College of Law > Faculty & Staff > Full-time Faculty > Leonard L. Cavise

Leonard L. Cavise

DePaul Law Professor Leonard L. Cavise 
Emeritus Professor of Law; Founding Director, Center for Public Interest Law 

Professor Cavise was a member of the DePaul University College of Law faculty for 31 years. He founded several programs at the college including the Center for Public Interest Law, the Lawyering Skills Program, and the Chiapas Human Rights Practicum, which remain integral parts of DePaul academic life. He taught a wide variety of courses, including Evidence, Criminal Law, Advanced Criminal Procedure, Trial Advocacy and Comparative Criminal Procedure, and he was an early advocate of skills and value-based learning. He has very broad international experience, as a founding member of the DePaul International Human Rights Institute and director of the Americas Program and serving as a visiting professor in a many countries of Europe and Latin America, including four times as the Fresco Foundation Scholar at the University of Genoa Law School. He conducted training programs for several governmental and non-governmental organizations in many countries in Central and South America and Palestine. He served as faculty in summer programs in Costa Rica, Italy, the Czech Republic, Austria and China. He also served on the faculties of the University of Miami School of Law and the IIT-Chicago Kent College of Law.

Professor Cavise was a senior advisor to the Presidential Commission in Haiti to Reform the Criminal Law and Procedure Codes. He is a commissioner of the Illinois Torture and Relief Inquiry Commission. His scholarly work focused on international criminal procedure and trial rights of U.S. criminal defendants.

Professor Cavise was frequently interviewed in print and television media, twice winning a DePaul Media Star Award and the media relations’ Lifetime Achievement Award. He received DePaul’s Outstanding Teacher Award three times, along with a DePaul service award. The Chicago Bar Association presented him with the Leonard Shrager Award for “significant and lasting contributions to improve access to justice for the less fortunate.” He received the Arthur Kinoy Award from the National Lawyers Guild for his “commitment to the struggle for justice and global equality and for his tireless mentorship of the next generation of peoples’ lawyers.” When he assumed emeritus status, DePaul honored him with a Via Sapientiae Award, the highest academic award of DePaul University, given to faculty for “distinctive and extraordinary contributions to the university throughout their professional lives.”


BA, Hamilton college; JD, Georgetown University

Selected Works