Amy Cardwell graduated from the University of Wisconsin with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology. Ms. Cardwell then attended Tulane University, where she graduated with a Master of Social Work Degree. Ms. Cardwell received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Hawaii, William S. Richardson School of Law, graduating cum laude. While in law school, Ms. Cardwell was a member of the school's Law Review. She was awarded the Student Planning Award by the American Planning Association Hawaii Chapter for her published comment: "The Hawaii Recreational Use Statute: A Practical Guide to Landowner Liability.” She externed for the Honorable Francis Yamashita, Magistrate Judge, and the Honorable Susan Oki Mollway, District Judge, both of the United States District Court for the District of Hawaii.
Ms. Cardwell was admitted to the New Mexico Bar in 2000 and the Tennessee Bar in 2010, the year she joined the Federal Defender’s Office for the Western District of Tennessee as a research and writing specialist. Prior to that, she practiced civil law in New Mexico with the law firm of Allen, Shepherd, Lewis & Syra, P.A., where she was admitted to practice in the Federal District Court for the District of New Mexico and in the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. Her current areas of practice include criminal defense and appellate work.