Joan C. Williams to deliver 32nd annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture

Work/family expert will explore "Family Responsibilities Discrimination in the Great Recession"

Friday, March 19, 2010

Joan C. Williams, distinguished professor of law, 1066 Foundation chair and founding director of the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law in San Francisco, will deliver the 32nd annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture. Professor Williams will address the topic "Family Responsibilities Discrimination in the Great Recession: Impact of the EEOC Guidelines."

Professor Williams' lecture will examine the impact of the increasing number of lawsuits filed by mothers under Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Guidelines. She will discuss how and why these lawsuits have a much higher success rate than those of other employment discrimination lawsuits, even though three-fourths of those laid off during the Great Recession were men. Professor Williams will explore how these themes interact.

The lecture, which is free and open to the public, will be held April 6 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in Chicago-Kent's Gov. Richard B. Ogilvie Auditorium, 565 West Adams St. (between Clinton and Jefferson streets) in Chicago.

Distinguished Professor Joan C. Williams of the University of California Hastings College of the Law
Distinguished Professor Joan C. Williams of the University of California Hastings College of the Law

Professor Williams teaches a seminar on current issues of work-life law and courses in feminist legal theory and property at Hastings College of Law. She also serves as co-director of the Project for Attorney Retention, an initiative of the Center for WorkLife Law, considered one of the most influential forces in the country on work/life issues in the legal profession. The initial report—Balanced Hours: Effective Part-Time Policies for Washington Law Firms—has been widely used by law firms to revamp their policies, as well as by individual lawyers seeking to negotiate part-time schedules or to critique their firm's policies.

Professor Williams is the author of Unbending Gender: Why Family and Work Conflict and What to Do About It (Oxford University Press 2000), which won the 2000 Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award. Her 1989 article Deconstructing Gender has been listed as one of the most-cited law review articles ever written. Professor Williams has authored or co-authored four books and more than 50 law review articles. Her work is reprinted in casebooks on six different subjects. She lectures widely and has given over 250 speeches and presentations in North and Latin America and at virtually every leading U.S. university.

Professor Williams earned her undergraduate degree in history, with a concentration in medieval history from Yale University. She received her J.D./M.A from Harvard Law School and Massachusetts Institute of Technology's joint program.

Deidra L. Byrd, division vice president of employee relations at Walgreen Co., and Stephen B. Moldof, partner in the New York law firm of Cohen, Weiss and Simon LLP, are leading labor and employment lawyers who will comment on the lecture from union and management perspectives.

No reservations are required. Attorneys who attend are eligible for 1.25 hours of Illinois Minimum Continuing Legal Education credit. For more information, visit on the Web or call (312) 906-5090.

The annual Kenneth M. Piper Lecture is sponsored by Chicago-Kent College of Law's Institute for Law and the Workplace. It is presented by the Kenneth M. Piper Endowment, which was established by a gift from Mrs. Kenneth M. Piper in memory of her husband. Mr. Piper was a distinguished executive with Motorola, Inc., and Bausch & Lomb, Inc., who made important contributions in human resources and labor relations for more than two decades.