Yale Law Journal-Stanford Law Review Publish #MeToo Symposium


The Yale Law Journal and the Stanford Law Review have collaborated to publish a special companion symposium titled, “#MeToo and the Future of Sexual Harassment Law.”

The #MeToo movement, founded by activist Tarana Burke in 2006 and given new momentum in recent months, has prompted a national dialogue about sexual harassment, changing the way society engages with claims of sexual harassment and inspiring thousands to tell their stories.

In an effort to bring law into conversation with the #MeToo movement, the Stanford Law Review and the Yale Law Journal launched this symposium on June 18, 2018, to outline lessons from #MeToo for activists, scholars, policymakers, lawyers, and judges. The series of articles offer 12 leading scholars’ insights on the ways sexual harassment produces and is produced by broader forms of inequality in the workplace and beyond. Their essays challenge the understanding of sexual harassment that has largely dominated media reporting about the #MeToo movement. Together, they provide the most comprehensive legal analysis of the issues surrounding the #MeToo movement to date.

“These essays develop a much broader conception of sexual harassment than most media reports in the #MeToo era have adopted,” said Yale Law Professor Vicki Schultz, who 20 years ago pioneered a new understanding of sexual harassment in two groundbreaking Yale Law Journal articles. “This symposium focuses not only on sexualized advances and assaults, but also on the many other, even more common ways that harassment upholds workplace sexism, polices gender roles, and limits opportunities at work and elsewhere.”

The Symposium comes as lawmakers around the country consider how best to implement legal reforms that protect vulnerable workers. By showing how sexual harassment interacts with notions of gender policing, sex segregation, and arbitrary and unchecked power in the workplace, the essays pinpoint what kinds of reforms are likely to succeed in quelling the scourge of sexual harassment in American society.

In the Yale Law Journal collection, the essays analyze sexual harassment law in the age of #MeToo, with a particular emphasis on the continued relevance of Schultz’s previous work and an exploration of how the law interacts with this current cultural moment and what that means for the future. Professor Schultz’s article, “Reconceptualizing Sexual Harassment, Again,” leads the collection.

The Stanford Law Review collection leads with an “Open Statement on Sexual Harassment from Employment Discrimination Law Scholars,” which is signed by 10 of the top scholars in this field. The collection offers 10 principles for addressing sexual harassment, along with more than 60 specific legal reform proposals.

“Inspired by recent events and renewed activism, we wish to contribute to the current momentum by broadening the conversation about the law. We know that law alone cannot create change,” reads the statement. “Yet we know also that change rarely occurs without the law.”

Yale Law Professor Ian Ayres also contributed to the Stanford collection, writing an essay titled “Targeting Repeat Offender NDAs.”

In addition to naming reforms needed to end harassment and help victims, the Symposium addresses the need to extend protections to those who are accused of harassment, demonstrating that it is possible to balance both sets of concerns and achieve fairness and equality for all.

The Symposium Essays can be found by visiting the Stanford Law Review and Yale Law Journal websites. To read the list of abstracts, click here.

For over a century, the Yale Law Journal has been at the forefront of legal scholarship, sparking conversation and encouraging reflection among scholars and students, as well as practicing lawyers and sitting judges and Justices.

The Stanford Law Review educates and fosters intellectual discourse and contributes to legal scholarship by addressing important legal and social issues.

The following authors are available for comment on the Symposium:

Rachel Arnow-Richman, Univ. of Denver, Sturm College of Law
Vicki Schultz, Yale Law School     
Angela Onwuachi-Willig, Berkeley Law School  
Nicole Porter, University of Toledo College of Law  
Brian Soucek, UC Davis School of Law