Carolyn Williams

Associate Professor of Legal Writing & Assistant Clinical Professor of Law

Professor Williams has dedicated her academic career to teaching students how to be good lawyers. She teaches Legal Research, Analysis, and Communication and Intensive Legal Research and Writing at Arizona Law. She is also a sought after consultant who frequently teaches those in the larger legal community, including lawyers in the Air Force, court staff, law review editors, and attorneys in private law firms.

Professor Williams publishes articles and regularly presents at national and regional conferences on critical reading, pedagogy and andragogy, and other legal writing topics. She focuses her scholarship on critical reading, analogical reasoning, and global lawyering. Additionally, she holds positions in each of the national legal writing organizations, including the Legal Writing Institute, the Association of Legal Writing Directors, and the Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Section of A.A.L.S. ALWD recently recognized Professor Williams with the Outstanding Service Award for her work as Chair for the ALWD Guide Task Force. Professor Williams was chosen as an inaugural participant in ALWD’s Leadership Academy, as a recent LWI Writer’s Workshop Scholar, and as the recipient of the prestigious LWI-ALWD-LexisNexis Legal Writing Scholarship Grant.

Before joining academia, she spent eight years in big firm practice in Phoenix where she litigated a range of complex commercial and land use matters, including cases involving condemnation, data breach class actions, complex judgment collections, and shareholder disputes at the state and federal levels. While in practice, she also handled client counseling, discovery, briefing, appeals from government entity decisions, appeals from judgments, temporary restraining orders, preliminary injunctions, and oral arguments resulting in judgments in favor of her clients, including several published decisions. Super Lawyers named her a Rising Star in 2016, an honor bestowed on no more than 2.5 percent of the lawyers in Arizona. Professor Williams received her J.D. from Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law and graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University.

Curriculum Vitae

Representative Publications

  • #CriticalReading #WickedProblem, ___ Southern Illinois Law Review ___ (forthcoming 2019).
  • When Your Legal Writing Professor Isn’t Monogamous:  How Your Law School Can Survive and Thrive in a Relationship with an Adjunct, 30 The Second Draft, Spring 2017, at 37.
  • Complete List of Publications


  • J.D. Sandra Day O’Connor College of Law
    Graduated cum laude; Editor-in-Chief, Arizona State Law Journal
  • B.A. Arizona State University
    Graduated summa cum laude

Admitted to Practice

  • Arizona

Work Experience

  • Associate Professor of Legal Writing & Assistant Clinical Professor of Law
    James E. Rogers College of Law
    2017 - present
  • Visiting Clinical Professor of Law
    Sandra Day O'Connor College of Law
    2015 - 2017
  • Litigation Associate
    Greenberg Traurig, L.L.P., Phoenix, Arizona
    2014 - 2016
  • Litigation Associate
    Gammage & Burnham, PLC, Phoenix, Arizona
    2008 - 2014