Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Director of the Externship Program and Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills
B.A., magna cum laude, Philosophy, 1989, University of California, Los Angeles; J.D., cum laude, 1992, Harvard University; Phi Beta Kappa; Member, California State Bar
Phone: (213) 738-6786
Appointed in 2012 as the school's Vice Dean for Academic Affairs, Anahid Gharakhanian also teaches Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills (Trial Practice Track) and directs the law school's Externship Program, which is among the largest in the country. She believes, "Law students are professionals-in-training. Legal writing and externship placements are great opportunities to start thinking like a lawyer and get a feel for the profession and are extremely helpful in transitioning to the practice of law." In addition to her teaching, she has greatly enjoyed other opportunities to work with Southwestern students, which over the years has included serving in such positions as the faculty advisor for the Armenian Law Students' Association and the PLEAS Program.
"Law students are professionals-in-training. Legal writing and externship placements are great opportunities to start thinking like a lawyer and get a feel for the profession and are extremely helpful in transitioning to the practice of law."
Dean Gharakhanian recently expanded her teaching focus, pursing an area of interest she's had since law school when she participated in Harvard's Prison Legal Assistance Project. In cooperation with a Lieutenant from the LA County Sheriff's Department, she developed a course in Correctional Education. So many Southwestern students are interested in the criminal justice system, and she believes that it is imperative that students also learn about the back end of the criminal justice system, following sentencing.
Dean Gharakhanian is also committed to pro bono work and civic activities. Most recently, she spearheaded the effort to establish the Southwestern Armenia Fellowship with the Ministry of Justice in Armenia to work on the development of the rule of law. She has also served as a temporary judge in Los Angeles Superior Court's Small Claims Court and has worked on a pro bono basis in the areas of domestic violence and other family law matters.
Upon graduation from law school, Dean Gharakhanian joined the firm of Chadbourne & Parke LLP in Los Angeles. During her six-year tenure there, she handled the pre-trial phases of a variety of civil litigation matters as well as arbitration proceedings. Subsequently, she was appointed vice president of e-commerce development for an online retailer. She has found that by sharing practical examples from her own experiences as well as continuously gathering and sharing feedback from externship supervisors, she is able to make the skills that she teaches much more relevant for her students.
Dean Gharakhanian is an active member of the Greater Los Angeles Consortium on Externships (GLACE), which includes the externship directors of Southwestern, Loyola, Chapman, Whittier, Pepperdine, UC Irvine, USC and UCLA law schools. She was one of the lead organizers and a presenter at the national GLACE Externships3 Conference in 2006, as well as for the GLACE 3rd Regional Externship Supervision Forum hosted at Southwestern in 2008. She has also been a presenter in national Legal Writing Institute and Externship conferences, including the most recent 2012 Externships6 Conference.
ABA Standard 305's Guided Reflections: A Perfect Fit for Guided Fieldwork, 14 CLINICAL LAW REVIEW (2007)