Lisa Bloom is one of UCLA’s most successful debaters. Being an accomplished and fearless civil rights attorney, Lisa has taken on multiple high-profile cases and has been extremely passionate about public speaking. Today, she is recognized for her engaging and lively speaking style at corporate and academic events across the nation. Founder of law firm The Bloom Firm, she’s an award-winning journalist, best-selling author, civil rights activist, legal analyst, litigator, and TV show host. Titled “superlawyer” by her peers, Lisa is known for her engaging and powerful speaking skills. Lisa started her successful speaking career in high school and carried it forward during her time in the UCLA Debate Union.
Born on September 20th 1961, Lisa’s passion for public speaking took flight when she was in high school. As a debater in her high school, she won numerous awards for expository and persuasive speaking, and was a California state speech finalist. She came to UCLA to study English and graduated early with honors. Despite graduating early, she still managed to become a star debater; and during her time as a debater for the UCLA Debate Union she was very well respected in the debate circuit by her fellow team members. Lisa was the National College Debate Champion, finishing first place in the largest and most prestigious national college debate league. In 1984 she and her partner, Keith Fink, set the single-season college debate record for the most tournaments won in a year.
After graduating from UCLA, Lisa continued her debating career at the Yale Law School. During her time at Yale, she won first place in the highly competitive Moot Court competition, which was judged by soon-to- be-special-prosecutor Kenneth Starr.
Since graduating Yale Law School, Lisa has become one of the most well-known civil rights attorneys in the country. Her fame stems not only from the high- profile cases that she has handled but also from the dedication she had shown towards helping the vulnerable in the community. She has handled cases for people against some of the most powerful forces in our culture, including suing the Boy Scouts of America on behalf of a girl who wanted to become a Scout and the Los Angeles Police Department on behalf of a use of force expert in the Rodney King beating trial. She sued one of the largest churches in the world for a boy who was abused at a church summer camp; a powerful Fortune 500 company on behalf of a wheelchair-bound employee who had been harassed because of his disability; and many celebrities and prominent figures in business and politics in sexual harassment cases, including a sitting Los Angeles judge.
Lisa’s work has set legal precedent on important social issues from some of the first cases involving the rights of AIDS patients to cases of repressed memory of child sexual abuse survivors. Lisa founded The Bloom Firm, a general practice nine-attorney law firm that handles family, civil and criminal cases in California and New York.
Beyond her legal work, Lisa is also a best-selling author and award-winning journalist. Her book Think: Straight Talk for Women to Stay Smart in a Dumbed-Down World was published in 2011 and was a New York Times bestseller. Her second renowned book Swagger: 10 Urgent Rules for Raising Boys in an Era of Failing Schools Mass Joblessness and Thug Culture features well-researched and parent-tested skills for raising boys in today’s society. In 2014 she published Suspicious Nation: The Inside Story of the Trayvon Martin Injustice and Why We Continue to Repeat It, tackling America’s structural racial inequality and discussing a case she covered in great depth. She has written many popular and illuminating articles for the New York Times, the Washington Post, Elle, Ladies’ Home Journal, Variety, and many others.
Apart from being an active attorney, Lisa is also a very well renowned figure on television. She has hosted her own live national television show on Court TV from 2001-2009, covering the hottest trials and crime and justice stories in the news. She’s now a CBS News Legal Analyst, appearing frequently on CNN and HLN prime time shows. She guest-hosted Larry King Live, The Early Show and Showbiz Tonight. She received a Telly Award for her coverage of a Rhode Island nightclub fire and its legal aftermath. Fielding daily requests for television and radio appearances, Lisa appears on countless network and cable shows as a legal expert, including Oprah, Dr. Phil, Nightline, Primetime, Today, Good Morning America, The Early Show, Extra, Access Hollywood, Celebrity Justice, Inside Edition, the Insider, Tony Danza, Rosie O’Donnell, Leeza, Entertainment Tonight, Larry King Live, Anderson Cooper 360, Paula Zahn, Hannity & Colmes, The O’Reilly Factor, Rita Cosby: Live and Direct, The Abrams Report, and many others.
Although a fierce attorney and dedicated businesswoman, Lisa is also a proud mother of three children, Sam, Sarah (who is also a lawyer), and her foster son. While taking some time off work, Lisa likes to travel internationally and experience different cultures. Over the years she has summited Mount Kilimanjaro, backpacked the Appalachian Trail in New Hampshire, and traveled to many countries including China, Japan, Laos, Peru and many more.
Lisa has never shied away from controversy, and although she may be unpopular in some quarters, her core commitment to fighting for the rights of all disadvantaged people is unchanged. Lisa’s work ethic, raw talent and lifetime commitment to public service are an embodiment of the True Bruin values that every UCLA student strives to imbibe. She is living a life that matters. The UCLA Debate Union is proud to call Lisa Bloom one of their distinguished debate alumnus.