Former colleague Michael Fischl, now of the University of Connecticut School of Law, has a new article up at SSRN, The Other Side of the Picket Line: Contract, Democracy, and Power in a Law School Classroom which will appear in 31 New York University Review of Law & Social Change (2007).
This essay – from a forthcoming symposium on “teaching from the left” in the NYU Review of Law & Social Change – offers an account of the successful union organizing campaign among custodial and landscaping workers at the University of Miami during the 2005-06 academic year, focusing in particular on the role played by faculty during the course of the campaign. It examines a fractious debate generated by faculty who held classes off campus in order to support the striking workers and the author's own decision to put the question of whether to honor the picket line to a vote of his students. It offers an analysis of the pattern of argument that emerged – with opponents of off-campus classes invoking the rhetoric of contract and supporters invoking the rhetoric of democracy – and of what that pattern may reveal about the nature of ideological conflict in contemporary campus culture.
An engaging and thoughtful essay that will be of interest to contracts teachers, labor lawyers, and union supporters generally.
Also of interest is the post-posting history of this article, in which anti-union Google ads appeared automagically on SSRN alongside the article. See Google Ads on SSRN—and Some Odd (shall we say) Juxtapositions for details.