Southwestern Law School Los Angeles, CA

Faculty Profile

Beth Caldwell

Beth Caldwell

Professor of Legal Analysis, Writing and Skills

B.A., summa cum laude, Sociology with Honors 1997; M.S.W., 2002; J.D., 2002, University of California, Los Angeles; Phi Beta Kappa; Member, California State Bar

Courses    Publications

Phone: (213) 738-6788
Office: W520


With her combination of experience as a legal educator and scholar, attorney and social worker, Professor Caldwell brings a unique interdisciplinary perspective to the teaching of interviewing, counseling and other lawyering skills. She launched Southwestern’s Youth Offender Parole Clinic in 2014, which trains students to provide pro bono representation to juvenile offenders serving lengthy sentences in adult prisons.

Professor Caldwell's scholarly research focuses on immigration, criminal law, and juvenile justice. She recently completed an empirical study of California’s Youth Offender Parole Hearings, analyzing the extent to which the system provides juvenile offenders with a meaningful opportunity for release from prison. Her current research focuses on the consequences of deportation to Mexico. She received support for her research on deportation issues from a Soros Justice Fellowship in 2012 and has written extensively on the subject in both academic and media outlets.

"I enjoy helping law students develop the analytical skills necessary for practicing law and challenging them to think about legal issues from different perspectives."

Professor Caldwell came to Southwestern from Thomas Jefferson School of Law, where she was a Teaching Fellow from 2011 to 2013, covering Legal Writing and Juvenile Justice. She previously taught Sociology of Juvenile Delinquency at Pepperdine University and Social Welfare Policy in the Master's in Social Work program at California State University, Dominguez Hills. As a Fulbright Scholar, she conducted research in Mexico on the country's developing juvenile justice system in 2009 to 2010.

Professor Caldwell began her career at the Venice Community Housing Corporation as the Youth Development Director, where she supervised job training, education, and advocacy programs for at-risk youth. From 2005 to 2009, she served as a public defender in Los Angeles County, representing thousands of indigent criminal defendants in adult court and juveniles in delinquency proceedings. 

With an approach to teaching that focuses both on the professional and personal growth of her students, Professor Caldwell says, "I enjoy helping law students develop the analytical skills necessary for practicing law and challenging them to think about legal issues from different perspectives. I encourage my students to follow their passions - and to think creatively about how to use the law to pursue justice."



Miller v. Alabama as a Watershed Procedural Rule: The Case for Retroactivity, 10 HARVARD LAW & POLICY REVIEW ONLINE (2015)

Globalization and California's New Approach to Provide Juvenile Lifers a "Meaningful Opportunity for Release," JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE AND INTERNATIONAL STUDIES (2014)

Banished for Life: Deportation of Juvenile Offenders as Cruel and Unusual Punishment, 34 CARDOZO LAW REVIEW 2261 (2013)

Deportation Policies Result in Banished Veterans, SAN DIEGO UNION-TRIBUNE (editorial; April 4, 2013)

Juvenile Offenders in the US Deported for Life, AL JAZEERA AMERICA (editorial; April 20, 2013)

Excluding "Criminals" From Immigration Reform, AL JAZEERA AMERICA (editorial; May 20, 2013)

Addressing Intersectionality in the Lives of Women in Poverty: Incorporating Core Components of a Social Work Program into Legal Education, 20 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY JOURNAL OF GENDER, SOCIAL POLICY AND THE LAW 823 (2012)

Appealing to Empathy: Counsel's Obligation to Present Mitigating Evidence for Juveniles in Adult Court, 64 MAINE LAW REVIEW 391 (2012)

Twenty-Five to Life for Adolescent Mistakes: Juvenile Strikes as Cruel and Unusual Punishment, 46 UNIVERSITY OF SAN FRANCISCO LAW REVIEW 581 (2012)

Punishment v. Restoration: A Comparative Analysis of Juvenile Delinquency Law in the United States and Mexico, 20 CARDOZO JOURNAL OF INTERNATIONAL AND COMPARATIVE LAW 105 (2011)

"Superpredators" and "Animals": Images and California's "Get Tough on Crime" Initiatives, 11 JOURNAL OF THE INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE & INTERNATIONAL STUDIES 61 (with E. Caldwell; 2011)

Criminalizing Day-to-Day Life: A Socio-Legal Critique of Gang Injunctions, 37 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW 241 (2010)

Latinas' Experiences in Relation to Gangs: Intersectionality of Race, Class, Gender & the State, 2 GEORGETOWN JOURNAL OF MODERN CRITICAL RACE PERSPECTIVES 10 (2010)