Ellen Fred graduated with high honors and high distinction in Russian and Eastern European Studies from the University of Michigan in 1993. In 2003, Ms. Fred earned her law degree, summa cum laude, from the University of California, Hastings College of the Law, where she was elected to the Order of the Coif and the Thurston Society. Ms. Fred successfully completed Hastings’s Tax Concentration Program and received the 2003 Arthur Andersen Prize in Taxation. During her three years at Hastings, Ms. Fred had the opportunity to extern with the Honorable Marilyn Hall Patel, Chief Judge of the Northern District of California, as well as with the Honorable Carlos Moreno, Associate Justice of the California Supreme Court. Ms. Fred has published various articles on land conservation issues in the Hastings Law Journal and The Back Forty Journal of Land Conservation Law.


Ms. Fred is a member of the State Bar of California and is admitted to appear before the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit. She is also a member of the State Bar of Michigan, including the Real Property and Taxation Sections. Prior to establishing her solo practice, Ms. Fred was with the San Francisco law firm of Coblentz, Patch, Duffy & Bass, LLP, where she practiced for four years in its land conservation section. Prior to joining the Coblentz firm, Ms. Fred served as a judicial law clerk to the Honorable Melvin Brunetti of the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Reno, Nevada. For several years before attending law school Ms. Fred worked in the environmental movement in Northern California, including co-founding the Humboldt Watershed Council and acting as its Executive Director, serving on the board of directors of a local land trust, producing educational materials, and participating in environmental and property rights litigation.


Ellen lives on a small farm with her husband, Bob, and their young son, Jack, where they raise dairy goats and chickens and tend fruit trees, a vegetable garden, and a small vineyard, and on which her family and their land partners donated a conservation easement to the Leelanau Conservancy in early 2009.