Carpenter & Zuckerman Welcomes Three Law Students for Its 2022 Summer Associates Program


We are excited to welcome three law students to the Carpenter & Zuckerman team for our 2022 Summer Associates Program! The 11-week program, which will run from May 26th through August 5th, gives the students the chance to learn from and work alongside some of the nation’s leading civil litigators.

The new summer associates are:

  • Carson Dudick of the University of San Diego School of Law

  • Elizabeth Markus of Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law

  • Melanie Topchyan of LMU Loyola Law School

Through the program, these law students will be trained in a learning module approach on various aspects of the litigation process, including preparing and responding to discovery, meeting and conferring with opposing counsel, drafting motions, and more. The students will then have the opportunity to apply what they learn on actual cases under the supervision of a licensed attorney.

“Our summer associates will be able to get right in the trenches with our award-winning litigation attorneys and see what it takes to achieve justice for the wrongfully injured,” said Carpenter & Zuckerman trial lawyer Lancer C. Behringer, who is heading the summer program. “This program gives law students invaluable hands-on experience that will help advance their careers as future plaintiff’s attorneys. We’re proud to help bring up the next wave of litigators!” 

Our summer associates, who are all entering into their third year of law school in the fall, say they’re excited and ready to learn.

Carson Dudick:

“I really love how focused Carpenter & Zuckerman is on litigation and how passionate they are about advocacy for their clients,” Carson said. “They’re great at what they do, and that really made me want to learn from the best.”

Carson originally wanted to pursue human rights law, but she has since switched her focus to personal injury and even spent a year and a half working at a personal injury law firm in San Diego.

“A lot of what I love about human rights is reflected in personal injury,” Carson said. “You can make an impact on not only individuals’ lives but also on the law by setting new standards and precedents.”

Carson said she’s specifically looking forward to the CZ Summer Associates Program’s learning module approach, as it will provide a more narrow focus on the many different steps of litigating a case.

Carson is Editor-in-Chief of the San Diego International Law Journal, a San Diego Ambassador for the National Jurist, and Vice President of the Health Law Society. She is also a recipient of the Faculty Honors Scholarship and the Student Leader Scholarship, and an academic success fellow for University of San Diego School of Law.

Elizabeth Markus:

Elizabeth said she felt like she immediately clicked with the Carpenter & Zuckerman team, and she can’t wait for the educational experience ahead.

“I’m interested in the field of personal injury law and learning more about it,” Elizabeth said. “I’m especially looking forward to the hands-on experience and client work.”

Elizabeth has served as a student attorney for a low-income taxpayer clinic in Los Angeles, as well as a student intern for a community justice clinic in Malibu. At Pepperdine University Caruso School of Law, she is a previous recipient of the Dean’s Merit Scholarship and a member of the Native Hawaiian Bar Association and the Asian-Pacific American Law Student Association.

Melanie Topchyan:

Melanie said she’s always had an interest in personal injury law, specifically in civil trial work. 

“Whether in a classroom or with friends and family, I have always been 'the talker' in conversations,” Melanie said. “I love debating and conversing, and combined with my outgoing and outspoken personality, I’ve always imagined myself in a courtroom. Because of this, combined with my desire to help people in need, law and particularly civil litigation has always been a passion of mine."

“Carpenter & Zuckerman is undoubtedly a big and reputable name in the industry,” Melanie continued. “I’ve heard nothing but positive remarks about the firm, so I’m excited to train with their attorneys!"

At LMU Loyola Law School, Melanie volunteers as a clinical student for Loyola’s Project for the Innocent, a wrongful conviction clinic that serves Los Angeles County. She is also a 2L representative for the Criminal Law Society and the Cultural Events Chair for the Armenian Law Students’ Association.

Carpenter & Zuckerman Is a Leading Litigation Firm in California

Carpenter & Zuckerman is a leading civil litigation firm that fights for the fair compensation of injury victims and other plaintiffs throughout California and other parts of the U.S. Since the firm was established in 1995, we have obtained more than $2 billion in verdicts and settlements for our clients.

We are known for being passionate and skilled trial lawyers who aren’t afraid to take on large insurance companies and major corporations in order to obtain justice for clients. Carpenter & Zuckerman is well-known and well-respected within the legal community, which is why law firms throughout the state and beyond regularly refer cases to our team.

To find out how you can partner with our firm, email Or if you are an injury victim in need of legal representation, contact us today for a FREE, no-obligation consultation.

The information contained on this page is for informational purposes only and is not to be considered a substitute for advice from a qualified attorney. If you require legal assistance, we highly recommend you speak to a qualified attorney. By reading this post, you agree this information is for informational use only and agree to hold Carpenter & Zuckerman harmless for any losses or damages as a result of this information. For more information, view our full disclaimer. 

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