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Cooper and Befort Assume Editorship of The Labor Lawyer

JUNE 18, 2009—The Labor Lawyer has a new home, the University of Minnesota Law School, which commences editorship in summer 2009 with the journal’s 25th volume. Professors Laura J. Cooper and Stephen F. Befort ('74) are the journal’s new co-editors and will edit collaboratively with a team of students led by Editor-in-Chief Jack Sullivan ('10). The six-member student editorial board is already at work selecting the eight second-year students who will serve as staff members.

The Labor Lawyer is a publication of the American Bar Association’s Section of Labor and Employment Law, which selected Cooper and Befort to head the editorial staff following a national competition. The journal’s mission is to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, and administrators working in labor and employment law by providing balanced discussions of developments in the field and the broader policy issues that underlie these developments.

The Labor Lawyer has been published since 1985. The more than 27,000 members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law are automatic subscribers; nonmembers may also subscribe.

Professor Cooper joined the Law School faculty in 1975 and in 2003 was appointed to her current chair as J. Stewart and Mario Thomas McClendon Professor in Law and Alternative Dispute Resolution. She serves as a member of the Board of Governors of the National Academy of Arbitrators (NAA), as a labor mediator and arbitrator, and on the editorial board and executive committee of the Labor Law Group. She teaches courses in labor law, workplace dispute resolution, civil procedure, and conflict of laws. She was the Stanley V. Kinyon Tenured Teacher of the Year for 2008-2009.

Cooper is former chair of the Labor Law Group, the Legal Affairs Committee of the NAA, the Labor and Employment Law Section of the Association of American Law Schools, and the Minnesota Chapter of the Society of Professionals in Dispute Resolution. In 2006, she was elected a Fellow of the College of Labor and Employment Lawyers in recognition of accomplishments in labor and employment law, and in 2008, she was the honored by the Fund for the Legal Aid Society, Minneapolis, for career contributions to the provision of legal services to low-income citizens. She has co-authored or co-edited six books on labor law and workplace dispute resolution and has written historical, analytical, and empirical articles on welfare law, conflicts of law, labor law, and workplace dispute resolution.

Professor Befort joined the faculty in 1982 and has been its Gray, Plant, Mooty, Mooty, & Bennett Professor of Law since 2003. He served as Director of the Law School’s Clinic Program from 1982 to 2003 and as Associate Dean for Academic Affairs from 2000 to 2004. He is a national authority on labor and employment law and frequently lectures on these topics. He is a member of the Minnesota State Bar Association (MSBA) Legal Assistance to the Disadvantaged Committee and was honored with the Minnesota Justice Foundation Outstanding Service Award in 2008. He serves on the executive board of the International Society of Labor Law and Social Security and is a member of the Labor Law Group. He teaches courses in labor law, employment law, employment discrimination, alternative dispute resolution, comparative labor and employment, and disability in the workplace. He received the Stanley V. Kinyon Law School Teaching and Counseling Award in 1993 and 2008.

Professor Befort was elected secretary of the ABA's Labor and Employment Law Section in 2002 and is past chair of the MSBA Labor and Employment Law Section. An active labor arbitrator and mediator, he was elected to the NAA in 2004 and served as co-editor of its annual Proceedings from 2005 to 2008. He has authored or co-edited six books and more than 60 articles, book chapters, and published papers on labor and employment subjects.

The Labor Lawyer features articles that are direct, informal, and useful, written largely by professors and practicing attorneys. Beginning with the move to Minnesota, the journal will, for the first time, also publish notes by student staff members.

Formerly, The Labor Lawyer was housed at Syracuse University College of Law and directed by Professor Robert Rabin, who continues to teach labor and employment law at Syracuse and serves as a labor arbitrator, mediator, and fact-finder.

Portrait of Professor Stephen Befort

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Befort's Bio

Portrait of Professor Laura Cooper

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Cooper's Bio