LAW 1411 v00 : Workers’ Rights and the Role of Lawyer in a Social Justice Movement

Last edit: Sun, 19 Jan 2020 20:39:54 GMT

Fall 2020
JD Adjunct
UserID Name Email
bak71 Kavanaugh, Barbra
LAW 1411 v00: Workers’ Rights and the Role of Lawyer in a Social Justice Movement
Workers’ Rights and the Role of Lawyer in a Social Justice Movement
Th 3:30-5:30p
Special Requirement


J.D. students must complete the required first-year program prior to enrolling in this course (part-time and interdivisional transfer students may enroll prior to completing Criminal Justice, Property, or their first-year elective).


Students may not concurrently enroll in this practicum course and a clinic or another practicum course. Students may concurrently enroll in this practicum course and an externship.

This practicum course is open to LL.M. students, space permitting. Interested LL.M. students should email the Office of the Registrar ( to request admission.

This course may be suitable for evening students who can commit to attending class and undertaking 10 hours/week of project work.

This is a four credit course. Two credits will be awarded for the two-hour weekly seminar and two credits will be awarded for approximately 10 hours of supervised project work per week, for a minimum of 11 weeks. Both the seminar and the project work will be graded.

Students who enroll in this course will be automatically enrolled in both the seminar and project components and may not take either component separately. After Add/Drop, a student who wishes to withdraw from a practicum course must obtain permission from the faculty member and the Assistant Dean for Experiential Education. The Assistant Dean will grant such withdrawal requests only when remaining enrolled in the practicum would cause significant hardship for the student. A student who is granted permission to withdraw will be withdrawn from both the seminar and project components.

Default attendance rule for all practicum courses (unless the professor indicates otherwise): Regular and punctual attendance is required at all practicum seminars and fieldwork placements. Students in project-based practicum courses are similarly required to devote the requisite number of hours to their project. If a student must miss seminar, fieldwork, or project work, he or she must speak to the professor as soon as possible to discuss the absence. Unless the professor indicates otherwise, a student with more than one unexcused absence from the practicum seminar (out of 13 total seminar sessions), or one week of unexcused absences from the fieldwork or project work (out of a total of 11 weeks of fieldwork or project work), may receive a lower grade or, at the professor’s discretion, may be withdrawn from the practicum course.

Would you like to offer the Pass/Fail grading option?

Does this course qualify as a "simulation course"?

Is this course available to distance students?

Is this a mandatory Pass-Fail course?


Personal Information


Professor Kavanaugh was the executive director of the Employment Justice Center from 2011 to 2015, and is now researching the relationships between workers centers and legal programs. She also works as an interim executive director in the Washington D.C. metropolitan area.

As the Executive Director of the Employment Justice Center, Professor Kavanaugh and the EJC staff served thousands of low-wage workers through expanded clinic programs and litigation. The EJC also supported the development of El Comite Trabajadores, a group of Spanish-speaking workers activists and advocates.

Before joining the Employment Justice Center, Professor Kavanaugh lived and worked in Buffalo NY for 30 years. She provided civil representation to low-income clients at Neighborhood Legal Services. Although she specialized in landlord-tenant and housing discrimination work, Professor Kavanaugh worked in all areas of civil poverty law including family, public benefits, consumer and special education. While supervising NLS’ housing unit, she was lead counsel in Comer v. Cisneros, 37 F.3d 775 (2d Cir. 1994), a challenge to race-based discrimination in public and subsidized housing in and around Buffalo N.Y.

Professor Kavanaugh also served three years as a City Councilmember-at-large in Buffalo. An outspoken advocates for the arts, and public art, Professor Kavanaugh also helped to pass living wage and landlord licensing legislation in Buffalo NY.  Recognizing that Buffalo is a waterfront city, Professor Kavanaugh also passed set-back and easement policies to protect and maintain public access to the water.

Professor Kavanaugh also served in appointed office as the Assistant Attorney General in Charge of the New York State Attorney General’s office, and as law clerk to the Honorable John F. O’Donnell, J.S.C. Judge O’Donnell was at that time the first judge to preside over the Erie County, N.Y., Integrated Domestic Violence Court.

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