Lucy Williams11.08.19 — Professor Lucy Williams, an internationally recognized authority on welfare law and low-wage labor, is being honored today with a professional achievement alumni award by the University of Chicago. The University of Chicago has a long tradition of honoring distinguished and committed graduates who have shaped the world and strengthened the school’s global graduate community. A 1974 graduate of University of Chicago Law School, Professor Williams’ research focuses on the dependency created in low-wage labor relationships, and how the political rhetoric connecting “dependency” with receipt of welfare has diverted attention from the structural issues within low-wage labor markets. She has a long and impressive record as both an academic and a litigator in the areas of unemployment insurance, Social Security and related welfare programs. In 2018, she was selected for a Fulbright Specialist award. Under the Fulbright auspices, and in partnership with Wuhan University School of Law in China, she taught courses on social and economic rights and worked with NGOs.

In recent years, Professor Williams has expanded her work to address issues of global poverty and the justiciability of social and economic rights. She currently convenes the International Social and Economic Rights Project (iSERP), a group of international academics, judges and activists working to encourage and develop critical and transformative thinking about SER and SER-based legal strategies. She is also faculty director of the law school's Center for Public Interest Advocacy and Collaboration and co-director of its Program on Human Rights and the Global Economy.

Prior to joining the Northeastern faculty, Professor Williams was an attorney with the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute for 13 years. She teaches in the area of social welfare law, civil procedure and federal courts and was involved in developing the law school’s Legal Skills in Social Context program. In 1994-1995, she was honored by the school as the Public Interest Distinguished Professor. In 1994-1996, she was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the 11-person Advisory Council on Unemployment Compensation, evaluating and recommending improvements for all aspects of the unemployment compensation program. 

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The nation's leader in experiential legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law offers the longest-running, most extensive experience-based legal education program in the country and is a national leader in legal education reform. Founded with cooperative legal education as the cornerstone of its program, Northeastern guarantees its students unparalleled practical legal work experiences. All students participate in full-time legal placements, and can choose from the more than 1,500 employers worldwide participating in the school's signature Cooperative Legal Education Program. The future of legal education since 1968, Northeastern University School of Law blends theory and practice, providing students with a unique set of skills and experience to successfully practice law.

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