Published: March 12, 2013

The University of Colorado Law School (Colorado Law) announced today that it has appointed Carla Fredericks as an associate clinical professor of law. Fredericks is an enrolled member of the Mandan, Hidatsa, and Arikara Nation of North Dakota, and will teach Colorado Law’s American Indian Law Clinic, furthering its mission to provide students with significant learning experiences in American Indian law, while serving tribal and urban Indian communities.   

Fredericks will also join Professor Kristen Carpenter as co-director of the American Indian Law Program (AILP), which serves as the umbrella organization for Colorado Law’s academic, practice-focused, and community outreach activities in American Indian law. The AILP faculty includes the renowned scholars and teachers of American Indian Law, Professors Richard Collins, Sarah Krakoff, and Charles Wilkinson. Dean Phil Weiser noted, “Carla Fredericks will join a dynamic team, with the opportunity to build on Colorado Law’s historic accomplishments in American Indian law, train our students to practice at the highest levels, and address indigenous peoples’ issues in Colorado, throughout the United States, and around the globe.”

Fredericks is currently of counsel to Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan LLP, where she focuses on complex and appellate litigation and Native American affairs, representing Indian tribes and organizations in a variety of litigation and policy matters. Fredericks also serves as lecturer-in-law at Columbia Law School in New York, where she teaches Legal Practice in Indian Law, focusing on development of research, writing and appellate advocacy skills as well as the National NALSA moot court competition. She also collaborates with Columbia Law School faculty and Columbia NALSA to further develop their Indian Law curriculum. Previously a partner at Milberg LLP in New York, Fredericks founded Milberg’s Native American practice and directed the firm’s human rights litigation.

At Colorado Law, Fredericks will lead a year-long class in which students have the opportunity to represent American Indian tribes, organizations, and individuals in a variety of matters. Professor Deborah Cantrell, who directs the clinical program at Colorado Law, said, “Carla brings wonderful depth and breadth of knowledge about, and experience with, Indian Country. I am very excited about the opportunities that she will develop for our students in the American Indian Law Clinic.” Professor Carpenter added, “I am particularly impressed by Carla’s expertise in American Indian entrepreneurship and indigenous human rights, practice areas that represent transformative opportunities in the field.”

Fredericks is a member of the board of trustees of the American Indian College Fund and is chair of the board of trustees for the Mashantucket (Western) Pequot Tribe Endowment Trust. She serves on the steering committee for the Indigenous Peoples’ Task Force of the Forum for Sustainable and Responsible Investment. She has also performed extensive pro bono and fundraising work in the social justice arena, including preparing amicus curiae briefs on behalf of Native American groups submitted to the United States Supreme Court. She is a member of the Federal Bar Association, the National Native American Bar Association, the National Congress of American Indians, and the Native American Finance Officers’ Association. 

Professor Fredericks will participate in the upcoming conference of the Colorado Law AILP, entitled People of the Shining Mountains: The Legal Past, Present, and Future of the Ute Tribes, April 4-5, 2013. The conference is free and open to the public, and attendees may register online.

The AILP at Colorado Law traces its origins to the 1970s when American Indian students asked the dean to offer a basic course in federal Indian Law, and Colorado Law professors were involved in the founding of the Native American Rights Fund in Boulder. As of 2013, hundreds of students have studied Indian law at Colorado Law, and the AILP now features five full-time faculty members; an active Native American Law Students Association; a well-developed curriculum of coursework culminating in a certificate; research, policy, and pro bono work for tribes; and partnerships with leading organizations in the field. 

For more information, visit the American Indian Law Program website