Wayne State University
Kirsten Matoy Carlson
Kirsten Matoy Carlson
Assistant Professor of Law
Room 3243
(313) 577-1201
Research website

Education

Ph.D., University of Michigan
J.D., University of Michigan Law School
M.A., Victoria University in New Zealand
B.A., The Johns Hopkins University

Biography

Kirsten Matoy Carlson is an assistant professor at Wayne State University Law School. Her research focuses on legal advocacy and law reform, with particular attention on the various strategies used by Indian nations and indigenous groups to reform federal Indian law and policy effectively. Professor Carlson's research integrates traditional legal analysis with social science methodologies for studying legal and political advocacy.

From May 2014 through July 2016, she has a National Science Foundation Law and Social Science Program grant to fund her research project, "Legal Mobilization, Rights Claims, and Federal Indian Policy Reform." Professor Carlson previously received a National Science Foundation dissertation research grant to study the constitutional entrenchment of Aboriginal and treaty rights in Canada. As a Fulbright Scholar, she researched attitudes toward the Waitangi Tribunal and the treaty claims settlement process in New Zealand. Her articles have been published in the Michigan Law Review, Georgia State Law Review, American Indian Law Review and Michigan State Law Review.

At Wayne Law, Professor Carlson teaches federal Indian law, legislation, legal change and civil procedure. She is faculty advisor to the Native American Law Students Society and serves on the State Bar of Michigan Standing Committee on American Indian Law.

Professor Carlson brings a range of professional and academic experience to her teaching and research. Prior to joining Wayne Law, she advocated nationally and internationally to protect the rights of Indian nations as a staff attorney at the Indian Law Resource Center. She led the center's advocacy efforts to restore criminal jurisdiction to Indian nations to end violence against women in Indian Country. Professor Carlson also has been a visiting research scholar at the University of Ottawa and a visiting associate professor at the University of Minnesota Law School. She clerked for the Hon. Diana E. Murphy of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit.

Professor Carlson earned her law degree cum laude and a doctorate in political science from the University of Michigan, a master of arts degree with distinction in Maaori studies from the University of Wellington, New Zealand, and a bachelor of arts degree in international studies from The Johns Hopkins University.

Courses Taught

American Indian Law
Civil Procedure
 

Selected Publications

"Natural Allies: Conservationists, Indian Tribes, and Protecting Native North America," in Sarah Krakoff and Ezra Rosser, Eds., Tribes, Land, and the Environment (forthcoming 2012) (with Robert T. Coulter).

"Is Hindsight 20-20? Reconsidering the Importance of Pre-Constitutional Documents," 30 Am. Indian. L. Rev. 1 (2005-2006).

"Does Constitutional Change Matter? Canada's Recognition of Aboriginal Title," 22 Ariz. J. Int'l Comp. L. 449 (2005) (distributed to over 1,000 practitioners and scholars at the 2010 Federal Bar Association Indian Law Conference).

"Note, Towards Tribal Sovereignty and Judicial Efficiency: Ordering the Defenses of Tribal Sovereign Immunity and Exhaustion of Tribal Remedies," 101 Mich. L. Rev. 569 (2002) (Second Place, National NALSA Annual Writing Competition).

Book Reviews, Symposium Pieces and Other Shorter Works

Book review, American Indian Constitutional Reform and the Rebuilding of Native Nations (Edited by Eric D. Lemont), 27(1) Journal of American Ethnic History 89 (Fall 2007).

Commentary: "In Pursuit of Tribal Economic Development as a Substitute for Reservation Tax Revenue," 80 N.D. L. Rev. 809 (2004) (symposium).

Contributing author, amicus brief in support of the University of Michigan in Grutter v. Bollinger on behalf of the Black Law Students’ Alliance, Latino Law Students Association, Native American Law Students Association, and Asian Pacific American Students Association, submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court, Feb. 18, 2003, 10 Mich. J. Gender & Law 1 (2003).

Notice, "Premature Predictions of Multiculturalism?," 100 Mich. L. Rev. 1470 (2002).

"Placing the Waitangi Tribunal: Attitudes Towards the Claims Settlement Process in New Zealand." In Critic & Conscience: Conference Proceedings of the 5th National Postgraduate Conference (1998).
 

Accomplishments

February 28, 2014
Kirsten Matoy Carlson has been awarded a $250,000 grant for the university from the National Science Foundation. Carlson will use the grant to conduct a two-year research project - "Legal Mobilization, Rights Claims, and Federal Indian Policy Reforms" - that aims to develop a better understanding of how, when and with what success American Indian nations use the political process to change the law.

 


May 3, 2013
Kirsten Matoy Carlson is attending the Connect Fulbright Canada Colloquium at the University of California Berkeley on "Issues in Canadian Studies: Views from America" May 8 and 9, and the Early Career Workshop at the Law and Society annual meeting in Boston May 28-June 1.


August 18, 2011
Kirsten Matoy Carlson'sbrief that was submitted on behalf of the Indian Law Resource Center and Sacred Circle National Network to End Violence Against Indian Women in Lenahan (Gonzales) v. United States (Report No. 80/11) was cited by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. The decision condemned the United States for its failure to protect women and children from domestic violence.

In The News

March 17, 2014
Kirsten Matoy Carlson is the focus of a feature story in the Legal News titled "Law prof receives grant to study Indian policy reforms."

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March 5, 2014
Kirsten Matoy Carlson is the subject of a Legal News article titled "Wayne Law professor awarded $250,000 National Science Foundation grant."

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February 26, 2014
Kirsten Matoy Carlson was the subject of a report in the Legal News titled "Wayne Law prof awarded $250K research grant."

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