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 course in Fall 2022:
Courses During Other Semesters
|Semester||Course Num||Course Title||Teaching Evaluations||Spring 2023||211.11 sec. 001||Understanding the U.S. Legal Profession||227 sec. 001||Labor Law||227.32 sec. 001||Current Issues in Work Law||Spring 2022||206C sec. 001||Note Publishing Workshop||View Teaching Evaluation||211.11 sec. 001||Understanding the U.S. Legal Profession||View Teaching Evaluation||227.21 sec. 001||Employment Law||View Teaching Evaluation||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 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
Professor Catherine Fisk says employment laws were developed with the annual flu in mind, not a global pandemic
Professor Catherine Fisk discusses the PRO Act and says it would change is whether independent contractors have the right to form a union and bargain collectively
Professor Catherine Fisk discusses Amazon’s controlling Delivery Service Provider contract and policies
Professor Catherine Fisk explains the legal complexities of who can unionize
Fifteen books published in 2019 and 2020 were highlighted at a recent event, including work by Ian Haney López, Franklin Zimring, and Dean Erwin Chemerinsky.
Professor Catherine Fisk explains that the PRO Act applies only to rights to unionize and bargain collectively and says freelancers would have no competitive advantage from one state to another
The meeting drew from the legal, academic, and policy realms to discuss how to make police more accountable.
Professor Catherine Fisk says Google employees’ union’s relatively low numbers should be expected, if not embraced, as a start
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues to crush workers, especially the lowest earners, the Center for Law and Work puts them in the spotlight.
Professor Catherine Fisk explains why qualified immunity creates a too high a bar for victims of police violence
Professor Catherine Fisk says OSHA may feel themselves powerless to protect West Wing workers from exposure to the virus by the president
Professor Catherine Fisk explains the issues with the Labor Department’s proposal to adopt a shorter, simpler test for when employers may legally classify workers as independent contractors rather than employees who are covered by federal minimum wage and overtime law
Professor Catherine Fisk says union protections make it difficult to charge police officers with crimes