After graduating from law school, where she was managing editor for the Law Review and president of the Public Interest Law Foundation, Professor Federle was a public defender in the state of Washington.
She then received a prestigious E. Barrett Prettyman Fellowship from Georgetown University Law Center in 1984, where she supervised third-year law students in the Juvenile Justice Clinic and represented children and adults in both the Washington, D.C. court system and the federal courts.
Professor Federle began teaching in 1986 at the University of Hawaii School of Law, where she held a dual appointment as a researcher at the Center for Youth Research. She subsequently joined the faculty at Tulane Law School in 1990, where she taught Criminal Law, Criminal Procedure, and Juvenile Law. Professor Federle was selected by the 1996 graduating class to receive the Felix Frankfurter Distinguished Teaching Award.
Professor Federle has been especially active in the field of juvenile law. She is admitted to practice in Ohio, Washington, Hawaii, and the District of Columbia, and draws on her extensive experience as a lawyer for children in her teaching and writing. Professor Federle has given Congressional briefings on law-related education and child witnesses, has spoken and presented papers at conferences across the country and around the world on issues pertaining to children’s rights and criminal law, and has written numerous articles on the rights of children.
She serves on the Editorial Advisory Board of the International Journal of Children’s Rights, the American Bar Association Litigation Section Children’s Rights Working Group, the Ohio State Bar Association Juvenile Justice Committee, and the Franklin County Juvenile Justice Community Planning Initiative.
Professor Federle is a past chair of the American Bar Association Family Law Section’s Committee on Juvenile Law and the Needs of Children. While serving as chair, Professor Federle helped draft the ABA’s Standards for the Representation of Children in Abuse and Neglect Cases. She also serves as the faculty advisor to a law student organization, Advocates for Children.
Professor Federle teaches Criminal Law, Family Law, Children and the Law, Adoption Law, and Advanced Issues in the Law of Foster Care at The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law. She is the director of the Center for Interdisciplinary Law and Policy Studies.