People Archive

LAPA Fellow

Noah Zatz

Former LAPA Fellow, 2008-2009
UCLA Law School
phone: 310-206-1674

While at LAPA
Noah Zatz is Acting Professor of Law at the UCLA Law School and comes to LAPA after a year as a Visiting Assistant Professor at the University of Chicago Law School. His main scholarly interests are in employment and labor law, welfare and poverty law, work/family policy, and feminist legal theory. Zatz’s research primarily explores how and why the law distinguishes work from other activities and differentiates market and nonmarket modes of organizing labor. His publications in this area have analyzed what qualifies as work under welfare work requirements, the application of labor and employment law to prison labor and other paid work that is organized outside traditional labor markets, and feminist perspectives on prostitution as sex work. Before entering law teaching, Zatz was awarded a Skadden Fellowship to support his public interest work at the National Employment Law Project in New York City.

Zatz received his A.B. summa cum laude from Cornell University in 1994, his M.A. from Cornell University in 1996, and his J.D. from Yale Law School in 1999. He clerked for Judge Kimba M. Wood of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York and then for Judge Guido Calabresi of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. While at LAPA, Zatz will investigate how contemporary antipoverty policy’s roots in a family wage model of the household economy have rendered child-care invisible both as a component of household need and as a form of valuable work, and he will develop new approaches to means-testing and work requirements that are responsive to this critique.

Life after LAPA: 
I continue to work on the “Accounting for Care” project, including the first publication to come out of it, a short policy-oriented summary of the basic proposal to be published as part of a Harvard Law & Policy Review Symposium on Jobs and the American Worker. Additionally, I am writing some more theoretical pieces on the extent to which insights from studying nonmarket work should lead to more inclusive work-related policies or instead should lead us to doubt the viability of work as a regulatory category; this project grows out of conversations during my year at LAPA as well as the seminar on Work, Citizenship, and the Welfare State that I taught that year. Beyond the blessings of time to read, think, and write, fabulous food, and wonderful staff & fellow fellows and travelers, the thing that really stands out to me, and that I miss most, is the genuinely interdisciplinary environment fostered both in the LAPA seminars and through connections facilitated by LAPA affiliates on the Princeton faculty. Law schools have a way of doing interdisciplinary work that often involves bringing people and ideas into the legal academy, but undermining vital connections to the home discipline; I felt LAPA did the opposite, creating opportunities for legal scholars to get invited in as welcome guests to the ongoing conversations in related fields. My "Accounting for Care" project explores how basic concepts within U.S. antipoverty policy -- need, income, and work -- have been shaped by the reduction of economic activity to cash transactions and the assumption that child-care will be provided outside the cash economy as part of a gendered division of labor within two-parent households. If, instead, we were to integrate child-care -- whether provided by family members or hired caregivers -- into models of the household economy, a series of changes would follow, including expanding child-care assistance to employed parents, valuing nonmarket caretaking as work contributing to household well-being, and removing a bias toward breadwinner/caretaker divisions of labor. By grounding an analysis of care in the specific context of means-tested/work-tested antipoverty policy, I hope to avoid some of the weaknesses of prior feminist analyses of care work and to show that policy reforms that aid employed parents and nonmarket caretakers may be deeply connected, rather than at loggerheads.
"The Impossibility of Work Law," in The Idea of Labour Law (Guy Davidov & Brian Langille eds., Oxford University Press 2011) (forthcoming) "Supporting Workers by Accounting for Care," 5 Harvard Law & Policy Review (forthcoming 2011)