Dean of the Law School
Acting Dean Gillian Lester's principal subject areas include employment law and policy, and contracts. Her research has explored topics including distributive justice and the welfare state, workplace intellectual property, and paid family leave.
Lester holds a J.S.D. from Stanford Law School and LL.B. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she served as editor in chief of the University of Toronto Faculty of Law Review. Lester began her teaching career in 1994 at the UCLA School of Law, where she became full professor in 1999. She joined the Berkeley Law faculty in 2006, where she has served as Associate Dean for JD Program and Curricular Planning (2010-2013), and Acting Dean (Spring 2013). She has also held appointments as Sidley Austin Visiting Professor at Harvard Law School (2008-09), Sloan Fellow and Visiting Professor at Georgetown University Law Center (2000), and has held short visiting appointments at USC Gould School of Law, University of Chicago Law School, and Interdisciplinary Center Herzliya, Israel.
Lester's books include, Employment Law Cases And Materials, Fifth Ed. (Lexis-Nexis, 2012) (with Willborn, Schwab & Burton), Family Security Insurance: A New Foundation for Economic Security (Workplace Flexibility 2010 and Berkeley Center for Health, Economic and Family Security, 2010), and Jumping The Queue: An Inquiry Into The Legal Treatment Of Students With Disabilities (Harvard Press, 1997) (with Mark Kelman). Articles and chapters include “Keep Government Out of My Medicare”: The Search for Popular Support of Taxes and Social Spending, in Michael Sherraden and Marion Crain (eds.), Working And Living In The Shadow Of Economic Fragility (Oxford U. Press, 2013); "Can Joe the Plumber Support Redistribution? Law, Social Preferences, and Sustainable Policy Design, in Tax Law Review (2011); Beyond Collective Bargaining: Modern Unions and Social Solidarity, in Brian Langille and Guy Davidov (eds.), The Idea of Labor Law (Cambridge University Press, 2011); "Restrictive Covenants and Choice of Laws: An American Perspective," in Comparative Labor Law & Policy Journal (2010); "A Defense of Paid Family Leave" in Harvard Journal of Law & Gender (2005); "Unemployment Insurance and Wealth Redistribution" in UCLA Law Review (2001); and “Careers and Contingency” in Stanford Law Review (1998).