Catherine L. Carpenter
Co-Director of the Summer Law Program in Vancouver and Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law
B.A., cum laude, English, 1973, University of California, Los Angeles; J.D., cum laude, 1976, Southwestern Law School; Member, California State Bar
Phone: (213) 738-6875
One of the foremost authorities in the country on law school curricula and accreditation, Catherine Carpenter has served in several leadership posts within the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA). The recent past chair of the Section's Accreditation Committee, she currently serves on the Standards Review and Foreign Programs Committees. As chair of the Curriculum Committee in 2002 to 2004, Professor Carpenter was principal drafter of the most comprehensive national survey ever conducted on law school curricula for the ABA report, A Survey of Law School Curricula 1992-2002, and as chair of the committee once again, is leading a five-year update of the survey. She has also chaired many law school site evaluation teams and has presented numerous workshops for deans and associate deans regarding accreditation issues.
"One of the most exciting aspects of teaching the core courses in law is having the opportunity to watch new students blossom as they gain confidence and perspective."
Legal education, and Southwestern in particular, has been Professor Carpenter's professional passion for more than three decades. After distinguishing herself while a law student earning several academic awards and serving as Notes and Comments editor of the Southwestern Law Review, she returned to her alma mater in 1980 as a member of the faculty and continued to add dimensions to her association with the law school - as Alumni Association President and member of the Board of Trustees, a professor and an administrator.
Professor Carpenter derives tremendous satisfaction from teaching first-year students and says, "One of the most exciting aspects of teaching the core courses in law is having the opportunity to watch new students 'blossom' as they gain confidence and perspective." She teaches and writes in the areas of criminal law and future interests and also enjoys serving as faculty advisor to the Moot Court Honors Program and the Women's Law Association. She received Southwestern's Excellence in Teaching Award in 2001 and was named as the Irving D. and Florence Rosenberg Professor of Law in 1996 and 2012, as the Irwin R. Buchalter Professor of Law in 2004, and as the Justice Marshall F. McComb Professor of Law in 2006. In addition to teaching, Professor Carpenter spent over a decade as Assistant Dean/Dean of Students and Associate Dean.
Beyond legal education, Professor Carpenter has served as a site evaluator for the State of California Council for Private Post-Secondary Education and as a consultant to the Board of Regents for the State of Kansas and the Office of Higher Education for the State of Minnesota. She is a member of the editorial board of CALI (Computer Assisted Legal Instruction) and the Stanford Curriculum Work Group.
Books and Chapters
A SURVEY OF LAW SCHOOL CURRICULA 1992-2002 (principal drafter; American Bar Association Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, 2005)
Findings from the 2010 Curriculum Survey, 81 THE BAR EXAMINER (June 2012)
The Evolution of Unconstitutionality of Sex Offender Registration Laws, 63 HASTINGS LAW JOURNAL 1071 (May 2012) (with A. Beverlin)
Legislative Epidemics: A Cautionary Tale of Criminal Laws That Sweep the Country, 58 BUFFALO LAW REVIEW 1 (2010)
The Constitutionality of Strict Liability in Sex Offender Registration Laws, 86 BOSTON UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 295 (2006)
Recent Curricular Trends: What Bar Examiners May Want to Know, BAR EXAMINER 4 (November 2006)
On Statutory Rape, Strict Liability, and the Public Welfare Offense Model, 53 AMERICAN UNIVERSITY LAW REVIEW 313 (2003)
Of the Enemy Within, The Castle Doctrine, and Self-Defense, 86 MARQUETTE LAW REVIEW 653 (Spring 2003)
The All-or Nothing Doctrine in Criminal Cases: Independent Trial Strategy or Gamesmanship Gone Awry?, 26 AMERICAN JOURNAL OF CRIMINAL LAW 257 (1999)
Should the Court Aid and Abet the Unintending Accomplice? The Status of Complicity in California, 24 SANTA CLARA LAW REVIEW 343 (1984)
AUDIO SERIES "Future Interests," Audiotape in THE GILBERT SERIES (2002)
Chair, Accreditation Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 2008-2010 (member since 2004)
Chair, Curriculum Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 2010-2012; 2002-2004 (member from 2000-2004)
Member, Standards Review Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 2010-2011
Member, Foreign Programs Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 2010-2011
Member, National Council, Valparaiso University School of Law, 2010-2011
Member, Nominating Committee, Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 2003-2005
Named to Who's Who in America of Outstanding Teachers, 2002
Chair, Committee on Law School Administration, Section on Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar, American Bar Association, 1996-1999 (member from 1995-1999)