Tuesday, November 20, 2012

          Professor Joan C. Williams Wins Prestigious Beckman Award for Inspiring Students

          Joan C. Williams, Distinguished Professor of Law at UC Hastings College of the Law, has been awarded $25,000 from the Elizabeth Hurlock Beckman Trust, which each year honors educators who have inspired their students to public service.

          Williams worked with Jamie Dolkas ’08 while Dolkas served as a fellow at the Center for WorkLife Law, of which Williams is the founding director. As a fellow, Dolkas researched laws that provide workplace rights for family caregivers, analyzed litigation trends, and wrote numerous scholarly articles with Williams. Her latest contribution is a piece Williams and Dolkas collaborated on in “Women Who Opt Out: The Debate over Working Mothers and Work-Family Balance,” published in April 2012 by New York University Press.

          As a law student, Dolkas worked as a research assistant at the Center for WorkLife Law, and then took Professor Williams’ course on Gender and the Law, where Williams encouraged her to find her voice and contribute. Later, as a research fellow at the center, Williams “invested in me. She took a chance on me, on my analysis, and it built my confidence,” Dolkas said.

          Dolkas currently works as a Staff Attorney at Equal Rights Advocates (ERA), a national nonprofit law firm located in San Francisco that’s dedicated to advocating for gender equity in employment and education.  Dolkas represents women and girls in various aspects of ERA’s litigation, writes publications, manages ERA’s legal advice and counseling hotline, leads policy advocacy, and supervises law clerks.  She was part of the legal team representing plaintiffs before the U.S. Supreme Court in Dukes v. Wal-Mart, a suit brought by women seeking class action status for their sex discrimination suit alleging low pay and lack of advancement for women employees.

          The high court ruled in Wal-Mart’s favor, saying the plaintiffs did not have enough in common to constitute a class. However, ERA and co-counsel continue to litigate and have filed amended regional class action complaints in several states.

          Dolkas and Williams recently collaborated on California legislation, AB 1999, to protect family caregivers from workplace discrimination. The bill did not pass, but ERA and its allies hope to introduce similar legislation in the future. “In my 32 years of teaching, I have had some amazing students –but even among them, Jamie stands out. She is passionate about women’s rights, and brings to her work creativity and force that are inspiring. I feel honored to have played a role in helping her shape her career.”

          Dolkas said she “pays it forward” by mentoring young attorneys interested in public interest law. “I learned so much from Professor Williams; how to communicate about issue that matter, and how to important it is to mentor others, all by watching her.”

          Since its inception in 2008, the Beckman trust has awarded more than $500,000 to educators in the fields of psychology, medicine, and law.

          Go to News Archive

          Share this Story

          Share via Facebook
          Share via TwitterShare via EmailPrint Friendly Version

          Other Recent Stories/ RSS

          Friday, May 18, 2018

          UC Hastings Students Speak at UN Human Rights Council in Geneva

          Members of the Hastings Human Rights and International Law Organization attended the 37th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council to meet diplomats, engage in discussions on human rights issues, and deliver advocacy statements during proceedings.
          Wednesday, May 09, 2018

          Joseph W. Cotchett, Champion for Justice and Titan of the Plaintiffs Bar, is UC Hastings Law's 2018 Commencement Speaker

          Litigation Trial Lawyers Hall of Famer and UC Hastings Alumnus, Class of 1964, to keynote the College’s 137th Commencement
          Friday, May 04, 2018

          Blek le Rat, “The Godfather” of Stencil Graffiti, Contributes Installation at UC Hastings

          The innovative street artist is taking to the streets with works throughout San Francisco to promote a rare North American exhibition.
          Friday, May 04, 2018

          UC Hastings Professor Veena Dubal’s Work Plays Role in California Supreme Court Ruling

          “The Dynamex Decision” creates a major change in the landscape for California’s gig economy and follows the path of Professor Dubal’s analysis from her scholarly work.
          Wednesday, May 02, 2018

          Thinkers & Doers: April 2018

          Professor Dubal cited in the California Supreme Court’s Dynamex decision – Professor Aviram discusses “Sanctuary City” litigation outside the Ninth Circuit – Ellen DeGeneres asks Kamala Harris about 2020 presidential aspirations – How Asylum Works and Doesn’t Work – Professor Ball earns national recognition with 2018 Shanara Gilbert Award – Highlights from the Spring Soirée – and much more
          Go to News Archive