Leslie E. Scott

Associate Professor of Law

Leslie Scott
Contact Info:
Campus: Riverfront Campus
Building: Dowling Hall
Room: 315
Phone: 313-596-9810
Leslie Scott
Areas of Expertise:
Criminal Justice


Leslie Scott joins Detroit Mercy Law after nearly seven years as a criminal defense attorney with the Federal Public Defender’s Office for the Western District of New York. There, Scott gained extensive litigation experience at the federal pretrial, trial, sentencing, and appellate stages, and won countless victories for her clients, including release on bail, diversion, dismissals of charges, charge reductions, and sentence reductions. Prior to that, Scott completed judicial clerkships for the Honorable Victoria A. Roberts of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan and the Honorable Senior Judges of the D.C. Court of Appeals.

Scott’s expertise and research interests lie at the intersection of race, mental illness, and criminal justice; they include the mass incarceration of communities of color, the impact of drug addiction and mental illness on the commission of crime and how the federal justice system could better respond, federal prosecutorial overreach, and the excessiveness of the federal sentencing guidelines, among others.

Currently, Scott serves on the ACLU of Michigan’s Lawyer’s Committee where she assists the ACLU’s legal department to identify cases and issues to pursue. Previously, she provided Detroit-area high school students mentorship through the Just the Beginning Foundation’s Summer Legal Institute, regularly spoke to Buffalo-area high school students about the role of public defenders in the criminal justice system, and helped found and was a board member of a Buffalo inner-city charter school that primarily served low-income, minority elementary school students.