1000 LaSalle Ave.
Minneapolis, MN, 55403
Office Location: MSL 314
J.D., Mercer University School of Law
B. S., University of Notre Dame
Carpenter received his undergraduate degree from Notre Dame and his J.D. from the Walter F. George School of Law at Mercer University. During law school he was a member of the Law Review, Brainerd Currie Honor Society and was the class salutatorian. After graduation, he began his legal experience in Atlanta, Georgia, working for King & Spalding as a member of the International Construction and Procurement group.
In 2004, Carpenter and his family moved to Minneapolis where he joined Dorsey & Whitney in Minneapolis and practiced in their Trusts & Estates practice group. During this time he focused on tax planning for wealthy family groups, retirement benefits, and trust litigation and was recognized for his work by being named a “Rising Star” by Minnesota Law & Politics in 2009.
Carpenter joined St. Thomas’s faculty in 2010, and in just his second year was awarded the Dean’s Award for Outstanding Teaching. He teaches both first-year Lawyering Skills classes and upper-level estate planning courses. He was drawn to the Lawyering Skills program because his experiences at two large firms ingrained in him the importance of legal writing, regardless of one's practice area. He noted, “The ability to write effective, technically accurate, persuasive legal documents right out of law school is essential to a young lawyer’s opportunities and success, whether a litigator or a tax lawyer. Employers no longer consider that to be a bonus, but an absolute requirement. In addition, legal writing provides the unique opportunity to work one-on-one with students early in their professional development.”
When asked about his decision to teach at St. Thomas, he stated, “I sensed a common mission and genuine interest in the student as a person, not just lawyer, that I hadn’t sensed at other schools. The opportunity to join that mission and the challenge of contributing to St. Thomas’ future excites me.” When not teaching, Carpenter serves on the Parish Counsel at Christ the King Church in Minneapolis and coaches his kids’ soccer, T-ball, and basketball teams.
|620||Lawyering Skills I||3|
|Description of course 620 :||This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of legal problem solving through legal analysis, legal research and legal writing methods. Students will learn methods of legal analysis, including fact analysis and rule-based reasoning, using common law and statutory sources. Students will learn legal research in primary and secondary sources, in both traditional and electronic formats, emphasizing efficient research strategies. Finally, students will learn to structure, write and edit a formal memorandum of law. Instruction in lawyering skills will be integrated to focus on the problem-solving process and to help students begin to develop independent professional judgment.|
|625||Lawyering Skills II||2|
|Description of course 625 :||This course will refine students' legal problem-solving skills using legal analysis, legal research, and legal writing strategies and will introduce students to additional lawyering skills. Students will advance from objective to persuasive legal writing projects set in an advocacy context and will draft typical litigation documents, such as plead- ings, pre-trial motions, and trial briefs. Students will consider various dynamics of the lawyer/client relationship, conduct a client interview, and prepare a client opinion letter. Finally, the course will explore alternative methods of dispute resolution.|
|Description of course 797 :|
|950||Supervised Resrch & Writing||.5|
|Description of course 950 :||Under the supervision of a faculty member, a student may receive up to two hours of course credit for researching and writing a substantial paper on a topic of the student's own choosing. The student must receive the instructor's per- mission to enroll in this course and must meet periodically with the instructor for discussion, review and evaluation. Each faculty member may supervise the research of no more than five students each semester.|
Trusts and Estates
Benjamin C. Carpenter, contributing author to Richard Arlen Saliterman, Advising Minnesota Corporations and Other Business Organizations (Juris Pub. 2d. ed. 2009).
Benjamin C. Carpenter, Sex Post Facto: Advising Clients Regarding Posthumous Conception, Am. C. Tr. & Est. Couns. J. (Forthcoming 2013).
Benjamin C. Carpenter, A Chip Off the Old Iceblock: How Cryopreservation Has Changed Estate Law, Why Attempts to Address the Issue Have Fallen Short, and How To Fix It, 21 Cornell J.L. & Pub. Pol'y 347 (2011).
Benjamin C. Carpenter, Sex Post Facto: How Posthumous Conception is Changing Trust and Estate Law, 5 St. Thomas Lawyer (2012).