Center for Progressive Reform

Martha T. McCluskey

Martha T. McCluskey is a Professor and William J. Magavern Faculty Scholar at the University at Buffalo Law School, State University of New York, in Buffalo, New York.

Professor McCluskey's teaching has included courses on constitutional law, torts, insurance, regulation, economic inequality, and the relationships between work and family. She earned a J.D. from Yale Law School and a J.S.D. with distinction from Columbia Law School.  She has been a visiting professor at the University of Connecticut School of Law.  Before entering academia she was an attorney for the Maine Public Advocate Office, focusing on the regulation of workers’ compensation insurance and public utilities. 

Professor McCluskey’s scholarship focuses on the relationship between economics and inequality in law. She has written extensively on how economic ideas and economic influences have shaped social welfare programs, regulatory policy, and contemporary legal theory.   She is working on a book project titled A Field Guide to Law, Economics and Justice. Earlier publications include a major study of workers’ compensation reform laws, several articles analyzing workers’ compensation insurance regulation, and a number of articles on welfare policy and social citizenship. 

Much of her work explores the connections between economics and feminist legal theory, focusing especially on the impact of economic ideology on gender equity.   This work has included analysis of the legal treatment of work and family caretaking in a range of policy arenas, including welfare reform, social insurance, international trade and development policy, and income tax law.  As a participant in events sponsored by Emory University’s project on Vulnerability and the Human Condition, she is part of an interdisciplinary effort to re-examine the classic liberal ideal of individual autonomy as a foundational principle of law and policy, and to shift the focus to human interdependence and to questions of power and privilege in distributing institutional support for human vulnerabilities. She is the co-editor, with Emory University Professor Martha A. Fineman, of Feminism, Media, and the Law (Oxford University Press, 1997).

Another strand of her work applies her focus on equality and economics to disability law, including both benefit systems such as workers’ compensation and antidiscrimination doctrine. This work examines how disability fits within but also reshapes theories of equality based on race, gender, sexuality, and economic class.  

Professor McCluskey’s writing has also examined economic inequality in constitutional law, not just as a question of equal protection but in ideas about due process.   Finally, she has written several articles on the contemporary influence of economic politics and ideologically-driven funding on legal theory and scholarship.

In addition to her writing, she is a co-organizer of the ClassCrits project, which brings together scholars in law, economics, and other disciplines to develop a critical legal analysis of economic inequality through workshops, conference panels, scholarly publications, and a blog, at www.classcrits.org. She is also a member of the Society of American Law Teachers, the American Constitution Society, the National Lawyers Guild, and a frequent participant in the LatCrit scholarly community.

Martha T. McCluskey
Professor of Law
University at Buffalo Law School
The State University of New York
(716) 645-2326




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