USC Gould Search

Carol Alexis Chen
USC Gould School of Law

Carol Alexis Chen

Lecturer in Law

699 Exposition Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90089-0074 USA

Last Updated: January 11, 2023

Carol Alexis Chen is a litigation partner in the Los Angeles office of Winston & Strawn LLP and a former career federal prosecutor. She represents public and private companies and institutions, not-for-profit organizations, and corporate officers and other individuals in all aspects of high-stakes complex civil and white collar criminal litigation. She conducts sensitive internal investigations and counsels her clients on the development, implementation, and enhancement of compliance and remediation programs, and responds to inquiries from federal and state governmental and regulatory agencies. While Chen has particular expertise with respect to anti-money laundering and financial crimes laws and regulations, the False Claims Act and related qui tam provisions, and matters involving business torts, fraud, and RICO, her practice cuts across different sectors including financial services and banking; technology, new media, and telecommunications; health care and life sciences; and complex commercial litigation.

Prior to joining Winston & Strawn in 2021, Chen served as an assistant United States attorney with the United States Attorney’s Office in Los Angeles, California (the USAO CDCA) for over 15 years in various supervisory roles including in the training section for rookie prosecutors and most recently as the first female Chief in office history of the International Narcotics, Money Laundering, and Racketeering (formerly known as the Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Force) Section which prosecuted complex investigations against international drug cartels and money laundering organizations; racketeering enterprises such as the Mexican Mafia; transnational organized criminal enterprises which utilize the dark net, cryptocurrency, and encrypted communications; and companies and individuals which manufacture and distribute opioids. She also created and chaired various high-profile initiatives, task forces, and working groups and led community and law enforcement outreach efforts on behalf of the Department.

As the rare former federal prosecutor who served in both the civil and criminal divisions of the USAO CDCA, Chen has extensive civil and criminal casework and first-chair trial experience. She defended the United States and its employees in significant torts, civil rights, employment discrimination, and immigration cases, directed federal and local law enforcement in hundreds of complex, large-scale federal criminal grand jury and wiretap investigations and evaluated thousands more for federal prosecution, and trained law enforcement officials and prosecutors including on courtroom and trial advocacy. She has been recognized for her work in both the public and private sectors, including as the recipient of the Los Angeles County Bar Association’s Criminal Justice Section’s 2019 Prosecutor of the Year Award and the Los Angeles Times B2B Publishing’s 2021 Banking and Finance Visionary Award.

Prior to joining the Department of Justice, Chen was a litigation associate at another global law firm, specializing in complex commercial, employment, and securities litigation and counseling. She earned a BA in political science, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Los Angeles, and a JD from Yale Law School. Upon graduation, she clerked for the (late) Hon. Pamela Ann Rymer on the Ninth Circuit in Pasadena, California, and for the (ret.) Hon. Lourdes G. Baird, then a district judge for the Central District of California.


The New York Times
January 28, 2023
Re: Jody David Armour

Professor Jody Armour was interviewed by the New York Times about the recent policy brutality incident that led to the death of Tyre Nichols. “It’s not just a Black and white issue, but a Black and blue one. And when you put on that blue uniform, it often becomes the primary identity that drowns out any other identities that might compete with it," Armour said.


Robin Craig
December, 2022

"Climate Adaptation in the United States." Frontiers in Marine Science 9 (2022) December. Special Topic: Ocean Governance and Climate Adaptation: Comparing Responses, Charting Future Courses.

Scott Altman
December, 2022

"Why Parents' Interests Matter." Ethics 133 (forthcoming 2023): 271.

Jonathan Barnett
December, 2022

"The China Innovation Challenge." Center for Strategic & International Studies interview, Washington, D.C.