Mendelsohn grew up in Chicago. She attended the Latin School of Chicago. Also she went to Smith College, but later transferred and in 1973 graduated from Cornell University. She then went to the George Washington University Law School and practiced at the Washington, D.C., office of the prominent Los Angeles-based firm Wyman, Bautzer, Rothman, & Kuchel.
Realizing that she did not want to be a lawyer, she enrolled in an American Film Institute class. She moved to Los Angeles and started writing for the movie industry. Her early work included contributions to Hardcastle and McCormick, Stingray and Wiseguy. As producer for Cannell Studios, she worked on The Trials of Rosie O'Neill and Melrose Place.
In 2000, she joined the production of the pilot episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation and is now its show runner and Executive Producer . She is also a co-creator and executive producer of CSI: Miami and CSI: NY.
In The Shadow of The Law: Harry J. Lennix (Jim Gardner on "Commander in Chief") and Monet Mazur (Fiona on "Monster-in-Law") have both joined the cast of the CBS 2006 drama pilot, about a group of smart legal associates trying to make partner at a powerful Washington, D.C.-based law firm while dealing with a host of moral, ethical and legal challenges (think Americanized The Associates (on CTV)). Lennix, whose involvement is in second position to his duties on "Chief," will play Finn with Mazur set as Katja. Carol Mendelsohn is behind the CBS Paramount Network Television-based hour, which Danny Cannon is directing. Alan Tudyk, Jacob Pitts, Joshua Jackson and Kevin Pollak also star.
- "Cornell alumni make 'CSI' television's most-watched show", article on the Cornell University website
- Carol Mendelsohn - Awards on IMDb
- In the Company of Women, article on the Writers Guild of America website