Gender and the Law Prof Blog

Editor: Tracy A. Thomas
University of Akron School of Law

Thursday, January 3, 2019

Programs on Women and Law at AALS Annual Meeting

Thursday, January 3


10:30-12:15 WILE ("Women in Legal Education" Section), co-Sponsoring with the Section on Agricultural and Food Law: Worker Justice in the Food System.

One in six jobs in the U.S. is in the food supply chain, from restaurants, to grocery stores, to food processing, and production. These jobs offer low wages, little job security, and few benefits. In addition, they often include dangerous working conditions. And yet, food system workers are under protected by minimum wage and hour laws, workplace safety laws, and others. This panel will focus on three key issues facing food chain laborers today: sexual harassment, immigration restrictions and enforcement, and occupational health hazards.

Speaker: Jennifer M. Chacon, University of California, Irvine School of Law 

Speaker: Joan Flocks, University of Florida Fredric G. Levin College of Law

Speaker: Tanya Kateri Hernandez, Fordham University School of Law 

Moderator: Margot Pollans, Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law


10:30-12:15pm Hot Topics: Narratives about Sexual Harassment & Sexual Violence: #MeToo, the Kavanaugh Allegations & Pending Changes to Title IX Enforcement  

Media coverage of the #MeToo movement and allegations that Justice Kavanaugh committed sexual assault fueled public discourse about sexual harassment and sexual violence throughout the past year. Two sets of competing narratives emerged about both the nature of sexual harassment and sexual violence and the appropriate institutional and public responses to disclosures and allegations. One set of narratives focused on survivors’ experiences of trauma, barriers to accessing resources, and inadequate responses following disclosures. The other set of narratives centered on individuals accused of committing sexual harassment or sexual violence, their identification as victims of false allegations, and claims of inadequate due process protections. In this presentation, scholars use the context of campus sexual misconduct and the proposed changes to Title IX guidance to address the wide range of narratives impacting sexual harassment and sexual violence law and policy.     

The Section on Civil Rights is co-sponsoring the session, and more information can be found at:


1:30 pm - 3:15 pm AALS Discussion Group The Future of Sexual Harassment

This discussion group brings together scholars working on various dimensions of sexual harassment law at work and on campus. To ground the discussion, participants are encouraged to read and respond to the “Open Statement on Sexual Harassment” by Vicki Schultz, recently published in the Stanford Law Review at The ensuing discussion will center on questions including: What is sexual harassment? What causes it? What makes a theory of harassment better or worse? Does harassment differ at work and on campus (and elsewhere), or by race, ethnicity, age, class, sexual orientation, gender non-conformity, or other factors? What can be done, in the law or elsewhere, to prevent and address harassment? How has activism and the law helped or hindered progress, whether historically and today? What are the dangers to be avoided in the future?

Discussion Group Participant: Rachel Arnow-Richman, University of Denver Sturm College of Law 

Discussion Group Participant: Jessica Clarke, Vanderbilt University Law School 
Discussion Group Participant: Ann C. McGinley, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Melissa E. Murray, New York University School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Angela I. Onwuachi-Willig, Boston University School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Darren Rosenblum, Pace University Elisabeth Haub School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Leticia Saucedo, University of California, Davis, School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Vicki Schultz, Yale Law School 
Discussion Group Moderator: Brian Soucek, University of California, Davis, School of


1:30 pm - 3:15 pm American Bar Foundation Program, Women Trailblazers in the Law Oral History Project

The Women Trailblazers Project (WTP) oral history collection is a rich new trove of research materials, now readily accessible to legal academicians, historians and other scholars. The WTP, a collaborative research project of the American Bar Association and the American Bar Foundation, has taken comprehensive, full-life oral histories of over a hundred leading women pioneers in the legal profession nationwide. These senior women lawyers, judges and law professors were chosen for their exceptional career achievements and their contributions to opening opportunities for other women. They entered a male-dominated profession, graduating from law schools in the years ranging from the 1940s to the 1970s, and often faced blatant sex discrimination and a variety of other challenges. The Robert Crown Law Library at Stanford University has created a new website dedicated to displaying the WTP collection of oral histories and related materials.

Speaker: Barbara A. Babcock, Stanford Law School 

Speaker: Ms. Brooksley Born, Arnold & Porter LLP 
Speaker: Nancy Gertner, Harvard Law School 
Moderator: Ajay K. Mehrotra, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law 
Speaker: Beth Williams, Stanford Law School 


6:00 pm - 7:30 pm Women in Academic Leadership in Reception, Hosted by the University of Georgia School of Law


Friday, January 4


8:30 am - 10:15 am AALS Hot Topic Program, Religious Exemptions and Harm to Third Parties

Should the government be able to provide religious exemptions when they result in harm to third-parties? This question is particularly weighty at this moment in American history when religious exemptions have perhaps never been more controversial. In light of recent Supreme Court cases like Hobby Lobby and Masterpiece Cakeshop, some scholars have advanced new theories that would place strict limits on government’s ability to grant religious exemptions that result in harm (or externalities) to third parties who do not benefit from that religious practice. This program will explore the historical, theoretical, normative, and doctrinal arguments for and against a rule that would prohibit religious exemptions that result in more than de minimis harm to identifiable third parties.


8:30-10:15 Building Bridges with Shared Experiences: The Women in Legal Education Oral History Project. Business meeting will be held at the end of the session. 

For the past four to five years, a small group of Women in Legal Education Section Members, led by Professor Marie Failinger (Mitchell Hamline School of Law), have been recording oral histories of the women in the legal academy. The Oral History Project’s goal is to gather the stories of as many women in the academy as possible to develop a robust library of histories that can be used for research, study, or enjoyment. More than 40 women have been interviewed as of January 2018. In this session, panelists will explain the Oral History Project and share thoughts, reactions, and experiences, as we show clips from the Oral History Project about decisions that led women into the legal academy, often at a time where there were few women on law faculties.


9:00am to 12:15pm  AALS Socioeconomics Panel, co-sponsored by WILE Section, Gender, Race and Competition in the New Economy   

Anti-discrimination law took hold during an era in which “good jobs” involved “narrow portals of entry” into secure career ladders. The predominant economic theory of discrimination at the time suggested that different treatment involved employment and consumer “tastes” or dislike of other groups. Today’s economy has dismantled the secure employment and predictable career ladders of mid-century America. In the process, inequality has grown, and the dominance of white (and in some cases Asian) men has increased in the upper reaches of the economy. Indeed, while the gendered wage gap has narrowed overall, the gap has increased for college graduates since the early nineties. This panel will consider how to understand the redefinition of “good jobs” in a networked economy, the new remade terms of competition among employees, and the implications for gender and racial diversity.

The socioeconomics section will start at 9 with a brief intro.  We will get underway at 9:15 and run until  12:15, with two panels and a break in between..

The first panel will run from 9:15 to 10:40. That session will focus more on the corporate side of the topic and will address proposals for employee ownership, the importance of big data, and the relationship between diversity and corporate governance. The panelists will be: Lisa Fairfax, Josephine Nelson, Frank Pasquale, and Steve Ramirez.  


The second panel will address the relationships between the corporate developments and employment discrimination law and the question of whether employment discrimination is -- or should be -- designed to deal with these developments. This panel will begin at 10:50 and run until 12:15. The panelists will be: Naomi Cahn, June Carbone, Jessica Clarke, and Mike Selmi.


10:30 am - 12:15 pm AALS Discussion Group, Building Bridges Across Curricular and Status Lines: Gender Inequity throughout the Legal Academy

The goal of the program is to highlight persistent issues of gender inequity in the legal academy that disadvantage all women faculty and students, particularly those of color. In keeping with the conference theme of Building Bridges, panelists are representative of various ABA-categorized faculty, including traditional tenured faculty employed under ABA Standard 405(b), clinical faculty employed under ABA Standard (405(c)), and legal writing faculty subject to ABA Standard 405(d), as well as faculty holding administrative positions. Discussion participants hope to share common experiences and begin a conversation that will continue well beyond the Annual Meeting. Planned areas for discussion include gender inequities inherent in legal scholarship, institutional labor and leadership, perceptions and expectations applicable to female faculty, and hierarchies related to security of position.

Discussion Group Participant: Sahar Aziz, Rutgers Law School 

Discussion Group Participant: Mary Bowman, Seattle University School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Leslie P. Culver, California Western School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Meera Deo, Law School Survey of Student Engagement 
Discussion Group Participant: Darby Dickerson, The John Marshall Law School 
Discussion Group Participant: Susan Hanley Duncan, University of Mississippi School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Mary A. Lynch, Albany Law School 
Discussion Group Participant: Ann C. McGinley, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, William S. Boyd School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Deborah J. Merritt, The Ohio State University, Michael E. Moritz College of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Angela I. Onwuachi-Willig, University of California, Berkeley School of Law 
Discussion Group Participant: Alicia E. Plerhoples, Georgetown University Law Center 
Discussion Group Moderator: Kristen Konrad Tiscione, Georgetown University Law Center 
Discussion Group Moderator: Melissa H. Weresh, Drake University Law School 


10:30 am - 12:15 pm Criminal Justice, Rape and Sexual Assault in the Era of #MeToo

In 2015, the American Law Institute (ALI) sought to redefine the Model Penal Code’s definition of rape. To date, ALI’s membership has failed to reach consensus. They are not alone in struggling to define the crime of rape. State and federal actors have struggled with questions of how to define rape and how (or even whether) to construct processes around the crime. This panel considers these efforts in the era of the #MeToo movement, which has highlighted the prevalence of workplace sexual harassment, sexual assault, and attitudes that condone and promulgate this behavior. While not all of the behavior #MeToo addresses falls within proposed definitions of rape, the larger social norms the movement challenges nonetheless influence how criminal law defines the crime of rape. This panel will consider how #MeToo has changed the questions that legislators, police officers, practitioners, and scholars ask when considering the crime of rape.

Speaker: Bennett Capers, Brooklyn Law School 

Moderator: Jenny E. Carroll, Hugh F. Culverhouse Jr. School of Law at The University of Alabama

Speaker: Erin Collins, The University of Richmond School of Law

Speaker: Cynthia M. Godsoe, Brooklyn Law School

Speaker: Aya Gruber, University of Colorado Law School
Speaker: Corey Rayburn Yung, University of Kansas School of Law 


12:15-1:30 Women in Legal Education Luncheon and Presentation of the 2019 Ruth Bader Ginsburg Lifetime Achievement Award to Chancellor Phoebe Haddon. This is a ticketed event; please purchase your ticket in advance.


1:30-3:15 Hot Topic Program: Civil Rights in the Aftermath of the Kavanaugh Hearings and Confirmation. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee’s September 27, 2018 hearing concerning Dr. Christine Blasey Ford's allegations that U.S. Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh committed assault upon her person proved a watershed political and jurisprudential moment. We have now learned of Justice Kavanaugh’s positions on reproductive freedoms, immigrant rights, presidential power, and female testimonial credibility, which may well transform the protections afforded by the Due Process and Equal Protection Clauses and the Civil Rights Act. Furthermore, his performance at the September 27 hearing triggers issues about judicial temperament, ethics, and even the judge’s role as a creator of legal and social truth. 


In this Hot Topic Panel, legal scholars will address the ways in which Justice Kavanaugh’s nomination, hearings, and confirmation impact a wide variety of legal domains, including sexual harassment and assault laws, workplace equality, policing, substantive and criminal law, administrative law, the field of judicial ethics, and the standards of proof appropriate for criminal, legal, and political processes. We will also engage the ways in which Justice Kavanaugh’s role in today's political and legal climate intersects with jurisprudence, such as critical legal feminism and the moral theory of epistemic injustice. 


1:30-3:15 Co-Sponsoring with the Section on Aging and the Law: The Legal Consequences of Living a Long Life: The Differential Impact on Marginalized Communities. 

Thanks to advances in healthcare, people are living longer. Longevity has legal consequences. People can outlive their family, friends, and finances. Longevity has differing impacts on women, people of color, low-income people, and LGBT individuals. Statistically, women make less money than men and they live longer than men. People of color are less financially secure than most Americans. In the United States, approximately 80 percent of long-term care for older people is provided by family members, such as spouses, children, and other relatives. This places an undue financial burden on families and on low-income persons. LGBT individuals may face conscious and unconscious discrimination when seeking long-term care and other assistance, and they have had historically formed different family structures. This panel will explore the intersection of the legal system and longevity, examining systems that are in place or should be in place to help people plan for living longer.

Speaker: Ms. Donohon Abdugafurova, Emory University Islamic Civilizations Studies 

Speaker: Anne L. Alstott, Yale Law School 
Speaker: Jalila Jefferson-Bullock, Duquesne University School of Law 
Moderator: Browne C. Lewis, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law at Cleveland State University 
Speaker: Beverly I. Moran, Vanderbilt University Law School 
Speaker: Nancy E. Shurtz, University of Oregon School of Law 
Speaker: Jessica Dixon Weaver, Southern Methodist University, Dedman School of Law 


Saturday, January 5


10:30 am - 12:15 pm AALS Program, #MeToo - The Courts, The Academy and Law Firms

In the wake of the #MeToo movement, courts, law firms, and the academy are taking a serious look at how they address workplace conduct, including bullying and sexual harassment. Law firms are improving their practices for addressing the complex issues surrounding harassment. The federal judiciary is revising its ethics codes, stepping up training, and revamping its procedures for investigating complaints. Law schools are engaging with their students on this issue like never before. The key challenges remain the significant power disparities and the chilling effect of reporting. Law schools are in a unique position to serve as a bridge between students and the greater legal community to help reduce these risks. This panel will discuss practical and novel ways that law schools can partner with the courts and the legal community to address these issues. This discussion will also include the important voice of someone who has experienced sexual harassment.

Speaker: Ms. Hilarie Bass, American Bar Association 

Speaker: Ms. Marguerite Gilles, Yale Law School 

Speaker: Gillian L. Lester, Columbia Law School 
Speaker: The Honorable M. Margaret McKeown, United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit 
Moderator: Michael H. Schwartz, University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law 
Speaker: Ms. Nicole VanderDoes, 




1:30-3:15 Building Bridges: WiLE Networking, Mentoring, and Discussion. 


This is a reboot of our Speed Mentoring session. This session will give us an opportunity to have focused discussion as well as more informal discussion about topics that impact all of us and our students and colleagues. The primary discussion topics grew out of the discussion on our Section's Listserv this past fall in the wake of the Kavanaugh hearings. We have four primary goals for this session:  

  1. To address the meaning of the hearings for session participants in their roles as legal academics, lawyers, citizens, and for some, survivors of harassment or assault; 
  2. To reveal challenges the participants faced in occupying those roles and charting a path forward; 
  3. To mentor one another by sharing strategies that enabled the participants to cope with the challenges posed; and 
  4. To provide a forum to network and form alliances in the wake of an event in American political history, which galvanized the country and the legal academy.


Sunday, January 6


8:30 am - 10:15 am Evidence, Problems of Proof: #MeToo and 'Who Me?'

The #MeToo movement has galvanized women and women's groups to call out, respond to, and challenge pervasive sexual harassment in workplaces as varied as Uber, Hollywood, and Congress. Charges, as well as civil lawsuits are being filed. But what will happen if and when these cases go to trial? Sexual harassment cases are notoriously "he said, she said," situations subject to the interpretations of the "reasonable" or "objective" person, and social standards and mores about what does and does not cross the line. Recent backlash against what constitutes harassment blurs the lines between actionable wrongs, poor judgment, and bad manners. This panel will examine the evidentiary basis for sexual harassment claims, the problems of proof with credibility issues, the evidentiary standards of civil and criminal cases, and the challenges and opportunities for litigants in the courtroom.

Speaker: Mr. Charles Gibbs, McMonagle Perri McHugh Mischak Davis 

Speaker: Christine Chambers Goodman, Pepperdine University School of Law 
Speaker: Aya Gruber, University of Colorado Law School 
Speaker: Catharine A. MacKinnon, The University of Michigan Law School 
Speaker: Ms. Sandra C. Munoz, Law Offices of Sandra C. Munoz 
Speaker from a Call for Papers: Julia Simon-Kerr, University of Connecticut School of Law 
Speaker: Deborah Tuerkheimer, Northwestern University Pritzker School of Law 
Speaker: Maggie Wittlin, University of Nebraska College of Law 
10:30 am - 12:15 pm -Soci0-Economics Co-Sponsored by Minority Groups Race, Gender, and Socio-Economic Justice
This session explores the goals of greater minority and gender justice and empowerment and their relationship to socio-economic methodology. Socio-economic methodology recognizes that systemic race and gender injustice and the goals of minority and gender empowerment cannot be adequately understood or addressed by a legal analysis limited to the narrow neoclassical approach to law and economics. Would the aforementioned goals be substantially aided if the socio-economic methodology were to become the dominant academic approach to law-related economic issues? The panelists and audience will be invited to share their views.
Speaker: Deleso A. Alford, Southern University Law Center 
Speaker: Deborah N. Archer, New York University School of Law 
Moderator and Speaker: Robert Ashford, Syracuse University College of Law 
Speaker: William K. Black, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law 
Speaker: June Rose Carbone, University of Minnesota Law School 
Speaker: Martha Albertson Fineman, Emory University School of Law 
Speaker: Philip L. Harvey, Rutgers Law School 
Speaker: Tayyab Mahmud, Seattle University School of Law

Conferences, Law schools | Permalink


Post a comment