Professor Leslie Culver's research interests lie at the nexus of critical race theory, anthropology, feminist communication, and social science with a central goal to empower marginalized law students and attorneys. Within the broader framework of critical race theory, her research intentionally brings the tenets of critical race and communication theories into the law school environment. She has presented and published widely in this area and is passionate about empowering all her students to be culturally competent attorneys in this racial era.
Her most recent article, "White Doors, Black Footsteps: Leveraging 'White Privilege' to Benefit Law Students of Color" in the University of Iowa School of Law's 21 Journal of Gender, Race & Justice (forthcoming 2017), calls for white privilege awareness among white law professors, intentional interethnic engagement, and then a leveraging of that privilege to open professional doors for diverse students. She is currently analyzing the application of an interdisciplinary communication theory to the law in order to create a richer lexicon for how those most marginalized in the legal profession may communicate and negotiate their identity in a predominantly white culture with the goal of empowerment.
Professor Culver also serves as the director of A.I.M. for Law, a diversity pipeline program to assist collegiate students from underrepresented communities in successfully navigating the law school admission process, as well as gaining exposure to the rigorous requirements of law school.
Prior to joining the faculty at California Western in 2009, Culver was an Assistant Professor at Saint Louis University School of Law, her alma mater, where she taught Legal Research & Writing and Missouri Civil Procedure. Prior to teaching, she was an associate attorney at Husch & Eppenberger (now Husch Blackwell Sanders), one of the top and largest litigation firms in St. Louis. There, her practice focused on representing clients in the areas of medical malpractice, real estate, product liability, and general business litigation. She also enjoyed a substantial pro bono practice. During and immediately following law school, Culver clerked for then-Chief Judge Mary K. Hoff and the late Hon. Lawrence G. Crahan of the Missouri Court of Appeals. During law school, she also served on the executive board of the Saint Louis University Law Journal.
Professor Culver currently serves as the faculty advisor to both the Black Law Student Association and the Christian Legal Society, and has served as a presenter and panel member at numerous academic conferences.