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Norman Lefstein

1937 - 2019
Norman Lefstein Obituary
Norman Lefstein

Indianapolis - age 82, of Indianapolis, Indiana passed away on August 29th, 2019. Norman was born in Rock Island, Illinois to George and Rose Lefstein on July 16, 1937. He attended Augustana College and earned L.L.B (University of Illinois, 1961) and L.L.M (Georgetown University, 1964) degrees. Norman was a dedicated attorney, scholar, and teacher, who worked tirelessly in pursuit of justice in the nation's legal system. Dedicated to legal education, Lefstein served as dean of the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law from 1988 to 2002. His earlier positions included faculty member at the University of North Carolina School of Law and director of the Public Defender Service for the District of Columbia. Dean Emeritus Lefstein received numerous honors and accolades, including the Sagamore of the Wabash Award (2002), the Champion of Indigent Defense Award (2005) from the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, and the Indiana University President's Medal (2019). Lefstein was a respected leader in the American Bar Association. In 2011, the ABA published his last book, Securing Reasonable Caseloads: Ethics and Law in Indigent Defense. He authored numerous books and articles on fair legal representation for those who could not afford a lawyer - and remained passionate about this work until the end of his life. He was an active member of the ACLU and the National Association for Public Defense.

Norman was a loving husband, father, and grandfather. He is survived by his wife, Diane Lanman; his children, Lisa Lefstein-Berusch (Ken Zirm), Adam Lefstein (Sharon Gilad), and Susan Pretsky (Joshua Pretsky); his stepson, Jay Lanman; his brother, Stuart Lefstein; and his grandchildren: Elana, Margalit, and Joseph Berusch; Moriah, Sarah, and Eva Pretsky; and Ella Lefstein.

Funeral services will be held at Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Funeral Home,11411 N. Michigan Road, Zionsville, Indiana, 46077 on Sunday, September 1st at 11:00 am. Burial will follow at Beth-El Zedeck North Cemetery.

Family and friends may make memorial contributions in Norman's name to Lefstein Legacy Scholarship at the Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law (Please send to the Indiana University Foundation, PO Box 6460, Indianapolis, IN 46206-6460.) or the National Association for Public Defense (online at
Published in the The Indianapolis Star from Aug. 30 to Aug. 31, 2019
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