The Future of Work: The Intersection of Poverty & Labor

Thank you to all who joined us at the 2024 Symposium! Thank you to our Symposium Editors Dominic Gardetto and Joseph Anderson; our co-sponsors the Workers’ Rights Institute, Center on Poverty and Inequality, and Center on Privacy and Technology; and all of our volunteers for making the event possible!

If you were not able to make it, you can find recordings of a few of the presentations below.


Betsy Wood, A Brief History of Child Labor in the US

Sejal Singh, Labor and Employment Law as Poverty Law

Gabrielle Rejouis during Panel on Tech and the Workplace: Automation, AI, and Surveillance

Anthony Cook during Panel on Adapting Law to a Changing Workplace: Worker Ownership and Independent Contractors

Collin Clibon during Panel on Adapting Law to a Changing Workplace: Worker Ownership and Independent Contractors

Mark Gaston Pearce during Panel on the Resurgence of Unionism and the Changing Landscape of the NLRA

Brandon Magner during Panel on the Resurgence of Unionism and the Changing Landscape of the NLRA


Friday, March 1st
9:30 am – 4:30 pm, followed by a reception
Georgetown University Law Center
Gewirz Hall, 12th Floor


Georgetown Law’s Workers’ Rights Institute
Georgetown Law’s Center on Poverty and Inequality
Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology


  • 09:45 am – Opening Remarks
  • 10:00 am – A Brief History of Child Labor in the US
    • Betsy Wood, Assistant Professor of American History, Bard Early College
  • 10:35 am – Panel on Tech and the Workplace: Automation, AI, and Surveillance
    • Brishen Rogers, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
    • Cynthia Estlund, Professor, New York University School of Law
    • Gabrielle Rejouis, Adjunct Professor, Georgetown University and Law Fellow, United for Respect
    • Chris Paiva, Steward and Regular Package Car Driver from Local 639, International Brotherhood of Teamsters
  • 12:00 pm – Brief Remarks from Jessica Rutter, Associate General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • 12:15 pm – Lunch and Opportunity for Action
  • 12:45 pm – Panel on Adapting Law to a Changing Workplace: Worker Ownership and Independent Contractors
    • Anthony Cook, Professor, Georgetown University Law Center
    • Gowri Krishna, Professor, New York Law School
    • Collin Clibon, Deputy General Counsel, International Union of Painters and Allied Trades (IUPAT)
    • Graham Lake, Chief, Workers’ Rights and Antifraud Section, DC Office of the Attorney General (OAG)
  • 02:15 pm – Labor and Employment Law as Poverty Law
    • Sejal Singh, Honors Attorney, US Department of Labor (DOL) and Co-founder, People’s Parity Project
  • 02:45 pm – Break
  • 03:00 pm – Panel on the Resurgence of Unionism and the Changing Landscape of the NLRA
    • Mark Gaston Pearce, Visiting Professor and Executive Director of the Workers’ Rights Institute, Georgetown University Law Center
    • Craig Becker, Senior Counsel, AFL-CIO
    • Brandon Magner, Field Attorney, National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
  • 04:15 pm – Closing Remarks
    • Llezlie Green, Professor and Director of the Civil Justice Clinic, Georgetown University Law Center
  • 04:30 pm – Reception and Opportunity for Action

Speaker Bios

Craig Becker

Craig Becker is Senior Counsel to the American Federation of Labor & Congress of Industrial Organizations (AFL-CIO).  He was General Counsel from 2012 to 2022.  Before assuming that position, he was a Member of the National Labor Relations Board, having been appointed by President Obama in March 2010 and serving until January 2012.  Before joining the Board, he served as Associate General Counsel to both the Service Employees International Union and the AFL-CIO.  After law school he clerked for the Honorable Donald P. Lay, Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit and then became a partner in a Washington, D.C. law firm that was counsel to the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees. He was a Professor of Law at the UCLA School of Law between 1989 and 1994 and has also taught (and continues to teach) at Yale, the University of Chicago and Georgetown Law Schools. He has published numerous articles on labor and employment law in scholarly journals as well as in the popular press and has argued labor and employment cases in virtually every federal court of appeals and before the United States Supreme Court.  He graduated Yale College in 1978 and received his J.D. in 1981 from Yale Law School where he was an Editor of the Yale Law Journal.

Anthony Cook

A magna cum laude graduate of Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of International and Public Policy, Professor Cook graduated from the Yale Law School and practiced venture capital and corporate law. He has completed two post-graduate fellowships, the first in Ethics and the Professions at the Kennedy School of Government and the second in Religion and Public Values at the Harvard Divinity School. He teaches interrelated courses on race and class stratification, with a particular emphasis on progressive politics, voting rights, elections, and the legal structure of the political process. He has pioneered a groundbreaking course – Race, Inequality and Progressive Politics: Voting Rights in America – that brings professional, graduate, and undergraduate students from various disciplines into the same classroom to grapple with issues facing U.S. democracy.

At the local level, he works as a community practitioner, building bridges between the university and underserved populations, offering practicums on entrepreneurship and social innovation, global cities & urbanization, and community development. These courses provide students with a unique opportunity to partner with underserved communities in finding solutions to the complex problems they face. Professor Cook’s scholarship has explored the relationship between progressive religious theology and progressive politics in America. His book, The Least of These: Race, Law and Religion in American Culture, explores the relevance of the social gospel and Dr. Martin Luther King’s conception of the Beloved Community for race, class and cultural divides in American Society. For his work as a scholar and community activist who has worked with various grassroots and faith-based initiatives on community empowerment and economic development projects, the American Bar Association honored Professor Cook as One of 21 Lawyers Leading America into the 21st Century, citing his “unique synergy of action and thought.”

Llezlie Green

Llezlie Green is a Professor of Law and Director of the Civil Justice Clinic. Professor Green was previously the Associate Dean for Experiential Education, Professor of Law, and Director of the Civil Advocacy Clinic at the American University Washington College of Law, where she also taught Critical Race Theory, Employment & Labor Law, and Advanced Civil Procedure. Her areas of expertise and scholarly interest include employment law, the intersection of workplace exploitation and immigration, critical race theory, critical race feminism, civil rights, and complex litigation in civil and human rights. Her most recent work considers the intersection of race, wage theft, and employment discrimination in low-wage worker communities. Her article, Wage Theft in Lawless Courts, was published in the California Law Review and won the American University Washington College of Law’s Pauline Ruyle Moore Scholar Award (2021). Her most recent article, Outsourcing Discrimination, appeared in the Harvard Civil Rights-Civil Liberties Law Review. Her articles have also appeared in the Stanford Journal of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, the Harvard Latino Law Review, and the Howard Law Journal.

After receiving her undergraduate education at Dartmouth College with an A.B. in Government with honors, Professor Green obtained a Juris Doctorate from Columbia Law School, where she was a Harlan Fiske Stone Scholar, and worked with the NAACP Legal Defense Fund and the Center for Constitutional Rights. Following her graduation, she was a litigator at Wilmer Cutler and Pickering (now WilmerHale) and a law clerk for the Honorable Alexander Williams, Jr., United States District Judge for the District of Maryland. She then joined the Civil Rights and Employment Practice at Cohen Milstein Sellers and Toll, where she spent six years representing plaintiffs in class actions alleging employment, fair housing, and credit discrimination, as well as federal and state wage and hour law violations. Her work at Cohen Milstein included representing Native American ranchers and farmers in a landmark civil rights lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Agriculture and representing African American homeowners in a post-Katrina housing discrimination suit against the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the State of Louisiana. She also represented groups of workers in collective action wage and hour cases in 22 jurisdictions.

Professor Green has served as an Associate Trustee with the Washington Lawyer’s Committee for Civil Rights Under Law and Co-Chair of the ABA Labor and Employment Section’s Committee on Equal Opportunity in the Legal Profession.

She is a former Chair and a current Executive Committee Member of the American Association of Law Schools (AALS) Poverty Law Section and a member of the Executive Board of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA).

Gowri Krishna

Gowri Krishna is an experienced clinical educator with a strong focus on economic, racial, and social justice. She began her career as an Equal Justice Works Fellow at the Urban Justice Center, where she led a project that provided legal services to low-wage immigrant worker groups.

After her fellowship, Professor Krishna taught community economic development clinics at Fordham School of Law, the University of Michigan Law School, and Roger Williams University School of Law.

In 2015, she returned to the Urban Justice Center to lead the expansion of its Community Development Project, which represents worker cooperatives and nonprofit groups throughout New York City on a broad range of corporate matters, including structuring, governance, tax, and employment issues.

Throughout her career, Professor Krishna has maintained a steady focus on confronting the country’s widening wealth gap and addressing threats to immigrants’ rights, workers’ rights, and public services. She has promoted innovative approaches to community-building that draw on the strengths of traditionally underrepresented and under-serviced groups, and she has advocated for workers’ rights to dignified jobs free of abuse and exploitation.

She is an expert on immigrant-owned worker cooperatives and has presented on her work at the American Association of Law Schools Annual Meeting and the American Bar Association (ABA) Forum on Affordable Housing and Community Development Law Annual Meeting. Professor Krishna also chaired the Community Economic Development Committee of the ABA’s Business Law Section and regularly organizes meetings of New York City community economic development attorneys.

In addition, she has published scholarship on worker cooperatives and movement lawyering.

Through the Nonprofit and Small Business Clinic, Professor Krishna leads New York Law School students in counseling New York City nonprofit and community-based organizations, worker cooperatives, social ventures, and neighborhood-based entrepreneurs that could not otherwise afford legal services on matters such as corporate formation, governance, tax and real estate issues, and contracts.

Professor Krishna is also on the Board of Directors of the Clinical Legal Education Association (CLEA), and she serves as Co-Chair of the CLEA New Clinicians Conference Committee.

Brandon Magner

Brandon Magner is a Field Attorney in the National Labor Relation Board’s Indianapolis office, where he is responsible for investigating and prosecuting violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Brandon is also an active member of the National Labor Relations Board Union, serving as the president of the Indianapolis local and as a member of the NLRBU’s Legislative & Special Issues Committee. Brandon is a 2018 graduate of the University of Kentucky College of Law and pursues academic writing about federal labor law in his non-agency time.

Mark Gaston Pearce

Mark Gaston Pearce is a visiting professor and the executive director of the Workers’ Rights Institute at Georgetown University Law Center. Mr. Pearce is a former Board Member and Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) who served by appointment of President Barack Obama for two terms, concluding in August 2018. Prior to assuming his positions at Georgetown, he was a visiting senior scholar and Lecturer at Cornell University’s School of Industrial Labor Relations. Born and raised in Brooklyn, New York Mr. Pearce is a graduate of Cornell University and State University of New York at Buffalo Law School. He began his career first as a Field Attorney and later, District Trial Specialist serving in several of the NLRB’s regional offices. Subsequent to entering private practice Mr. Pearce co-founded the labor law firm of Creighton, Pearce, Johnsen & Giroux. He also served by appointment of the Governor of New York State to the NYS Industrial Board of Appeals as well as several state committees and commissions. He is currently arbitrator and also served as a certified mediator for the United States District Court, Western District of New York. Mr. Pearce has testified before Congress regarding labor matters and has lectured and given continuing legal education presentations before state and national bar associations, labor management organizations and educational institutions throughout the country. He is a Fellow in the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers.

Mr. Pearce’s past service includes: The Committee on Character and fitness for the Fourth Department of the New York State Supreme Court; the Board of Directors of the Lawyers Coordinating Committee of the AFL-CIO; the Coalition for Economic Justice; the Workers’ Rights Board and the Advisory Board of the Labor and Employment Research Association of Western New York.

His community activities include prior service as president of the Volunteer Lawyers Project Inc., the Minority Bar Association of Western New York, and Housing Opportunities Made Equal. Additionally he served on the Council of the Burchfield-Penney Art Center and the WNY Workforce Investment Board. He is a Silver Life Member of the Buffalo Chapter of the NAACP and is a class of 2000 graduate of Leadership Buffalo.

Mr. Pearce’s many honors and statements of recognition from labor and community organizations include special recognition from the Lawyers Coordinating Committee of the AFL-CIO; Honor Roll of the National Employment Law Project; the Leadership Award from the Western New York Council on Occupational Safety and Health and the Workplace Justice Champion Award from the Employment Justice Center of Washington, D.C.

Gabrielle Rejouis

Gabrielle is Distinguished Fellow with the Georgetown Law Center on Privacy & Technology. She is currently a Legal Fellow at United for Respect. Before joining United for Respect, she managed the federal tech and antitrust lobbying portfolio at Color Of Change. She also advocated for civil rights protections in tech policy and worker data protections at the Center on Privacy & Technology at Georgetown Law. In 2019, at the Center on Privacy & Technology, she co-organized the Color of Surveillance: Monitoring Poor and Working Communities conference. Gabrielle received her J.D. from Georgetown Law with a Certificate in Refugee and Humanitarian Emergencies. She earned her B.A. in History from the New Jersey Institute of Technology where she was an Albert Dorman Honors scholar.

Brishen Rogers

Professor Rogers previously was an Associate Professor of Law at Temple University Beasley School of Law. He teaches torts, employment law, employment discrimination, and various labor law courses.

Professor Rogers’ current research explores the relationship among labor and employment law, technological development, and economic and social equality. He recently published a book on those questions, entitled Data and Democracy at Work: Advanced Information Technologies, Labor Law, and the New Working Class (under contract with MIT University Press). In addition to his law review publications, he has recently written for the Boston Review,the Washington Post Outlook,, and ACSblog, the blog of the American Constitution Society. Professor Rogers’ scholarship has been cited in landmark decisions by the California Supreme Court and the European Court of Justice.

Professor Rogers received his J.D., cum laude, from Harvard Law School and his B.A., with high distinction from the University of Virginia. Prior to law school, he worked as a community organizer promoting living wage policies and affordable housing, and spent several years organizing workers as part of SEIU’s “Justice for Janitors” campaign.

Jessica Rutter

Jessica Rutter is the Associate General Counsel in the Office of the General Counsel at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB). She previously worked at the NLRB in the Division of Advice and as an Honors Attorney, as well as on immigrant worker and remedial initiatives. Jessica has also worked in various capacities for several labor unions and workers’ rights organizations. 

Betsy Wood

Dr. Betsy Wood teaches American history at Bard Early College, a satellite campus of Bard College in Newark, NJ. She is the author of Upon the Altar of Work: Child Labor & the Rise of a New American Sectionalism. Dr. Wood’s award-winning scholarship examines how the decades-long battle over child labor in the United States created political and ideological divisions in American life that continue to the present day. Dr. Wood has received national attention for her expertise in the wake of recent efforts in the U.S. to roll back child labor laws. She was one of 13 national leaders invited to discuss this issue in the fall of 2023 at the University of Arkansas Law School Symposium on Child Labor.

Her work has appeared in publications including The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, U.S. News & World Report, The Conversation, and many others.  She has also appeared on “Rising Up with Sonali,” Bloomberg News’s “The Big Take,” “The DNA of the News,” and other news programs. She has taught previously at Cornell’s School of Industrial and Labor Relations, the University of New Hampshire, and Hudson County Community College. She also worked as a policy and research analyst at the Institute for Policy Studies. Dr. Wood received her Ph.D. in History from the University of Chicago.