Jessica Garrick

Assistant Professor


Office: Hyer Hall 310C
Phone: 214-768-1211

Educational Background

Ph.D., University of Michigan


My research centers on the role of laws in political and civic life and the question of when laws "on the books" protect disadvantaged groups. One thread of this research examines such questions from the vantage point of officials in state bureaucracies: how they interpret and act upon those missions, how those interpretations and behaviors vary across time and space, and what those variations mean for the law's implementation. Another strand examines the "ground-up" question of how social movements use the law to define and address specific societal problems. Currently, my primary research addresses these questions using the case of the National Labor Relations Act. For future projects, I plan to extend the inquiry to other areas, including employment law more broadly, immigration, and environmental regulations.

Research and Teaching Interests

  • Political and economic sociology
  • Law
  • Labor
  • Work and organizations
  • Social movements
  • Immigration
  • Methods
  • Sociological theory 

Selected Publications

Peer-Reviewed Articles

  • Levitsky, Sandra R., Rachel Kahn Best, and Jessica Garrick. 2018. “‘Legality with a Vengeance’: Reclaiming Distribution for Sociolegal Studies.” Law & Society Review 52 (3): 709–39.  
  • Garrick, Jessica. 2014. “Repurposing American Labor Law: Immigrant Workers, Worker Centers, and the National Labor Relations Act.” Politics & Society 42 (4): 489–512.

Other Publications

  • Schrank, Andrew and Jessica Garrick. 2013. “Mexican Immigrants and Wage Theft in New Mexico.” 
  • Garrick, Jessica. 2012. “Demanding Fairness on the Job: New Uses for an Old Law." Scholars Strategy Network, June. 
  • Garrick, Jessica, and Andrew Schrank. 2011. “Wronged Without Recourse: Supreme Court Precedent Sets Back Worker Rights.” Boston Review, September/October. 

Grants and Awards

  • Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2017 - 2018, National Science Foundation
  • David Paul Research Fellowship Fund Award, Summer 2018, University of Michigan, Department of Sociology
  • Fellow in Race, Law, and History, 2016 – 2017, University of Michigan Law School
  • Graduate Fellow, 2012 – 2013, Scholars Strategy Network, Southwest Chapter