Former TULAP Lawyer Fred King dies

After a 10-year battle with prostate cancer, on-call Tulane University attorney Frederick “Freddie” Jenks King Jr. died on Thursday, May 4.

Known to most students as the man to call when in need of legal representation, King spent more than 40 years aiding Tulane students and establishing deep ties in the Tulane community.

King began his tenure as lead attorney for Tulane University’s Legal Assistance Program in 1973 and spent his career providing legal assistance to Tulane students. From Mardi Gras offenses to helping students write a formal complaint to a landlord, TULAP has assisted countless students under King’s guidance.

“In this capacity, Fred rendered invaluable service and became a friend and ally to innumerable students and other members of the university community,” an obituary printed in the New Orleans Advocate read.

Born in 1945 in St. Francisville, Louisiana, King moved to New Orleans to attend Jesuit High School and then went on to Washington, D.C., to earn his undergraduate degree at Georgetown University. He moved back to New Orleans following graduation in 1966 and earned his law degree from Tulane University Law School in 1970 before becoming a lawyer for Tulane students.

While attending Tulane, King became one of the founders of the Tulane Rugby Club and served as a player-coach of the club soccer team for 20 years. He also coached the New Orleans Rowing Club and assisted with the Tulane Rowing team.

King was hired by Tulane a few months after the inception of TULAP and quickly developed a reputation for quick and effective legal representation among students.

“‘Never go out drinking without Fred King’s phone number,’ Resident Advisors warn,” Jennifer LaCorte, the assistant director of the civil law clinic and a second-year law student, said in a 2003 Hullabaloo article. “And for many, this advice is essential. I think Fred King is common knowledge among the undergrads. People have his cell phone number, his home number, his pager number. He’s constantly accessible.”

“He handles cases 24 hours a day,” Jana Wall, the former assistant director of the criminal law clinic, said in the same Hullabaloo article. “He gets calls every night in the middle of the night and he is wonderful about it. He will handle anything. We love people to call in advance, but obviously if it’s an emergency [it can’t be helped].”

In a Hullabaloo article celebrating the 30th anniversary of TULAP, King said despite the countless hours of lost sleep, he loved serving the community.

“I don’t think I’ve slept in 30 years,” King said. “Fortunately, I have developed the ability to spring from total sleep into some semi-competence. I suppose it was by popular demand that I went into the practice. And I love it.”

Michael Strecker, Tulane University executive director of public relations, said King’s legacy of professionalism and legal aid is not one that will easily be forgotten.

“For decades attorney Fred King defended students, staff and faculty through the Tulane University Legal Assistance Program with professionalism, dedication and good humor,” Strecker said. “He will be sadly missed by his colleagues and the many Tulanians who were his clients throughout the years.

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