Martha C. Franks

Martha Franks is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico (1978), the University of New Mexico School of Law (J.D., magna cum laude, 1982), and the Virginia Theological Seminary (M.T.S., magna cum laude, 1997).

After a clerkship with the Tenth Circuit, from 1983 to 1985, she worked for the firm of Fried, Frank, Harris, Shriver and Kampelman in Washington, D.C., practicing in the area of complex securities law litigation. In 1985, she returned to New Mexico as Special Assistant Attorney General with the Office of the State Engineer.

In 1996, Ms. Franks returned to Washington D.C. as Solicitor for the Department of the Interior, representing the Bureau of Reclamation and the Bureau of Land Management. She joined Mr. Abramowitz in 2002 to form the firm of Abramowitz & Franks.


Ms. Franks has appeared before the United States Supreme Court twice representing states on matters involving interstate water disputes. She has a broad, unsurpassed knowledge of federal reclamation law and western water law administration and policy, as well as environmental law compliance and disputes, the Endangered Species Act, and the National Environmental Policy Act.

Ms. Franks has served as lead counsel in numerous state water rights adjudications, emphasizing those involving the adjudication of Pueblo and Native-American claims to water, and she is a recognized authority on Indian and Native-American claims to water. She has extensive experience in structuring complex litigation.

Ms. Franks has served as lobbyist in water matters on behalf of various state and governmental agencies, and has testified in numerous forums regarding water and water-related natural resource matters. She practices primarily in the areas of water policy, administration and regulation, interstate water disputes, general water and natural resource law, and Indian law. Ms. Franks is licensed in all state and federal courts in New Mexico as well as in the Tenth Circuit and the United States Supreme Court.

Appointments & Academic Involvements

  • Part-time Faculty, St. John’s College, Santa Fe, (2000 to present), teaching philosophy and theology.


Ms. Franks is married to Grant Franks, a professor at St. John’s College, and lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico. She is an avid bicyclist, scholar and artist who is fluent in French, and in her spare time she teaches philosophy and theology at St. John’s College.

AF&OMartha C. Franks