While not mentioned in the media as frequently as Gloria Allred, Leslie Abramson is known for her fierce reputation and client dedication. Representing celebrities as well as high-profile criminal defense clients, Abramson has experience as both prosecutor and defense attorney; which is highly sought after by many clients.
Graduating from the UCLA School of Law, Abramson was admitted to the California State Bar in 1970. After school, she went to work for the Los Angeles Public Defender’s Office; a position that would form her future career goals. Based on her experiences as prosecutor, after working in that position for seven years, Abramson made the transition to defense attorney. Whether prosecuting or defending, Abramson built a reputation as a strong advocate for her clients and as such, is known to speak as if she was still retained by her clients, even after their trial ends.
In her 1997 autobiographical publication, The Defense Is Ready, Abramson speaks passionately about her former clients, and sheds light on her interpretation of the legal system and how it can be improved. She is known in the legal community as an attorney who enjoys representing those who need strong representation. As a criminal defense attorney she is known to place herself in her client’s shoes, withhold judgment and fight on behalf of her client’s life. In doing so, Abramson has represented clients in life-determining situations and is a preferred defense attorney for clients seeking representation involving capital offenses. Her goal is to make sure her client receives a fair verdict and she is an advocate for eliminating trial broadcasts.
Abramson first gained notoriety during the Menendez trial. Brothers Erik and Lyle Menendez were on trial for the deaths of their parents. Abramson represented Erik Menendez and was accused of controversial acts during that trial. As a result, an inquiry ensued but the California State Bar closed the case after a three year long investigation. During the entire time, Abramson invoked her Fifth Amendment privileges and never answered any questions relating to these allegations. The Menendez brothers were found guilty and Abramson went on to defend other murder cases.
After the Menendez trial, Abramson was again appearing on television but not in the role of defense attorney. She was a legal commentator during the O.J. Simpson murder trial where Simpson was accused of killing wife, Nicole Brown Simpson and Nicole’s friend, Ronald Goldman.
Abramson’s latest highly publicized case involved defending legendary music producer, Phil Spector. In 2004, Spector hired Abramson as a replacement attorney to help defend him in his murder trial. Abramson replaced famed attorney Robert Shapiro and the trial resumed. Spector was accused of killing actress Lana Clarkson and was eventually found guilty.