Michael M. Oswalt

Title: Associate Professor of Law
Office Location: Swen Parson 192C
Office Phone: 815-753-2066
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 and the UC Irvine Law Review. His recent work includes an empirical study of collaborations between workers, employers and public officials to enforce employment protections that will appear in the Berkeley Journal of Employment and Labor Law (with César F. Rosado Marzán). In 2019, an article exploring the role of emotions in regulating workplace coercion will be published by the UC Davis Law Review. An essay on voting procedures in union representation elections will be included in the book, Reviving American Labor for a 21st Century Economy (Richard Bales & Charlotte Garden, eds.), published by Cambridge University Press.

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.



Law Reviews

  • The Content of Coercion, 52 U.C. Davis L. Rev. _ (forthcoming, 2019). (Available in SSRN)
  • Organizing the State: The “New Labor Law” Seen From the Bottom-Up, 39 Berkeley J. of Emp. & Lab. L. _ (forthcoming, 2018) (with César Rosado-Marzán). (Available in SSRN)
  • The Right to Improvise in Low Wage Work, 38 Cardozo L. Rev. 959 (2017). (Also available in SSRN)
  • 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). (Also available in SSRN)
  • Automatic Elections, 4 U.C. Irvine L. Rev. 801 (2014). (Also available in SSRN)
  • 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)
  • The Grand Bargain: Revitalizing Labor Through NLRA Reform and Radical Workplace Relations, 57 Duke L.J. 691 (2007). (Available in SSRN)

Other Writing

Book Chapters

  • 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)