Associate Professor of Law
University of California, Los Angeles
- B.A., summa cum laude, Sociology with Honors, 1997; M.S.W., 2002; J.D., 2002
Phi Beta Kappa;
Member, California State Bar
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 criminal law, criminal procedure, and the intersections between criminal and immigration law. 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. Her 2019 book Deported Americans: Life After Deportation to Mexico received many accolades and was selected as a finalist for the 2021 PEN/Galbraith Literary Award for Nonfiction. Professor Caldwell’s most recent law review was published in the UC Irvine Law Review; it argues that adolescent development principles should be incorporated into the legal analysis of key standards in California’s recently revised felony murder law.
"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."
Professor Caldwell has been awarded prestigious fellowships to support her research. 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. As a Fulbright Garcia-Robles Scholar, she conducted research in Mexico on the country's developing juvenile justice system from 2009 to 2010. She has also been awarded Ford Foundation Fellowship for the study of Urban Poverty & Public Policy and a Rotary Ambassadorial Scholarship funding a year of study in Guadalajara, Mexico.
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, providing high-quality legal representation to indigent people accused of crimes.