Carlin Meyer

Professor of Law, Emerita

Carlin Meyer

Carlin Meyer unabashedly and courageously champions progressive politics at New York Law School and within legal education in general with such passion, grace, and intelligence that she has earned the respect of her profession for her many accomplishments. For her many contributions as an activist, scholar, and teacher, she was honored at the 2002 annual dinner of the National Lawyers Guild’s New York City chapter.

Professor Meyer has become increasingly troubled by the direction American democracy has taken, and spent her sabbatical (2013) studying issues involving the influence of money in politics.  “Scholars have shown that the views of the wealthiest prevail overwhelmingly in the legislative arena” Professor Meyer notes, “and legislators complain that the need for campaign funds is now so great that they have become little more than telemarketers who speak largely to those with the potential to make large donations. This is not how democracy is supposed to work.”

Professor Meyer’s early scholarship focused on pornography from a perspective that her professional colleagues classify as feminist, yet unique. She challenged the traditional feminist call for censorship, arguing that such a crusade would support a conservative ideology and lead to measures designed to control women’s sexuality.

Professor Meyer, who served on the New York City Mayor’s Commission on the Status of Women and was a consultant to its Sexual Harassment Task Force, has also written about prostitution as a form of work and on the issue of sexual harassment.

Professor Meyer has taught and written on matters ranging from feminist jurisprudence to separation of powers under the U.S. Constitution. She is a frequent speaker and commentator on issues related to sex, sexuality, and gender, as well as issues related to labor and world trade.

“Privatizing care within the family means not only that women will shoulder most of the responsibility, but also that the quality of care is likely to diminish because working women have less time to devote to it, and market-based care is profit-driven.”

“I am extremely concerned with the increasing disparity of wealth between rich and poor,” Professor Meyer says. “We take care of our richest citizens, we bail out banks and corporate conglomerates, but we consistently fail those who are on the bottom rungs of the economic ladder.”

Before New York Law School, Professor Meyer was bureau chief for labor in the New York State Attorney General’s Office, and represented the State Labor Department and Workers’ Compensation Boards. She earlier served as assistant attorney general in the Civil Rights Division of that office; as assistant general counsel to District Council 37 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees; and as partner in the firm of Gladstein Meyer and Reif (currently Gladstein Reif & Meginniss).

Professor Meyer has served as legislative liaison for both the Sex and Law and Civil Rights committees of the Association of the Bar of the City of New York. She belongs to the City’s Office of Collective Bargaining Panel of Independent Arbitrators and mediates public employment disputes. She is a pro bono consultant to nonprofit organizations on labor matters and was selected by the New York State Attorney General to help oversee enforcement of a pathbreaking “Code of Conduct” for New York City’s greengrocers. She is a member of the Society of American Law Teachers, and of the Law & Society Association, and is a former president of the New York City Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild.




Towards “Development-Based” Standard Setting: Comments on “A New Paradigm for International Labor Standards”, Chapter 27 in Cross-Border Human Resources, Labor and Employment Issues: Proceedings of the New York University 54th Annual Conference on Labor at 753-768 (A.P. Morriss & S. Estreicher, eds., Kluwer Law International, 2005).

“Abstention Doctrine and the Civil Rights Plaintiff: Let the Lawyer Beware.” Chapter 10 in 4 Civil Rights Litigation and Attorney Fees Annual Handbook, at 131–150, edited by B.M. Wolvovitz. Clark Boardman, 1988.




Confronting Obstacles: Tenure Politics, Rankings and New Solutions: Not Whistlin’ Dixie: Now More than Ever, We Need Feminist Law Journals, 12 Columbia Journal Gender & Law 539–545 (2003).

“Who Cares? Reflections on Law, Loss and Family Values in the Wake of 9/11.” (Special Issue: Reflecting on the Legal Issues of Our Times. New York Law School Faculty Presentation Day), 46 New York Law School Law Review 653-663 (2002-2003).

“Crimes Against -Humanity- Women: The Uncomfortable Stories of ‘Comfort Women.’” A Book Review Essay of Comfort Women Speak: Testimony by Sex Slaves of the Japanese Military, edited by Sangmie Choi Schellstede. 17 New York Law School Journal of Human Rights 1019–1061 (2001).

“Women and the Internet.” 8Texas Journal of Women and the Law 305–324 (1999).

“Reclaiming Sex From the Pornographers: Cybersexual Possibilities.” 83 Georgetown Law Journal 1969–2008 (1995).

“Snips and Snails and Puppy Dogs’ Tails, That’s What Little Boys Are Made Of.” Book Reviews of American Manhood: Transformations in Masculinity From the Revolution to the Modern Era, by E. Anthony Rotundo, and Power at Play: Sports and the Problem of Masculinity, by Michael A. Messner (Symposium: The Sex Panic: Women, Censorship and “Pornography”). 38 New York Law School Law Review 443–462 (1993).

“Sex, Sin, and Women’s Liberation: Against Porn-Suppression.” 72 Texas Law Review 1097–1201 (1994).

“Decriminalizing Prostitution: Liberation or Dehumanization?” 1 Cardozo Women’s Law Journal 105–120 (1993).

“Imbalance of Powers: Can Congressional Lawsuits Serve as Counterweight?” 54 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 63–128 (1992).




International Labor Standards in the WTO’s “New World Order”: Towards “Development-Based” Standard Setting, 59 Guild Practitioner 21–30 (Winter 2002),.

“Corporate Democracy – Not Such a Radical Idea.” San Francisco Chronicle (Open Forum), at A25 (July 24, 1998).

Book Review of No Equal Justice: Race and Class in the American Criminal Justice System, by David Cole. 221 New York Law Journal 2 (April 16, 1999).

Book Review of No Mercy: How Conservative Think Tanks and Foundations Changed America’s Social Agenda, by Jean Stefancic and Richard Delgado. 217 New York Law Journal 2 (February 3, 1997).

Book Review of A Guide to America’s Sex Laws, by Richard A. Posner and Katherine B. Silbaugh. 216 New York Law Journal 2 (November 8, 1996).

“Rare Wisdom on Bare Breasts from a New York Court.” 105 Los Angeles Daily Journal 6 (August 24, 1992).

“Women’s Breasts: So What?” New York Times (Op Ed), at A21 (July 29, 1992).

“Sections on False Imprisonment and Common Law Right to Privacy in Employee Rights Litigation: Pleading and Practice.” Matthew Bender, 1991.