Gwendolyn Leachman

Assistant Professor

Telephone: 608-262-7367
Office: Room 7108, Law School

Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley
J.D. Berkeley Law (Boalt Hall)
B.A. University of California, Santa Cruz

Teaching Areas:
Employment Law
Employment Law: Employment Discrimination
Labor Law
Sexual Orientation & the Law

Recently Taught Courses
715 Torts
745 Labor Relations (Labor & Employment Law)
765 Equal Employment Law (Employment Discrimination)
854 Clinical Program: Labor Law Externship

Research Interests:
Social Movements and Legal Mobilization; Law and Inequality; Sexual Orientation, Gender Identity, and the Law; Critical Race Theory


Gwendolyn M. Leachman is an Assistant Professor of Law at the University of Wisconsin Law School and a Faculty Affiliate with the Sociology Department at the University of Wisconsin. Professor Leachman teaches courses in Labor Relations, Employment Discrimination, and Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Law.

Professor Leachman's research examines how the interaction between law and social movements affects patterns of inequality and social change. Much of her recent work investigates how impact litigation has affected the LGBT movement, including the power dynamics among LGBT movement organizations, public perceptions of the LGBT movement, and the compatibility of the mainstream movement's goals with the more underrepresented segments of the LGBT community. This research was supported by grants from the National Science Foundation, the Williams Institute, the Institute for the Study of Societal Issues, and by multiple fellowships and grants from the graduate school at the University of California, Berkeley. Professor Leachman's most recent publication in this area, From Protest to Perry: How Litigation Shaped the LGBT Movement's Agenda, appeared in the June 2014 issue of the U.C. Davis Law Review.

Professor Leachman is currently working on comparative projects that investigate how litigation shapes the strategies, goals, and outcomes of social movements of various types. An initial article on this topic (co-authored with Hadar Aviram of the University of California, Hastings) considers the consequences of same-sex marriage litigation for the burgeoning polyamorous marriage equality movement and its prospects for success. This article is forthcoming in the Harvard Journal of Law & Gender.

Professor Leachman received her B.A. with highest honors in Legal Studies and Linguistics from the University of California, Santa Cruz. She received her Ph.D. and her J.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, where she served in editorial positions at the California Law Review and the Berkeley Journal of Employment & Labor Law, and provided bilingual legal aid to Spanish-speaking clients at La Raza Employment Law Clinic and the Legal Aid Society-Employment Law Center. Prior to joining the UW faculty, Professor Leachman was a Williams Institute Law Fellow at the UCLA School of Law, where she taught courses to law students and served as the director for the Williams Institute National Moot Court Competition.

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