Nov. 3, 2010

Kate Griffith named first Proskauer Rose professor

For the first time, the ILR School has a named faculty chair that supports the work of an assistant professor.

The Proskauer Rose Employment and Labor Law Assistant Professorship has been established for an ILR assistant professor who engages in scholarly work in employment law, labor law, employee benefits, compensation, conflict resolution and/or collective bargaining.

Kate Griffith, assistant professor of employment and labor law, is the first to hold the chair. "I am incredibly honored to receive this recognition as an assistant professor," she said.

The professorship is named for the Proskauer Rose law firm; more than 30 of its partners and associates are Cornell graduates.

As Proskauer Rose chair, Griffith will teach an elective course cross-listed at the ILR and Law schools. "I love teaching ILR students, but being able to connect with law students as well will add a new and rewarding dynamic to my teaching," she said.

Griffith will lecture at Proskauer Rose at least once per year and help engage the firm's attorneys as ILR guest lecturers and instructors.

"You spend so much time as a faculty member doing research and writing, and this helps get my research out there to people actually doing the work and practicing employment law. I look forward to the exchange," Griffith said.

Griffith, who joined the ILR School in 2007, received her law degree from the New York University School of Law and served as a law clerk to the Hon. Rosemary S. Pooler on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit.

Griffith has published a number of scholarly articles in highly ranked law journals. Her research focuses on international/comparative labor and employment law and immigration.

The new chair was announced during the university's Trustee Council Weekend. Paul Salvatore '81, J.D. '84, a Proskauer Rose partner and a university trustee, said that the firm is "thrilled to be able to associate our name with the great institutions of Cornell ILR and the Cornell Law School."

Harry Katz, the Kenneth F. Kahn Dean and Jack Sheinkman Professor, said that Salvatore was the driving force behind this professorship. "The chair couldn't have happened without Paul. He came to us with the idea and worked hard to make it happen," Katz said.

In September, Proskauer Rose LLP was named one of the country's best law firms by U.S. News and World Report -- Best Lawyers.

Joe Zappala is ILR School assistant dean for communications and marketing.