Sports Law Negotiation Competition (NSLNC)...

TJSL Professors Represent at Prestigious Association of Academic SuppoConference

TJSL Professors Represent at Prestigious Conference

June 11, 2013

The ASP faculty at TJSL rocked at the Annual AASE (Association of Academic Support Educators) Conference on May 29 and 30, at UNLV, Boyd Law...

New Attorneys

TJSL Honors New Lawyers at Celebration Breakfast

June 5, 2013

“It feels like the completion of a very long journey,” said Jessica Bedford on the day that she and several fellow TJSL alumni were getting sworn-...

2013 Barristers Ball

2013 Barristers Ball Masquerade Party

February 11, 2013

TJSL students call it the “Law Prom”, but the annual Barristers Ball is always so much more than that – especially this year.

The 2013...

Education Law


Legal Education