I recently had the opportunity to sit down with Catherine Carpenter, Vice Dean and Professor of Law at Southwestern Law School. One of the foremost authorities in the country on law school curricula and accreditation, she has served in several leadership posts within the Section of Legal Education and Admissions to the Bar of the American Bar Association (ABA), including her current seat on the Standards Review Committee. Her service in legal education leadership earned her recognition in 2013 and 2014 from National Jurist as among the “The Top 25 Influential People in Legal Education.” A graduate of UCLA (B.A., cum laude, English) and Southwestern (J.D., cum laude), she joined the Southwestern faculty in 1980 and teaches courses in criminal law.
Our wide-ranging conversation at her cozy office in the beautiful, Art Deco Bullocks Wilshire Building touched on everything from the shifting legal landscape to how to choose a law school. Today, in Part One of our interview, she talks about the importance of law school curriculum.