Robert LeVine was born in Toledo Ohio in 1948. Mr. LeVine graduated from the University of Illinois, cum laude, in 1970 with a double major in history and psychology. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of Chicago School of Law in 1974, specializing in the Uniform Commercial Code, under the direction of its Associate Chief Reporter, the late Dean Soia Mentschikoff.
After graduating from the University of Chicago, Mr. LeVine accepted a position as an associate with the Miami law firm of Shutts & Bowen. Shortly after joining Shutts & Bowen, Mr. LeVine accepted a position with the University of Miami Law School as an adjunct professor of commercial law. In 1977, Mr. LeVine left private practice to become a full time professor of law at the University of Miami Law School, teaching courses on the Uniform Commercial Code, and the Federal Regulation of Banking. During his tenure at the University, Mr. LeVine wrote The Uniform Commercial Code: An Operational Translation, (Browning Publications, Atlanta, Ga. 1980) presenting his specialty as a short story narrative, based upon ethics and philosophy, creating a format which had not been previously introduced into legal education.
Mr. LeVine left the University of Miami School of Law in 1982, and relocated to California, where he began working with children within the juvenile justice system. Initially, Mr. LeVine became involved in the residential treatment setting as an on line staff, where the hands on living environment presented a unique understanding of the profile, attitudes and intellect of the juvenile offender. Mr. LeVine left residential treatment five years later, after creating and implementing a system for behavior modification, which is used by several group home systems at this time.
Thereafter, Mr. LeVine worked as a correctional staff at the Colston Youth Center, the first triagency correctional facility for children in the United States combining Corrections, Social Services, and Education within one facility. Mr. LeVine availed himself of the opportunity to observe, create, record and analyze a tremendous amount of data during his time with Colston. Much of this has been placed in written form on the Pathways to Excellence website at www.4pte.com, particularly in Phase 4.
While working in Corrections, LeVine was asked to become a teacher at the Colston Youth Center, transitioning from the role of correction staff to teacher in one weekend. Two years later, LeVine was asked to, and did assume responsibility for the instruction and curriculum of four maximum-security units in Ventura County Juvenile Hall. This was the greatest challenge of the Pathways to Excellence program to date since each unit had between fifteen and seventeen minors; two of the units were fifty yards apart and locked; all of the students in each unit were deemed to be too dangerous or at risk to attend regular Juvenile Hall classes; LeVine was the only teacher assigned to cover all four units simultaneously.
In 1994 Mr. LeVine was asked to present the content of the Ventura County Juvenile Hall unit school program to the State Convention of California Court and Community School Administrators, as a prototype for educational programs in similar institutional settings. At the request of the International Correctional Educational Association, LeVine wrote an article describing the basic theories underlying the program, which was published in the fall of 1994.
In 1994, after leaving Ventura County Juvenile Hall, Mr. LeVine directed
his full attention to insuring that children in Juvenile Halls received
the full education they were entitled to under the law. The United States
Office of Civil Rights, the California Department of Finance, and the Ventura
County Grand Jury joined LeVine in this commitment. Their combined efforts
resulted in the publications of two legal opinions declaring that every
child for whom state funding is provided is required by law to have a teacher
present in the room. This was held to apply in Juvenile Hall just like anywhere
In 1997, Mr. LeVine turned his attention back to working with children in the Juvenile Justice system and was invited to help create and implement the EXCEL program at Los Angeles County Central Juvenile Hall, an 840 bed, twenty-three acre maximum security facility in East Los Angeles. The program involved the instruction of maximum-security minors immediately upon booking and prior to their release into the general population. Two years later, upon completion of the Juvenile Hall assignment, LeVine accepted a position with the Hollenbeck Youth Center, founding agency of the Inner City Games, and nationally recognized for its innovative programming and highly effective work with children in East Los Angeles. In 1999, Inner City Games founder Daniel Hernandez asked LeVine to represent the Inner City Games in Toronto as the keynote speaker on Juvenile Crime for the Toronto Urban Alliance on Race Relations in connection with the annual Color of Freedom festival, in honor of the United Nations 1968 Proclamation to End Racism. An outline of the text of that speech Juvenile Crime: A Sensible Answer to a Difficult Problem, can be found in Phase 4 of Pathways to Excellence website.
During the Democratic National Convention in 2000, LeVine was asked to produce am event on behalf of the Inner City Games Los Angeles and the Inner City Games national foundation in which democratic mayors from Los Angeles, Chicago, Houston, Detroit, Philadelphia, Atlanta and several other major metropolitan centers visited the Hollenbeck Youth Center in East Los Angeles. The purpose of the event was to acknowledge the success of the Inner City Games in the cities of the respective mayors. The event was hosted by Inner City Games Founder Daniel Hernandez and Inner City Games National Chairman Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Mr. LeVine currently serves as a consultant to the Los Angeles County
Office of Education and continues to make presentations in Los Angeles on
their behalf. In addition, LeVine works closely with the Montebello Unified
School District in Montebello California, where a great portion of a Decision
Making curriculum has been developed.
This year, as in past, Mr. LeVine will speak to the entire 2,000 freshman students on the critical importance of decision-making and some basic methodologies for approaching life's decisions, particularly those dealing with drugs, tobacco, and alcohol. Mr. LeVine also serves as an adjunct professor of commercial law at the Stetson University College of Law located in St. Petersburg, Florida, and recently completed an on-line course for teachers on the instruction of at risk youth.