Criminal Law is messy. It's organic. Sometimes legislature gets it really right. But sometimes it gets it spectacularly wrong.
I'm Catherine Carpenter, a faculty member at Southwestern Law School. I teach Criminal Law to first year students. Ever since I was a child, I knew that I wanted to study the law. One of my heroes is Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the true trailblazers from the 50s and 60s, an exciting group of women.
I've taught a number of classes. For me, Criminal Law will always be my passion. In Criminal Law, students are exposed to a variety of substantive crimes-- murder, rape, theft, burglary, conspiracy-- not only the elements for conviction, but the evolution of those crimes, the policies underlying those crimes, and important defense arguments made to those crimes.
We also venture outside the four walls of the classroom-- modern cases in the news, cases going to trial, cases that are up on appeal. One of the most impactful experiences that I've had has been to teach while the OJ Simpson trial was going on just down the street from us. And we spent quite a bit of energy bringing that trial into our classroom experience. Teaching the law is the best of all worlds, to immerse yourself in it, to think about it 24/7, and then to pass on. And just as much as I teach my students, I learn from them.