Chancellor's Professor of Law
Co-Director, Center in Law, Society and Culture
Labor and employment law, civil rights
Chancellor’s Professor of Law Catherine Fisk teaches and writes on the law of the workplace, legal history, civil rights and the legal profession. She is the author of dozens of articles and four books, including the prize-winning Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of the Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930, and Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace.
Her research focuses on workers at both the high end and the low end of the wage spectrum. She has written on union organizing among low-wage and immigrant workers as well as on labor issues in the entertainment industry, employee mobility in technology sectors, employer-employee disputes over attribution and ownership of intellectual property, the rights of employees and unions to engage in political activity, and labor law reform. She is the co-author, with UCI Law Professor Ann Southworth, of an innovative interdisciplinary casebook, The Legal Profession.
Her current public service includes membership on the SEIU Ethics Review Board, the Board of Directors of the Wage Justice Center, and committees of the Law & Society Association. Prior to joining the founding faculty of UC Irvine School of Law, Fisk was a chaired professor at Duke Law School, and was on the faculty of the University of Southern California Gould School of Law and Loyola Law School in Los Angeles. She practiced law at a boutique Washington, D.C. firm and at the U.S. Department of Justice. She received her J.D. at UC Berkeley, and an A.B., summa cum laude, from Princeton University.
Labor Law, Legal Profession, Practicum, Advanced Writing for the Law Review, Writing for Law Review; Labor Law; Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Discrimination Seminar; Employment and Intellectual Property Seminar; Civil Procedure; Employment Law; Employment Discrimination; Employee Benefits Seminar; Workers’ Rights Under International Law; Legislation Seminar; Legal Writing; Graduate Legal Studies
- Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue (Harvard University Press 2016).
- The Legal Profession: Ethics in Contemporary Practice (West Publishing Co. 2014) (with Ann Southworth).
- Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace (West Publishing Co., 2d ed., 2014) (with Cameron, Corrada, Dau-Schmidt, and Malin).
- Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930 (University of North Carolina Press, paperback ed. 2014).
Articles and Book Chapters
- Story Work: Non-Proprietary Autonomy and Contemporary Television Writing, Television and New Media (2016) (with Michael Szalay).
- Managing Multiple Employment Arbitration Cases with Class Action Waivers, in Arbitration 2015: Privacy, Transparency, Legitimacy—Proceedings of the National Academy of Arbitrators 207 (Arlington, VA: BNA 2016).
- Workplace Democracy and Democratic Worker Organizations: Notes on Workers Centers, 17 Theoretical Inquiries in Law 101 (2016).
- Harris v. Quinn and the Contradictions of Compelled Speech, 48 Loyola of Los Angeles Law Review 439 (2015) (with Margaux Poueymirou).
- Some Realism About Realism in Teaching About the Legal Profession, in The New Legal Realism, volume 1 (Macaulay, Mertz & Mitchell, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2015) (with Ann Southworth & Bryant Garth).
- Will Work for Screen Credit: Labor and the Law in Hollywood, in Hollywood and the Law (McDonald, Carman, Hoyt & Drake, eds., British Film Institute/Palgrave MacMillan, 2015).
- Intellectual Property History as Labor History, in Law and Society Approaches to Intellectual Property (William Gallagher & Deborah Halbert, eds., Cambridge University Press, 2015).
- Building an Experiential Law School in The New 1L: First Year Lawyering with Clients (Capulong, Millemann, Rankin & Ruan, eds. Carolina Academic Press, 2015) (with Erwin Chemerinsky & Carrie Hempel).
- Labor Protest Under the New First Amendment, 36 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 277 (2015) (with Jessica Rutter).
- Restoring Equity in Right to Work Law, 4 UC Irvine Law Review 857 (2014) (with Benjamin Sachs).
- Collective Actions and Joinder of Parties in Arbitration: Implications of D.R. Horton and Concepcion, 35 Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law 175 (2014).
- April 2017
Presenter, “Democracy, Labor, and the First Amendment,” David Feller Memorial Lecture, UC Berkeley
- February 2017
Presenter, “Labor and the Gig Economy,” Donohue Lecture, Suffolk University Law School
- November 2016
Presenter, “Freelance Employees: Lessons from the Entertainment Industry for the On Demand Economy,” University of Chicago Legal Forum symposium on Law and the Disruptive Workplace
- August 9, 2016
Presenter, “Workplace Knowledge and Employee Mobility: Lessons from History,” Academy of Management Annual Meeting, Anaheim
- July 27, 2016
Speaker, “Dependent Contractors and the Gig Economy: New Challenges for Employers, Employees, and Unions,” Orange County Labor and Employment Relations Association, Anaheim
- April and July, 2016
Presenter, “Employment Discrimination Update,” Federal Judicial Center National Conference of District Judges
- May 2016
Presenter, “The First Amendment and Labor Protest,” AFL-CIO Lawyers’ Coordinating Committee Meeting, Chicago
- The Wooster Group: Oscar, Emmy and Tony-award winner Frances McDormand reads article written by Prof. Fisk and alumna Alisa Hartz ’12 (video)
- Bloomberg Technology: Prof. Fisk quoted re: class-action suits against Uber reignited by rejection of $100 million settlement
- WBUR On Point: Prof. Fisk discusses what victims of sexual harassment in the workplace experience
- USA Today: Prof. Fisk quoted on definition of sexual harassment spelled out in Title 7 of 1964 Civil Rights Act
- Public Counsel: Prof. Fisk co-counsel in class action filed to stop gender discrimination in CA workers comp system
- Voice of OC: Prof. Fisk quoted re: OC Water District employee union case stalled by justice vacancy on Supreme Court
- The Washington Post: Prof. Fisk quoted re: labor struggles between Uber and its drivers
- ACS Blog: Prof. Fisk writes that Uber agreeing to settle class action suit by drivers does not settle employment status question
- Daily Journal: Prof. Fisk writes about Vergara teacher job security case and what would actually improve education
- The Patch: Prof. Fisk explains why "Friedrichs is unusual"
- Daily Journal: Prof. Fisk quoted on whether another Friedrichs lawsuit would make a difference (PDF)
- Times of San Diego: Prof. Fisk quoted re: key aspects of Friedrichs teacher union case and what might be ahead
- BuzzFeed News: Prof. Fisk quoted re: labor law cases that may seek re-examination by post-Scalia SCOTUS
- On Labor Blog: Prof. Fisk writes: “Why The NLRB Should Allow Graduate Student Bargaining”
- The Nation: Prof. Fisk quoted re: NLRA protection of employees’ right to strike, with no limit on length of strike
- On Labor Blog: Prof. Fisk writes: “What Scalia’s Replacement Could Mean for Workers”
- Constitution Daily: Prof. Fisk discusses in podcast Friedrichs public unions and free speech case argued at SCOTUS
- On Labor Blog: Prof. Fisk writes about Friedrichs oral arguments at SCOTUS and possible outcome
- The Atlantic: Prof. Fisk comments on politics in the workplace
- Orange County Register: Prof. Fisk writes about why to vote No on Prop. 32
- Daily Journal column: Prof. Fisk: Counties bound by promises on worker benefits (PDF)
- Mercury News: Prof. Fisk weighs in on case involving California workplace break rules
- Slate: Prof. Fisk on Congress’ probe of NLRB’s inquiry into Boeing
- The State: Prof. Fisk weighs in on NLRB labor action against Boeing
- The Nation: Prof. Fisk on what NLRB legally can do to protect workers, in light of Boeing case (Podcast)
- Bloomberg: Prof. Fisk at House hearing: Union tactics outside businesses are protected
- The Associated Press: Prof. Fisk gives states little chance of succeeding on labor voting issue
- Brian Leiter's Law School Reports: "The 'Regional' Law Schools With an Unusually Good Eye for Faculty Talent"
- Prof. Fisk appointed to union’s new ethics review board