Carmen earned her BA and MA at Washington University in St. Louis. She fell in love with indigent defense during her criminal law clinic at Georgetown University Law Center. A member of the Gideon's Promise class of 2012, after graduating from law school, Carmen worked in the Nashville Public Defender’s Office for a year before moving home to Denver, CO. Following two years as a paralegal in death penalty post-conviction matters, Carmen landed at a three-attorney firm committed to indigent clients. While at this firm, Carmen carried adult and juvenile conflict contracts with the Office of Alternate Defense Counsel and Office of Respondent Parents' Counsel. In May 2019, she returned to full time indigent defense as a Deputy Public Defender for the Colorado Springs Office of the Colorado Office of the State Public Defender. During her time at the COSPD, in addition to her caseload, Carmen was a faculty member for the state-wide mandatory public defender trial advocacy program. Before joining the Federal Death Penalty Resource Counsel, Carmen served as an Assistant Federal Defender with the Federal Defender Program, Inc. She is also Alumni Faculty with Gideon's Promise and has taught for other systems such as the Kentucky Office of Public Advocacy and the Wisconsin Office of the State Public Defender.