Catherine Fisk teaches Employment Law, Labor Law, Civil Procedure, and Understanding the U.S. Legal Profession. She is a Faculty Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Work and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology.
Professor Fisk is the author of several books. Her first, Working Knowledge: Employee Innovation and the Rise of Corporate Intellectual Property, 1800-1930 (University of North Carolina Press, 2009, 2014), won prizes from the American Society for Legal History and the American Historical Association. In her next book, Writing for Hire: Unions, Hollywood, and Madison Avenue (Harvard University Press, 2016), Fisk explored the law and norms of credit and compensation for writing, contrasting the writer-protective rules negotiated by unionized writers in film and TV with far less protective norms developed in non-union advertising. Fisk is the co-author of four books for use in law school and legal studies classes: Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace (3d ed. 2019), The Legal Profession: Ethics in Contemporary Practice (2d ed. 2019), What Lawyers Do: Understanding the Many American Legal Practices (2020), and Labor Law Stories (2005). Her next book will examine the professional identities of lawyers who represented activist, multi-racial, and politically progressive unions in the mid-twentieth century.
Fisk has published over 100 articles and essays in leading publications including, most recently, California Law Review, Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law, Harvard Law Review Forum, Yale Law Journal Forum, Law and History Review, Ohio State Law Journal, and Indiana Law Journal. Her recent articles address the intersection of antitrust, labor, and copyright law in structuring labor relations in American theatre, the crafting of New Deal era labor and social welfare legislation, social movement lawyering, free speech rights of worker organizations and in the workplace, new forms of labor organizing, and police unions.
Professor Fisk’s current public service and pro bono legal work includes filing amicus briefs on various labor and employment law issues, service on the Advisory Board of the Berkeley Labor Center, the board of directors of the American Society for Legal History and the boards of directors of two Bay Area workers’ rights nonprofits, and occasional service as an arbitrator under collectively bargained labor contracts. Before joining the Berkeley faculty in 2017, she was on the law faculties at UC Irvine, Duke University, the University of Southern California, and Loyola Law School of Los Angeles. Prior to entering academia, Fisk practiced civil appellate litigation and union-side labor law in Washington, D.C., and clerked on the Ninth Circuit. Fisk received an AB summa cum laude from Princeton University and a JD from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was elected to Order of the Coif.
AB, Princeton University (1983)
JD, University of California, Berkeley (1986)
LLM, University of Wisconsin (1995)
Catherine Fisk is teaching the following courses in Spring 2022:
Courses During Other Semesters
|Semester||Course Num||Course Title||Teaching Evaluations||Fall 2021||200F sec. 001||Civil Procedure||View Teaching Evaluation||Spring 2021||211.11 sec. 001||Understanding the U.S. Legal Profession||View Teaching Evaluation||227 sec. 001||Labor Law||View Teaching Evaluation|
Professor Catherine Fisk, Faculty Director of the Center for Law & Work, addresses employee privacy concerns as a growing number of tech companies extend abortion-related travel benefits
A recent celebration of 39 works that probe compelling issues across and beyond the legal landscape highlights the faculty’s far-reaching expertise.
Professor Catherine Fisk says more needs to be done to protect gig workers and their families
Professor Catherine Fisk explores the leverage workers and employers have when it comes to a return-to-the-office policy
Professor Catherine Fisk explains the lack of coverage gig workers and their families have when people are killed on the job and the cost-saving measures companies like Uber take to exclude their drivers from workers’ compensation
Professor Catherine Fisk, Faculty Director of the Berkeley Center for Law and Work and the Berkeley Center for Law & Technology, compares labor organizers at Amazon’s Staten Island facility to General Motors organizers in 1944
Professor Catherine Fisk says she sees esports as currently living through what Major League Baseball experienced 80 years ago with “exploitative contracts”
Professor Catherine Fisk discusses a potential racial harassment suit against Tesla
A recent brief authored by Professor Catherine Fisk and 3L Amy Reavis observes that powerful global corporations like McDonald’s control the prices, quality, hours, and other operations, and the franchisee has no way to increase profits other than cutting labor costs
Professor Catherine Fisk discusses how in an effort to support and protect essential workers and small businesses, California has introduced the FAST Recovery Act which ensures shared responsibility between franchisors and franchisees for legal compliance
Senator Manchin’s claims about the filibuster are debunked by a 1997 Stanford Law Review article by Professor Catherine Fisk and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky examining the history of the filibuster
Professor Catherine Fisk comments on the liability of Uber in the shooting death of a driver in San Francisco under Prop 22, which has been deemed unconstitutional, but remains in effect
Professor Catherine Fisk, in light of the recent hacking of Planned Parenthood, inputs that although some women might be worried about their jobs, there are laws that protect employees from retaliation for engaging in lawful off-duty behavior
Professor Catherine Fisk says filmmaking was the original gig economy, and reflecting on how the movie business dealt with solving problems of pay and portable benefits provides lessons for today
Professor Catherine Fisk discusses a California bill that would give farmworkers more ways to vote in union elections
Professor Catherine Fisk says the fight over Prop 22 isn’t over – after consideration by the state court of appeals, it will eventually be decided by the California Supreme Court
Professor Catherine Fisk says the next fight over Prop 22 will be about whether it will remain in place or if companies’ exemption will be rescinded while the appeal process plays out
Professor Catherine Fisk says law has essentially incentivized companies to walk right up to the line of threatening their workforce
Professor Catherine Fisk says the Supreme Court decision limiting the ability of union organizers to enter the private property of growers in order to reach farmworkers in California will set a precedent for more challenges to unions and expand property owners’ rights, no matter the industry
Professor Catherine Fisk says frivolous suits are the price we all pay for having legal rights and a court system to enforce them