Franny Forsman was appointed the Federal Public Defender for the District of Nevada in 1989. Prior to her graduation from Notre Dame Law School in 1977, she had been a social worker, community organizer and drug treatment therapist. During her legal career, she has been a county public defender, a supervising staff attorney for the Nevada Supreme Court and a partner in a large law firm. She has been an adjunct professor at the Boyd School of Law teaching Trial Advocacy for the last ten years. She served as the President for the State Bar of Nevada in 1995. She is a Fellow of the American Academy of Appellate Lawyers. She was the recipient of the Justice Lewis Powell Medal for Excellence in Advocacy in 1977 and the Kendra Alexander Award from the National Alliance Against Racist and Political Repression in 1995, and was named the 1993 Nevada Civil Libertarian of the Year and the 1993 Nevada Attorneys for Criminal Justice Defender of the Year. She received the Presidentís Medal in 2002 and the Distinguished Nevadan Award in 2005 from the University of Nevada Las Vegas.