Professor Ford is the Associate Director of the Externship Program and comes to the position with years of practice and deep experience in legal education. She practiced labor and employment law for fifteen years, first as a partner at Schwerin Campbell Barnard and then as Chief Counsel for the Washington State Nurses Association. Beginning in 2002, while still in practice, Professor Ford began as an adjunct professor at Seattle University School of Law teaching Dispute Resolution and Labor Law. In 2005, she joined the faculty fulltime as Visiting Legal Writing Professor. She continued as a Visiting Clinical Professor, establishing and teaching the law school's first Mediation Clinic. After leaving SU to serve as the Director of Labor Relations for King County, Professor Ford returned to continue directing the Mediation Clinic and to develop a pilot legal skills course that incorporated dispute resolution into the second-year legal writing curriculum. Professor Ford was invited to join the University of Washington School of Law in 2010 as Assistant Dean and, while in that role, expanded further her experiential teaching portfolio including courses in Labor Law, Legal Writing, Collective Bargaining and Negotiation.
Professor Ford serves frequently as a mediator and arbitrator primarily in labor and employment disputes. She is a member of the Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service and Public Employment Relations Commission's panel of arbitrators and sits regularly as arbitrator in labor and employment disputes.