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


Picture of Joan C. Williams

Joan C. Williams, a prize-winning author and leading expert on work/family issues, 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, and Reshaping the Work-Family Debate: Why Men and Class Matter (Harvard Univ. Press, 2010). Called “something of a rock star” by The New York Times Magazine, Williams has been successful in reaching extraordinarily diverse audiences and has been quoted in sources as diverse of The Washington Post, Redbook, The Wall Street Journal, Human Resource Executive, Oprah Magazine and the Yale Law Review. A frequent guest on radio and television, she has taught at Harvard and University of Virginia law schools and is currently Distinguished Professor and 1066 Foundation Chair at the University of California, Hastings College of the Law. The author or co-author of six books and seventy academic articles, she received the American Bar Association’s Margaret Brent Award for Women Lawyers of Achievement in 2006, and gave the 2008 Massey Lectures in American Civilization at Harvard University. She has given hundreds of speeches and presentations in North and Latin America to groups as diverse as the Society for Human Resource Management, the Denver Rotary Club, the American Philosophical Society, and the Modern Language Association, and has lectured at virtually every leading U.S. university. She is Founding Director of Center for WorkLife Law, which has a unique six-stakeholder model, and works with employers, employees, plaintiff’s lawyers, defense lawyers, unions, and public policymakers on issues related to work-life balance and women’s advancement. Williams’ influential reports on work-family conflict among hourly workers include “One Sick Child Away from Being Fired: When Opting Out is not an Option” (2006), “The Three Faces of Work-Family Conflict: The Poor, the Professionals and the Missing Middle” (with Heather Boushey) (2010) and “Improving Work-Life Fit in Hourly Jobs: An Underused Cost-Cutting Strategy in a Globalizing World” (2011). Follow Williams on her Huffington Post blog. The Center for WorkLife Law website is