Michael M. Oswalt

Title: Associate Professor of Law
Office Location: Swen Parson 192C
Email: moswalt@niu.edu
Education: J.D., Duke University
M.T.S. (Master of Theological Studies), Duke University
B.A., Haverford College

Michael M. Oswalt joined the NIU College of Law in 2013 and teaches torts, labor law, employment law, workers’ compensation, and seminars on emerging issues in employment discrimination and worker organizing.

Michael’s research focuses on the relationship between law and activism, particularly how legal and other regimes transform the possibilities for engagement in civic and institutional arenas. Since coming to NIU, Michael’s full-length articles have been published by the California Law Review, the Cardozo Law Review, the UC Davis Law Review, the UC Irvine Law Review, the Berkeley Journal of Employment Labor Law, and, most recently, Law & Contemporary Problems. An essay on voting procedures in union representation elections is included in the book, Reviving American Labor for a 21st Century Economy (Richard Bales & Charlotte Garden, eds.), published by Cambridge University Press. In 2019, he is co-convening a symposium at the IIT Chicago-Kent School of Law entitled, “The Law of Alt-Labor.”

Michael graduated from Haverford College and has degrees in law and theology from Duke University. At Duke, he was a member of the Duke Law Journal and served as notes editor for the Duke Journal of Gender Law and Policy. After law school he clerked on the United States Second Circuit Court of Appeals for Judge, now Justice, Sonia Sotomayor. Michael previously worked for the Service Employees International Union where he provided counsel to a variety of low wage worker campaigns.

You can follow Michael on Twitter @MichaelMOswalt.


| SSRN Author Page | HeinOnline Author Profile |

Books and Book Chapters

  • Labor Law in the Contemporary Workplace (Dau-Schmidt, Corrada, Cameron, Rosado Marzán, Oswalt, Gely eds., West Academic Publishing 4th ed., forthcoming 2022).
  • The Power of Place, in The Cambridge Handbook of U.S. Labor Law: Reviving American Labor for a 21st Century Economy (Richard Bales & Charlotte Garden, eds.) (Cambridge University Press, forthcoming). (Available in SSRN)


Law Reviews

  • Alt-Bargaining, 82 L. & Contemp. Probs. 89 (2019).
  • The Content of Coercion, 52 U.C. Davis L. Rev. 1585 (2019).
  • Organizing the State: The “New Labor Law” Seen From the Bottom-Up, 39 Berkeley J. of Emp. & Lab. L. 415 (2018) (with César Rosado-Marzán).
    The Right to Improvise in Low Wage Work, 38 Cardozo L. Rev. 959 (2017).
  • Law and the Questions and Answers of Workplace Mobilization, 40 N.Y.U. Rev. L. & Soc. Change Harbinger 129 (2016). (Available in SSRN)
  • Improvisational Unionism, 104 Cal. L. Rev. 597 (2016).
  • Automatic Elections, 4 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 801 (2014).
  • Steeple Solidarity: Mainline Church Renewal and the Union Corporate Campaign, 50 J. Cath. Legal Stud. 227 (2011). (Available in SSRN)
  • Preemption and Civic Democracy in the Battle Over Wal-Mart, 92 Minn. L. Rev. 1502 (2008) (with Catherine Fisk). (Available in SSRN)
    • cited in Golden Gate Restaurant Ass'n v. City of San Francisco, 546 F.3d 639 (9th Cir. 2008).
  • The Grand Bargain: Revitalizing Labor Through NLRA Reform and Radical Workplace Relations, 57 Duke L.J. 691 (2007). (Available in SSRN)

Other Writing