Deborah Cantrell

Professor of Law and Director of Clinical Programs

University of Colorado Law School
105L Wolf Law Building
404 UCB
Boulder, CO  80309-0401
Office: 105L
Phone: (303) 492-5289

Curriculum Vitae:  View (PDF format)

Educational Background:
J.D.   University of Southern California   1989   (Order of Coif)
M.A.   University of California, Los Angeles   1986  
B.A.   Smith College   1982  

Deborah J. Cantrell focuses on issues related to lawyers and social change, including investigating the ways in which lawyers rely on value systems to create and understand their roles and to develop practical wisdom.  She has written particularly about lawyers and religious value systems, and is one of only a few scholars to examine Buddhist normative principles and practices.  Professor Cantrell teaches legal ethics, legislation and regulation, and supervises the family law clinic.  Before joining Colorado Law, Professor Cantrell taught a legal ethics clinic at Yale Law School, ran a regional anti-poverty law program in California, and supervised a statewide direct legal aid program for the rural elderly in New Mexico.  She also spent time in private practice as a litigator and trial attorney.  Professor Cantrell clerked for the Honorable Ferdinand F. Fernandez on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit.  Professor Cantrell received her JD from the University of Southern California (Order of the Coif) and holds a master degree in developmental psychology from the University of California Los Angeles.

Works In Progress

Love, Anger, and Social Movements (forthcoming 2018).


Celebrating Mundane Conflict, 18 Pepp. Disp. Resol. L.J. 139 (2018).
Practicing Practical Wisdom, ___ MERCER L. REV. ___ (2016).
Are Clinics a Magic Bullet?, 51 ALBERTA L. REV. 831-47 (2014).
With Lovingkindness and Compassion: One Buddhist Woman's Response to Feminist Domestic Violence Advocacy, in FEMINISM, LAW, AND RELIGION (Ashgate Publishing, 2013), pp. 219-36.
Re-Problematizing Anger in Domestic Violence Advocacy, 21 AM. U. J. GENDER SOC. POL'Y & L. 837-63 (2013).
Lawyers, Loyalty and Social Change, 89 DENVER UNIV. L. REV 941-75 (2012).
The Role of Equipoise in Family Law, 14 J. OF LAW & FAMILY STUDIES 63-96 (2012).
Can Compassionate Practice Also Be Good Legal Practice?: Answers From the Lives of Buddhist Lawyers, 12 RUTGERS J. LAW & RELIGION 1-75 (2011).
What's Love Got to Do With It?: Contemporary Lessons on Lawyerly Advocacy From the Preacher Martin Luther King, Jr., 22 ST. THOMAS L. REV. 296-340 (2010).
Common Ground: The Case for Collaboration Between Anti-Poverty Advocates and Public Interest Intellectual Property Advocates, 15 VA. J. SOC. POL'Y & L. 415-45 (2008).
Cantrell (with Elizabeth Levy Paluck, Heather Lord & April Smith), Walking the Path of the Law: How Law Graduates Navigate Career Choices and Tolerate Jobs That Fail to Meet Expectations, 14 Cardozo J.L. & Gender 267 (2008).
Sensational Reports: The Ethical Duty of Cause Lawyers to be Competent in Public Advocacy, 30 HAMLINE L. REV. 567-85 (2007).
The Obligation of Legal Aid Lawyers to Champion Practice by Nonlawyers, 73 FORDHAM L. REV. 883-902 (2004).
Teaching Practical Wisdom, 55 S.C.L. REV. 391-409 (2003).
A Short History of Poverty Lawyers in the United States, 5 LOY. J. OF PUBLIC INTEREST LAW 11-36 (2003).
Justice for the Interests of the Poor: The Problem of Navigating the System Without Counsel, 70 FORDHAM L. REV. 1573-90 (2002).
Self-Presentation When Sharing with Friends and Nonfriends (with primary authors D. Buhrmester & J. Goldfarb), 12 J. OF EARLY ADOLESCENCE 61 (1992).


Fall 2018 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-801
Fall 2018 Sustainable Comm Dev Clinic LAWS 6209-801
Spring 2018 Sustainable Comm Dev Clinic LAWS 6209-801
Fall 2017 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-801
Fall 2017 Sustainable Comm Dev Clinic LAWS 6209-801
Spring 2017 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001
Spring 2017 Sustainable Comm Dev Clinic LAWS 6209-801
Fall 2016 Sustainable Comm Dev Clinic LAWS 6209-801
Fall 2015 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-804
Fall 2014 Legislation and Regulation LAWS 5205-801
Fall 2014 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001
Spring 2014 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-003
Fall 2013 Advanced Clinical Practicum LAWS 7019-801
Spring 2013 Legal Ethics and Professionalism LAWS 6103-001