Carpenter, Benjamin

Benjamin Carpenter

Associate Professor

(651) 962-4869
(800) 328-6819, Ext. 2-4869

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.

Courses Taught

Number Title Credits
620 Lawyering Skills I 3
625 Lawyering Skills II 2
797 Topics 0
950 Supervised Resrch & Writing .5

Areas of Academic Expertise:

Legal Writing
Trusts and Estates
Tax Planning



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).

View Publication

Short Pieces

Benjamin C. Carpenter, Sex Post Facto: How Posthumous Conception is Changing Trust and Estate Law, 5 St. Thomas Lawyer (2012).