Katharine B. Silbaugh

Professor of Law

Law Alumni Scholar

BA magna cum laude, Amherst College
JD with high honors and Order of the Coif, University of Chicago

Areas of Interest
Employment Law, Family Law
Contact
Biography

Katharine Silbaugh is widely recognized for her pioneering work on gender, family care, and household labor. She is a leader in the legal literature on the relationship between work and family. Her research highlights the economic and social value of work done within households; the complex relationship between families and institutions, such as employers and schools; and the inadequacy of the legal framework supporting care work. Her publications about the relationship between institutions and family address a range of legal systems from family law and employment law to urban planning and education law.  She has intervened in policy matters of particular concern to LGBT individuals, including marriage equality litigation and anti-bullying law and policy.

Professor Silbaugh clerked for Judge Richard Posner of the US Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit. She later collaborated with Posner on a survey of sexual regulation, A Guide to America’s Sex Laws, published by the University of Chicago Press and now in paperback. She is co-author of The Essentials of Family Law (2009) with Katharine K. Baker. She also is the author of numerous journal articles and book chapters, including the landmark article “Turning Labor into Love: Housework and the Law” for Northwestern Law Review, She was the editor of the volume Structures of Carework, published by the Chicago-Kent Law Review. Professor Silbaugh contributed to the plaintiffs’ case in Goodridge v. Department of Public Health, the Massachusetts case that won the nation’s first same-sex marriage right in 2004, as well as to Gill v. O.P. M., challenging the denial of federal marriage recognition under the Defense of Marriage Act in 2011. She has provided advice on anti-bullying legislation to the Berkman Center for Internet & Society’s Youth Meanness and Cruelty Project and serves on several education-related boards and committees. She served on an advisory committee of momsrising.org that drafted model state legislation on Family Responsibility Discrimination.

Professor Silbaugh joined the Boston University faculty in 1993, received tenure and a full professorship in 1998, and was named Law Alumni Scholar in 2007. She served as the associate dean for academic affairs from 2004 until 2006. She spent the 2006-2007 academic year and Fall 2009 as a visiting professor at Harvard Law School, and was a visiting Professor of Law at Chuo University in Toyko in the Fall of 2007. She teaches Family Law; Education Law; Legislation; Employment Discrimination; Women, Work, and Families; and Gender and the Law. Professor Silbaugh was the recipient in 2004 of the Michael Melton Award for Excellence in Teaching.

Publications
  1. Katharine Silbaugh, "Reactive to Proactive: Title IX's Unrealized Capacity to Prevent Campus Sexual Assault," in Symposium The Civil Rights Act of 1964 at 50: Past, Present, and Future, 95 Boston University Law Review 1049 (2015).
    Publisher
  2. Katharine Silbaugh, "Bullying Prevention and Boyhood," in Symposium Evaluating Claims about the End of Men: Legal and Other Perspectives, 93 Boston University Law Review 1029 (2013).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  3. Katharine Silbaugh, Dena T. Sacco, Felipe Corredor, June Casey & Davis Doherty, An Overview of State Anti-Bullying Legislation and other Related Laws, for the Youth Meanness & Cruelty Project, Berkman Center for Internet & Society, Harvard University, (2012).
    Publisher
  4. Katharine Silbaugh, "Unsexing the End of Men," in Symposium Unsex Mothering, Online Colloquium Harvard Journal of Law and Gender (2012).
    Publisher
  5. Katharine Silbaugh, "Architecture of Legal Feminism," 9:2 Issues in Legal Scholarship Article 6 (2011).
    Publisher
  6. Katharine Silbaugh, "Deliverable Male," in Symposium Crowdsourcing the Work-Family Debate: A Colloquy, 34 Seattle University Law Review 733 (2011).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
  7. Katharine Silbaugh, "Testing as Commodification," in Symposium For Love or Money - Defining Relationships in Law and Life, 35 Washington University Journal of Law & Policy 309 (2011).
    HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  8. Katharine Silbaugh, "Sprawl, Family Rhythms, and the Four-Day Work Week," 42 Connecticut Law Review (2010).
  9. Katharine Silbaugh & Katharine Baker, Family Law: The Essentials, Student Manual, Aspen Publishers (2009).
  10. Katharine Silbaugh, "Califano v. Westcott, 443 U.S. 76 (1979)," in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, David S. Tanenhaus, ed., Gale, 250 (2008).
  11. Katharine Silbaugh, "Cleveland Board of Education v. Lafleur, 414 U.S. 632 (1974)," in Encyclopedia of the Supreme Court of the United States, David S. Tanenhaus, ed., Gale, 343 (2008).
  12. Katharine Silbaugh, "Developments in U.S. Products Liability Law: Defining a Defect in Product Design," 42:2 Comparative Law Review 117 (2008). [translated  by Megumi Takahashi]
  13. Katharine Silbaugh, "WalMart's Other Woman Problem: Sprawl and Work-Family Balancing," 39 Connecticut Law Review 1715 (2006-07).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  14. Katharine Silbaugh, "Women's Place: Urban Planning, Housing Design, and Work-Family Balance," 76 Fordham Law Review 1797 (2007).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  15. Katharine Silbaugh, "Money as Emotion in the Distribution of Property at Divorce," in Reconceiving the Family: Critique on the American Law Institute's Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution 234, Robin Fretwell Wilson, ed., Cambridge University Press (2006).
  16. Katharine Silbaugh, "The Practice of Marriage," 20 Wisconsin Women's Law Journal 189 (2005).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  17. Katharine Silbaugh, "After Goodridge: Will Civil Unions Do?" Jurist (2004).
    Publisher
  18. Katharine Silbaugh, "Is the Work-Family Conflict Pathological or Normal under the FMLA? The Potential of the FMLA to Cover Ordinary Work-Family Conflicts," 15 Washington University Journal of Law and Policy 193 (2004).
    Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  19. Katharine Silbaugh, "Proliferation," 12 Columbia Journal of Gender and Law 462 (2003).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  20. Katharine Silbaugh, "Sex Offenses: Consensual," in Encyclopedia of Crime and Justice, Joshua Dressler, ed., Macmillan Reference USA, 1465 (2002).
  21. 76 Chicago-Kent Law Review: Symposium, The Structures of Care Work, Katharine Silbaugh, ed., Chicago-Kent Law Review (2001).
  22. Katharine Silbaugh, "Accounting for Family Change," review of June Carbone, From Parents to Partners, Columbia University Press (2000), 89 Georgetown Law Journal 923 (2001). Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance
  23. Katharine Silbaugh, "Foreword: The Structures of Care Work," in Symposium The Structures of Care Work, 76 Chicago-Kent Law Review 1389 (2001).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  24. Katharine Silbaugh, "Gender and Nonfinancial Matters in the ALI Principles of the Law of Family Dissolution," 8 Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy 203 (2001).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  25. Katharine Silbaugh, "One Plus One Makes Two," review of Milton C. Regan, Alone Together, Oxford University Press (1999), 4 The Green Bag 2d 109 (2000). Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance
  26. Katharine Silbaugh, "Unbending Gender, Why Work and Family Conflict and What to Do About It," in Symposium New Directions in Feminist Legal Theory, 49 American University Law Review 943 (2000).
  27. Katharine Silbaugh, "Miller v. Albright: Problems of Constitutionalization in Family Law," 79 Boston University Law Review 1139 (1999).
    Westlaw | " target="_blank">Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  28. Katharine Silbaugh, "Grounded Applications: Feminism and Law at the Millennium," 50 Maine Law Review 201 (1998).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  29. Katharine Silbaugh, "Marriage Contracts and the Family Economy," 93 Northwestern University Law Review 65 (1998).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  30. Katharine Silbaugh, "Commodification and Women's Household Labor," 9 Yale Journal of Law and Feminism 81 (1997).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  31. Katharine Silbaugh, "Foreword," in Symposium on Transracial Adoption, 6 Boston University Public Interest Law Journal 381 (1997).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  32. Katharine Silbaugh, "The Polygamous Heart?" review of Arlie Russel Hochschild, The Time Bind: When Work Becomes Home and Home Becomes Work, Metropolitan Books (1997), 1 Green Bag 2d 97 (1997). Westlaw
  33. Katharine Silbaugh & Richard A. Posner, A Guide to America's Sex Laws, University of Chicago Press (1996).
    Publisher
  34. Katharine Silbaugh, "Intrusive Law Reform," 76 Boston University Law Review 193 (1996).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  35. Katharine Silbaugh, "Turning Labor into Love: Housework and the Law," 91 Northwestern University Law Review 1 (1996).
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance | HeinOnline (BU) | HeinOnline
  36. Katharine Silbaugh, "Sticks and Stones Can Break My Name: Nondefamatory Negligent Injury to Reputation," 59 University of Chicago Law Review 865 (1992). [Comment]
    Westlaw | Lexis Advance
Courses

3 credits

This seminar considers the legal and policy framework of K-12 public education. During the first two-thirds of the meetings, we will study the historical development of public education; school desegregation and resegregation; school finance; federalism, localism, and accountability efforts; achievement gap and equity reforms such as school choice, charters, and vouchers; single-sex public education and other identity-based public schooling; commitments to students with disabilities; and bullying. For the final third of the course, students will work in pairs to develop a topic for further research, evaluation, and problem-solving, and present their work in person and in writing to the class. Students will leave this course with a foundation in substantive education law and policy, and develop and practice the following skills: oral communication, written communication, law and policy analysis, and collaboration. This is a reading and writing intensive course. NOTES: This seminar does not satisfy the Upper-class Writing Requirement. GRADING NOTICE: This course does not offer the CR/NC/H option. **A student who fails to attend the initial meeting of a seminar (designated by an (S) in the title), or to obtain permission to be absent from either the instructor or the Registrar, may be administratively dropped from the seminar. Students who are on a wait list for a seminar are required to attend the first seminar meeting to be considered for enrollment.

SPRG 2016: LAW JD 777 A1 , Jan 14th to Apr 14th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Thu 2:10 pm 4:10 pm 3 Katharine B. Silbaugh LAW 417
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 777 A1 , Jan 17th to Apr 25th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Tue 10:40 am 12:40 pm 3 Katharine B. Silbaugh LAW 417

Var credits

This survey course will provide an introduction to the legal regulation of the family. The course will focus on the legal regulation and response to both adult and adult-child relationships. Topics covered will include: cohabitation; marriage; civil union; divorce and dissolution of relationships; the financial consequences of divorce including property division and alimony; premarital agreements; the laws governing non-marital relationships; family mediation; child custody, visitation, and parenting plans; child support; paternity; assisted reproductive technologies; and adoption. The course will also cover the interaction between families and the state in related areas of law including employment law and education law. There will be a final examination as well as in-class drafting and negotiation exercises.

FALL 2015: LAW JD 814 A1 , Aug 31st to Dec 2nd 2015
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 10:40 am 12:40 pm Var Linda C. McClain LAW 209
SPRG 2016: LAW JD 814 S1 , Jan 11th to Apr 20th 2016
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 11:00 am 12:25 pm Var Katharine B. Silbaugh LAW 101
SPRG 2017: LAW JD 814 S1 , Jan 18th to Apr 26th 2017
Days Start End Credits Instructors Bldg Room
Mon,Wed 11:00 am 12:25 pm 3 Katharine B. Silbaugh LAW 101
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