Document Type



Labor and Employment Law


A central feature of early work associated with critical legal studies was an effort to ‘break the seal’ between teaching and writing, the supposedly dichotomous dimensions of academic life. This essay locates the link in a ‘demystification’ project – a relentless focus on the recurring rhetorical structures of legal reasoning and argument – and nowhere is it more evident than in critical labour scholarship. The essay offers an extended illustration by deploying a series of critical classroom techniques in a study of Local 1330 v. U.S. Steel, a tragically unsuccessful effort by a union to prevent the closing of a steel mill via promissory estoppel and an early symptom of late twentieth century deindustrialization, the declining fortunes of labour unions, and the shift from labour law to contract law in the legal regulation of the American workplace.