Jeff Leslie

Jeff Leslie

Director of Clinical and Experiential Learning, Clinical Professor of Law, Paul J. Tierney Director of the Housing Initiative, Faculty Director of Curriculum

Jeff Leslie graduated from Yale College and Yale Law School and clerked for Judge Joel M. Flaum of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. Before joining the Law School, he was an Assistant Corporation Counsel in the City of Chicago Department of Law, where he worked on affordable housing and economic development transactions. He is the Paul J. Tierney Director of the Housing Initiative Clinic, representing community-based affordable housing developers, and teaches courses in commercial real estate, affordable housing law and policy, negotiations, and transactional lawyering skills. He currently serves as the Faculty Director of Curriculum and as Director of Clinical and Experiential Learning.


Yale Law School
JD, May 1997

  • Notes editor, Yale Law Journal
  • Margaret Gruter Prize for best paper on law and ethology, biology, and related behavioral sciences

Yale University
BA, magna cum laude in philosophy, 1992

  • Distinction in the major of philosophy


The University of Chicago Law School
Clinical Professor of Law, 2008-present
Paul J. Tierney Director, Housing Initiative, 2008-present
Associate Clinical Professor of Law, 2005-2008
Director, Irwin Askow Housing Initiative, 2005-2008
Director, Chicago Project on Animal Treatment Principles, 2005-2008
Assistant Clinical Professor of Law, 2002-2005

City of Chicago Department of Law, Finance and Economic Development Division
Assistant Corporation Counsel, Finance and Economic Development Division, 1998-2002

Judge Joel M. Flaum, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit Chicago, IL
Judicial Clerk, 1997-1998

Dickstein Shapiro Morin & Oshinsky Washington, D.C.
Summer Associate, 1996

Food & Drug Administration Office of Policy Rockville, MD
Summer Associate, 1996

American Medical Association Chicago, IL
Research Assistant in Medical Ethics & Health Policy, 1992-1994

Moderator and Break Out Session Leader, “Improving Access to Homeownership and Affordable Housing,” Urban America Forward Conference, University of Chicago Office of Civic Engagement and Harris School of Public Policy, October 2017

Moderator, “Place-Based Redevelopment Strategies: The Case of the Reclaiming Southwest Chicago Campaign”, Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy, April 2017

"Helping Clients Use Data to Make Business Decisions and Inform Public Policy: A Case Study of Community Land Trusts," 2017 Transactional Clinical Conference, June 2017 (with James Kelly and Eliza Platts-Mills)

Panelist, "The Problem with Pro Bono," Federalist Society of the University of Chicago Law School, January 2017

"Clinic Design at the University of Chicago Law School," Conference on Benefits and Risks of Legal Clinics, Comenius University in Bratislava, Slovakia, December 2016

Moderator, "History and Home," Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy, June 2016

Moderator, "Strategies for neighborhood-Based Development: The Case of Woodlawn," Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy, May 2016

"Use of Case Rounds," 15th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference, April 2016

"Structuring of the Deal - Affordable Housing Development," 15th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference, April 2016

Panelist, "Will the Supreme Court Make Disparate Impact Disappear?" American Civil Liberties Union student organization, American Constitution Society student organization, Asian Pacific American Law Students Association, and Black Law Students Association, 2015

Panelist, "Balancing Act: Urban Development and Gentrification's Impact on Law Income Housing," Kreisman Initiative on Housing Law and Policy, Public Interest Law Society, and Law of the Land, 2014

"Negotiation Strategies," Environmental Defense Fund Annual Retreat, 2014

"Counseling Clients on Settlement," Chicago Bar Assocation, Legal Aid Academy series, 2013 (with Randy Schmidt)

Moderator, "Development of South Works/US Steel Site," Law of the Land, 2013

"Interdisciplinary Clinical Pedagogical Approach: Creating Lawyers as Problem Solvers," 12th Annual Transactional Clinical Conference, University of Texas Law School, 2013 (with Praveen Kosuri, Ashlyn Lembree, and Art Neil)

"Fiduciary and Legal Responsibilities of Non-profit Board Members," Civic Knowledge Project/Graham School of Continuing Liberal and Professional Studies - Southside Arts & Humanities Network, University of Chicago, 2012, 2011 (with Elizabeth Kregor)

"Public Housing in Chicago," University of Chicago Campus Chapter of Habitat for Humanity, 2011

"How Multiple Cooks Make Broth – Decision-making and Organizational Clients," Association of American Law Schools Conference on Clinical Legal Education, 2011 (with Susan Bennett and Praveen Kosuri)

Negotiations Workshop at Chicago Careers in Law Series, 2011 (with Randy Schmidt)

"Introduction to Affordable Housing," John Marshall Law School, 2010; 2007; 2006; 2005; 2004; 2003

“Introduction to Negotiations,” CLE presentation to City of Chicago Department of Law, June 2009

"You Too Can Create a Simulation Exercise (Or Even a Course)," Conference on Teaching Drafting and Transactional Skills: The Basics and Beyond at Emory Law School, May 2008 (panelist) 

"Signature and Shadow Pedagogies: Coexistence or Collaboration?," Edwin F. Mandel Legal Aid Clinic 50th Anniversary Symposium, February 2008 (moderator)

“Affordable Housing Development Process,” Housing Initiative’s Workshop on Housing and Prisoner Reentry, October 2007

“Illinois Federally Assisted Housing Preservation Act – An Overview,” Chicago Rehab Network Preservation Summit, June 2006

“Animal Agriculture and the Law,” Duke University Animal Law Conference, April 2006 (panelist)

“Defining Legal Life: Animal Rights,” Life and Law: Definitions and Decisionmaking Symposium at University of Chicago, October 2005

“'Filling out Forms and Killing Deals’ – What Do Transactional Lawyers Really Do?,” Midwest Clinical Teachers Conference, October 2004 (with Beth Milnikel)

“Affordable Condominiums,” Real Estate Section of the Chicago Bar Association, November 2003