Profile with Carolyn Frantz

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Carolyn Frantz (Louisiana & Pembroke 1994) is a partner at Bartlit Beck Herman Palenchar & Scott LLP in Denver, Colorado. She holds a JD from the University of Michigan Law School, a BA and an MSt in Jurisprudence from the University of Oxford, and a BA in Philosophy from Wake Forest University.

Rhodes Project: Where do you call home?

Carolyn Frantz: Denver, Colorado.

Rhodes Project: What’s a piece of technology could you not live without?

Carolyn Frantz: It has to be my smartphone. 

Rhodes Project: Do you have a favorite TV show?

Carolyn Frantz: We don’t have a television. It’s not a principled objection; in fact, we watch movies and documentaries and things like that on the computer, so it’s not like we never have any screen time or passive entertainment . TVs have a tendency to suck you in and you end up watching things that you aren’t really interested in watching, and I never liked that feeling. In fact, when I travel for business, hotel rooms have TVs and it’s really hard for me not to watch them. So I’m glad I don’t have that temptation at home.

Rhodes Project: When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?

Carolyn Frantz: An orthopedic surgeon. I had orthopedic surgery when I was little. So it was one of the few adult occupations that I knew anything about, and I kind of latched onto it--just like my kids now all want to be lawyers because I’m a lawyer, but they don’t know anything about what else they might do.

Rhodes Project: What was your first job?

Carolyn Frantz: I worked at Wendy’s in high school. (That’s a fast food restaurant, for the benefit of the British.)  It was not a fun job.  I remember my Dad telling me that it was good for me to do that job so that I understood how other people have to live.  I really resented him for saying that at the time, but now I completely agree.

Rhodes Project: What’s the best part of your job now?

Carolyn Frantz: I’m constantly doing things that are intellectually difficult and I’m doing them with people who are smarter than I am, so I’m always learning and thinking.

Rhodes Project: What piece of advice would you give to a young woman pursuing a career in law?

Carolyn Frantz: Not to assume that you know what you’re going to want your life to look like before you’ve tried it. I think a lot of young women make career choices based on an assumption of how much work they’re going to be willing or able to do if they have children. Not all women have children, of course, so this advice doesn’t apply to all young women. The reality of working with small children is very different from how it’s represented in the media. And I think it’s better to try it and find out for yourself what it’s like for you before you make big choices.

Rhodes Project: What do you do for fun?

Carolyn Frantz: Any time I’m not working, I spend with my husband and children. We’re out here in Colorado so of course we ski, hike, and go camping all of the time.

Rhodes Project: What brings you the most joy in life?

Carolyn Frantz: Certainly my family, no question about it.

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