Russian jurisprudence has a long history of development, in which individuals played an important role: lawyers, human rights defenders, counsels. Leo Nikolayevich Tolstoy is known not only as a famous writer, but also as a public figure, who made a significant contribution to the development of original political and legal ideas about law, the system of public administration, international relations, education and other important areas of life. The article is devoted to the study of the legal thought of the writer. The authors analyze the public legal activity of Leo Nikolayevich and his role in the development of domestic jurisprudence. © 2019 Rossiiskaya Akademiya Nauk, Institut Istorii Russian Academy of Sciences, Institute of General Hist. All rights reserved.