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Anne Marie Lofaso

WVU Law professor Anne Marie Lofaso

Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law

Awards and Achievements

  • Member, U.S. Commission on Civil Rights West Virginia State Advisory Committee
  • 2013-2014 Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award
  • 2013 WVU Foundation Award for Outstanding Teaching
  • 2010 WVU College of Law Professor of the Year
  • 2010-11 West Virginia University College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award
  • 2009-10 West Virginia University College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award
  • 2008-09 West Virginia University College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award
  • 2007-08 West Virginia University College of Law Faculty Significant Scholarship Award


  • University of Oxford, Oxford, England; D.Phil., Law, March 1997
  • University of Pennsylvania Law School, Philadelphia, PA; J.D., May 1991
  • Harvard University, Cambridge, MA; A.B., History and Science, Magna Cum Laude, June 1987


Anne Marie Lofaso is the Arthur B. Hodges Professor of Law at West Virginia University College of Law, where she teaches Labor Law, Employment Law, Advanced Labor Law, Comparative and International Work Law, Jurisprudence, Law and Socioeconomics, and in the WVU U.S. Supreme Court Clinic (which she co-founded with Jones Day Partner, Larry Rosenberg, in 2011). She was formerly the WVU Law Associate Dean for Faculty Research and Development (2011-2015) and a Leadership Fellow in the WVU Office of the Associate Vice President for Creative and Scholarly Activities. She has previously taught at American University Washington College of Law and at the University of Oxford.

Dr. Lofaso has extensive law practice experience. She spent ten years as an attorney with the National Labor Relations Board’s Appellate and Supreme Court Branches. Prior to that, she worked as an associate for Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy’s Business Reorganization Department and clerked for the Hon. James L. Oakes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Dr. Lofaso is a prolific writer in the fields of labor law, work law jurisprudence, and coal mine safety and health and has been published in numerous law reviews including the Harvard Law and Policy Review. Her casebook, Modern Labor Law in the Private and Public Sectors (Lexis Publishing with Harris, Slater, and Garden), now in its second edition, and her textbook, Mastering Labor Law (Carolina Academic Press with Secunda, Hirsch, and Slater), are the among the first U.S. labor-law-education books to treat both private and public-sector labor law.

After studying at Harvard University (A.B. magna cum laude) and under the late comparative labor law scholar Clyde Summers at the University of Pennsylvania (J.D.), Professor Lofaso received her D.Phil. in Law ( Somerville College, University of Oxford) in 1997, having the distinction of being the first doctoral student to be advised by labor law and human rights scholar Professor Sandra Fredman and studying with two additional labor law giants, Mark Freedland and Paul L. Davies. Her doctoral dissertation viva panel also included labor law Like her mentors, Lofaso’s scholarly interests focus on comparative and international labor rights from a multi-disciplinary perspective that includes a historical, philosophical, and socio-economic critique of the neoclassical perspective of work. She views the workplace through the lens of the autonomous dignified worker, a concept that she formulated at Oxford under Fredman’s supervision. She yearns to understand the nature of work throughout history by deconstructing then reconstructing that concept. Her deconstruction project has focused primarily on class and gender but she has recently expanded that project to understanding work along racial and ethnic lines (especially considering the shameful U.S. history of slavery and immigration) and also along human and nonhuman lines. Her human/nonhuman deconstruction project includes an examination of beasts of burden and robots. Lofaso’s reconstruction project is equally ambitious. She ultimately wishes to describe the nature of work in a comprehensive and multi-faceted theory of human labor rights with the autonomous, dignified worker as the core idea.

Professor Lofaso is an active research associate for the Oxford Human Rights Hub Blog, founded by her former doctoral advisor Sandy Fredman. Although Professor Lofaso has been writing for OxHRBlog since 2015, she became involved with the blog in her current capacity in January 2016, when she was a Senior Academic Visitor on the Faculty of Law and the Keeley Visiting Fellow at Wadham College at Oxford. Since becoming a research associate, she has coordinated the OxHRBlog series on Justice Scalia’s human right legacy, helped with the third edition of the anthology, and presented on human labor rights as part of the Oxford Human Rights Hub seminar series. She continues to write for OxHRBlog and coordinate additional blogs discussing U.S. human rights issues.

Professor Lofaso is also an active public servant. She is a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers, a member of the West Virginia State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights , a former Commission for the City of Morgantown Human Rights Commission, the Advisor for the WVU Labor and Employment Law Concentration, a research scholar for the New York University School of Law Center for Labor and Employment, a researcher for the Employment Policy Research Network, a faculty advisor to numerous student groups (including the Labor Law Society, WV Employment Lawyers Association, and the American Constitution Society for Law and Public Policy), and a co-founder of WVU’s United States Supreme Court Clinic, which takes cases to the U.S. Supreme Court on a pro bono basis. She has also appeared before Congress to testify about labor law legislation and is an increasingly frequent contributor to media inquiries about labor law, the Supreme Court, and U.S. government.

Professor Lofaso is a decorated recipient of sundry teaching, scholarship, and public-service awards. She is a five-time recipient of her law faculty’s significant scholarship award, the 2014 recipient of the Claude Worthington Benedum Distinguished Scholar Award, the 2010 West Virginia University College of Law Professor of the Year, the 2011 WVU Foundation Teacher of the Year, and a recipient of numerous other awards.

Professor Lofaso is passionate about her family (which includes her husband, daughter, a foreign exchange daughter from Spain, two dogs and three cats), her students, former students, sports, and global justice.  She is a former college athlete (springboard diving at Harvard, intramural softball and dance at Penn, and rowing at Somerville College, Oxford). She has a working knowledge of Italian and Spanish.

Publications, Research, and Intellectual Contributions

  • Employment Disputes, in Outbreak Litigation: Civil Disputes in the Age of Global Contagion, chapter 6 (eds. Samuel L. Tarry Jr. and Davis M. Walsh) (American Bar Association Publishing (Section of Litigation) 2021) 
  • Leveraging Secondary Activity Within and Outside Legal Boundaries in Reviving American Labor (eds. Richard Bales and Charlotte Garden) (Cambridge University Press 2019) 
  • Workers’ Rights as Natural Human Rights, 71 U. Miami L. Rev. 565 (2017) 
  • Justice Scalia’s Labor Law Jurisprudence—Justice Denied?, 21 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol’y J. 13 (2017) (peer-reviewed journal) 
  • Deflategate: What’s the Steelworkers Trilogy Got To Do with It?, 6 Berkeley J. Sports & Enter. L. 48 (2017) 
  • Groomed for Exploitation! How Applying the Statutory Definition of Employee To Cover Division IA College Football Players Disrupts The Student-Athlete Myth, 119 W.V. L. Rev. 957 (2017) 
  • When Do College Athletes Become University Employees? The Case of Division IA College Football in Who Is an Employee and Who Is the Employer: Proceedings of the New York University 68th Annual Conference on Labor (LexisNexis 2016) 
  • We Are in This Together: The Rule of Law, the Commerce Clause, and the Enhancement of Liberty Through Mutual Aid, in American Constitution Society for Law and Policy, Toward a More Perfect Union: A Progressive Blueprint for the Second Term (2013), We Are in this Together (pdf) 
  • What We Owe Our Coal Miners, 5 Harv. L. & Pol’y Rev. 87 (2011) 
  • In Defense of Public Sector Unions, 28 Hofstra Lab. & Emp. L.J. 301 (2011), reprinted in The Challenge for Collective Bargaining—65th annual proceedings of the NYU Conference on Labor Law (Lexis Publishing 2014) 
  • Promises, Promises: Assessing the Obama Administration’s Record on Labor Reform, 20 New Labor Forum 65 (2011) 
  • The Vanishing Employee: Putting the Autonomous Dignified Union Worker Back To Work, 5 FIU L. Rev. 497 (2010), (solicited article for law review symposium: Whither the Board? The National Labor Relations Act at 75) 
  • Talking Is Worthwhile: The Role of Employee Voice in Protecting, Enhancing and Encouraging Individual Rights to Job Security in a Collective System (A Tribute to Clyde Summers), 14 Emp. Rts. & Emp. Pol’y J. 55 (2010) 
  • The Relevance of the Wagner Act for Resolving Today’s Job-Security Crisis, Labor and Employment Relations Association Proceedings of the 62nd Annual Meeting (2010) 
  • The Persistence of Union Repression in an Era of Recognition, 62 Me. L. Rev. 199 (2010) 
  • Toward a Foundational Theory of Workers’ Rights: The Autonomous Dignified Worker, 76 UMKC L. Rev. 1 (2007)

Professional Background

  • National Labor Relations Board, Washington, D.C. Senior Attorney, Supreme Court Branch, May 2004-January 2007
  • Senior Attorney, Appellate Court Branch, March 1997-January 2007
  • The Honorable James L. Oakes, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Law Clerk, July 1993-August 1994
  • Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, New York, NY Associate, Bankruptcy/Business Reorganization Department, October 1991-September 1992
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