Joan C. Williams has played a central role in reshaping the debates over women’s advancement for the past quarter-century. Described as having "something approaching rock star status” by The New York Times, her awards include the Families and Work Institute Work Life Legacy Award (2014), Hastings Visionary Award (2013), American Bar Foundation's Outstanding Scholar Award (2012), the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Award (2012), the ABA’s Margaret Brent Award for Women Lawyers of Achievement (2006), the Distinguished Publication Award of the Association for Women in Psychology (2003) and the Gustavus Myers Outstanding Book Award (2000). In 2008, Williams gave the Massey Lectures at Harvard University, delivered in prior years by (among others) Eudora Welty, Gore Vidal and Toni Morrison.
Williams, who has taught at Harvard Law School and the University of Virginia Law School, is Distinguished Professor of Law and Hastings Foundation Chair at University of California, Hastings College of the Law. She has authored or co-authored eight books, most recently What Works for Women at Work: Four Patterns Working Women Need to Know (co-written with her daughter, Rachel Dempsey), which provides “unabashedly straightforward advice in a how-to primer for ambitious women,” according to The New York Times Book Review. Williams is the author of over 100 academic articles and book chapters, including “Deconstructing Gender,” listed in 1996 as one of the most cited law review articles ever written. Williams has lectured at virtually every major American university, and appears widely in the press in outlets as diverse as the Harvard Business Review, O Magazine, Human Resource Executive, Jezebel and the Yale Law Journal.
Williams is a frequent contributor to the Harvard Business Review, most recently publishing “Hacking Tech’s Diversity Problem” last October. The article introduces a new approach to implicit bias: Bias Interrupters, which interrupt bias through the redesign of basic business systems. Facebook’s implicit bias training is based on Williams’ approach.
Courses Taught: Property; Feminist Legal Theory; and a Seminar on Current Issues on WorkLife Law
Expertise: Work/Family issues
My favorite part about teaching you is... involving students in making creative legal arguments that push the limits of the law.