Prior to joining the faculty of the CU Law School, Charles Wilkinson practiced law with private firms in Phoenix and San Francisco and then with the Native American Rights Fund. In 1975, he became a Law Professor, teaching at the law schools of the University of Oregon, Michigan, and Minnesota before moving to Colorado in 1987.
Professor Wilkinson has received teaching awards from his students at all three law schools where he has taught, and the Universities of Colorado and Oregon have given him their highest awards for leadership, scholarship, and teaching. He has also won acclamation from non-academic organizations. The National Wildlife Federation presented him with its National Conservation Award, and in its 10-year anniversary issue, Outside Magazine named him one of 15 “People to Watch,” calling him “the West’s leading authority on natural resources law.” He has served on several boards, including The Wilderness Society, Northern Lights Institute, and the Center of the American West at the University of Colorado.