Sullivan Hall 322
(206) 398-4073


B.A., with great distinction, McGill University, 2000
J.D., cum laude, New York University School of Law, 2003
LL.M., with distinction, Georgetown University Law Center, 2010


Labor and Employment Law
Constitutional Law
Legislation & Regulation


      Fall 2015

      • Civil Rights Amicus Clinic  (ADVC-430-A)
      • Constitutional Law I  (CNLW-200-C)
      • Law Review  (LWRV-300-A)

        Charlotte Garden

        Associate Professor of Law

        Curriculum VitaePDF


        Professor Charlotte Garden teaches Constitutional Law, Labor Law, Appellate Litigation and Legislation & Regulation at Seattle University School of Law. She also serves as the Litigation Director at the School's Korematsu Center for Law & Equality, and is a faculty advisor for the School's chapter of the American Constitution Society.

        Professor Garden's scholarship focuses on the labor movement and the First Amendment. Her articles have appeared in George Washington Law Review, Fordham Law Review, and the William & Mary Law Review, among others. She has also written shorter pieces for SCOTUSblog, Salon, and Huffington Post. Her legal analysis has been featured on media outlets such as NPR's Marketplace, the Washington Post, The Nation, and the Detroit Free Press.

        Before joining Seattle University, Professor Garden spent two years as a teaching fellow in the Appellate Litigation Clinic at Georgetown University Law Center, where she also received her LL.M. While there, she argued cases before the Fourth and D.C. Circuits regarding the Prison Litigation Reform Act and the scope of core habeas rights. Professor Garden then clerked for Judge Thomas L. Ambro of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.

        A graduate of NYU School of Law and McGill University, Professor Garden also spent several years in practice as a public interest litigator. From 2005-2008, she was an associate at the union-side labor law firm Bredhoff & Kaiser, PLLC in Washington, D.C. Before that, she practiced as a guardian ad litem at the Children's Law Center in Washington D.C., and held the Abraham Fuchsberg Fellowship at Public Citizen Litigation Group, where she focused on consumer safety issues, class action fairness, and Internet privacy.


        Faithful Employers & Labor Law, __ B.U. L. REV. __ (forthcoming 2016)

        Toward Politically Stable NLRB Lawmaking: Rulemaking vs. Adjudication, 64 EMORY L.J. 1467 (2015).

        Meta Rights, 83 FORDHAM L. REV. 855 (2014)
        Selected for peer review in JOTWELL, available at

        Citizens United & the First Amendment of Labor Law,43 STETSON L. REV. 571 (2014).

        Unions & Campaign Finance Litigation, 14 NEVADA L.J. 364 (2014).

        "So Closely Intertwined": Labor Interests and Racial Solidarity, 81 GEO. WASH. L. REV. 1135 (2013) (with Nancy Leong).

        Union Made: Labor's Litigation for Social Change, 88 TULANE L. REV. 193 (2013).

        Teaching for America: Unions and Academic Freedom, 43 U. TOL. L. REV. 563 (2012).

        Citizens, United and Citizens United: The Future of Labor Speech Rights?, 53 WM. & MARY L. REV. 1 (2011). Selected for peer review in JOTWELL, available at

        Labor Values are First Amendment Values: Why Union Comprehensive Campaigns are Protected Speech,
        79 FORDHAM L. REV. 2617 (2011).
        Cited in Cox et al., LABOR LAW, 572 (15th ed. 2011).

        Recent Activity

        Ed Murray team rolls out stronger labor laws

        November 19, 2015
        Labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden offers insight into Seattle's new protections for workers.

        Labor board's shift in legal interpretation could allow many taxi drivers to unionize

        October 29, 2015
        Professor Charlotte Garden explains the determination of what makes an independent contractor or an employee.

        Seattle's Audacious Plan To Let Uber And Lyft Drivers Unionize Raises Eyebrows In The On-Demand Economy

        October 09, 2015
        Uber may challenge the right of Seattle drivers to unionize but Professor Charlotte Garden thinks that effort would be unsuccessful.

        Here's What You Can Expect in The Next Action-Packed Supreme Court Term

        October 06, 2015
        This U.S. Supreme Court preview quotes Professor Charlotte Garden's essay on public sector union challenges.

        Korematsu Center defends teacher protections in California case

        September 17, 2015
        State laws that protect teachers from arbitrary or discriminatory dismissal should be retained because they help students, especially those in underprivileged schools, according to an amicus brief filed by our Fred T. Korematsu Center for Law and Equality, the American Association of University Professors, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, and 17 award-winning California teachers.

        Labor law has been frozen for 60 years. Democrats are trying to crack it open.

        September 16, 2015
        Labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden says she isn't optimistic about a new bill that would better protect workers' rights to organize.

        Scott Walker sets sights on unions, outlines plan to alter US labor law

        September 14, 2015
        A plan by presidential candidate Scott Walker would gut union protections, says labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden.

        City Council member says let Uber drivers unionize

        August 31, 2015
        Professors Charlotte Garden and Liz Ford comment on a Seattle City Council plan to let Uber drivers collectively bargain.

        Washington Supreme Court Rules That $15 Minimum Wage Applies At Sea-Tac Airport

        August 20, 2015
        Professor Charlotte Garden says the city of SeaTac was a political pioneer in the fight for a higher minimum wage.

        State's high court extends SeaTac minimum wage to airport workers

        August 20, 2015
        Does a court ruling in favor of a $15 minimum wage at SeaTac airport apply retroactively? Professor Charlotte Garden comments.

        Friedrichs v. Calif. Teachers Association: Union Fair Share Fees Endangered in One of Next Term's Biggest Cases

        July 03, 2015
        Next year's blockbuster Supreme Court case could be one that affects public sector unions, says labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden.

        Unions divide labor movement over LA minimum wage exemptions

        May 29, 2015
        The labor community is divided over a new $15 minimum wage law in Los Angeles. Professor Charlotte Garden explains how union escape clauses could come into play.

        The Assault on Unions Is Hurting All Workers

        May 14, 2015
        Analysis by Professor Charlotte Garden is cited in this opinion piece about how the right-to-work movement affects all workers.

        In Major Anti-Labor Case, Union-busters No Longer Even Pretend Unions Don't Benefit Workers

        April 29, 2015
        Labor expert Professor Charlotte Garden tackles a First Amendment question at play in a case against a California teachers' union.

        Will the Supreme Court Do More Damage To Public Sector Unions?

        April 28, 2015
        Will the Supreme Court take a case that could undermine public sector unions? Professor Charlotte Garden weighs in.

        Exclusive: Amazon makes even temporary warehouse workers sign 18-month non-competes

        March 26, 2015
        Professor Charlotte Garden says a tough job market makes workers vulnerable to restrictive contracts.

        Big fast food seeks injunction against Seattle’s $15 minimum wage

        March 10, 2015
        Labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden speculated that a federal judge would be unlikely to grant an injuction against Seattle's $15 minimum wage law for franchises of large chain businesses.

        Students take third place in national Indian law moot court competition

        March 09, 2015
        Team Steel Eyes — also known as Seattle University School of Law students Jocelyn McCurtain and Drew Pollom — took third place at the National Native American Law Students Association Moot Court Competition this past weekend.

        SCOTUS deals blow to retirees

        January 27, 2015
        Labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden finds the silver lining in a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on retiree health benefits.

        The Supreme Court Case That Could Decimate American Public Sector Unionism

        January 26, 2015
        Analyzing a lawsuit over "fair share" fees for public sector unions, labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden explains the differences between lobbying and collective bargaining.

        Space Needle Told To Stop Unfair Labor Practices, Rehire Workers

        January 26, 2015
        Employers can't make staff feel like their union activities are being watched, says labor law expert Professor Charlotte Garden in this piece about a ruling against the Space Needle.