Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



This chapter explains the nature and practice of lawmaking, legal advocacy, and legal research as they relate to the field of work and family. Through reference to the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 as a case study, the authors explain the dynamic processes by which laws are made, interpreted and modified by legislatures, administrative agencies and courts, with the help of legal advocates. Their goal is not to provide substantive analysis of laws related to work and family, but rather to enable researchers from a range of disciplines to understand and access the legal system, as it currently exists and as it is evolving. In addition, for those inclined to change the current system through legal advocacy, this chapter provides a window into how advocates may use the lawmaking process to promote their preferred work and family policies.


Used under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs license

Publication Citation

Chai R. Feldblum & Robin Appleberry, Legislatures, Agencies, Courts and Advocates: How Laws are Made, Interpreted and Modified, in THE WORK AND FAMILY HANDBOOK: MULTI-DISCIPLINARY PERSPECTIVES, METHODS, AND APPROACHES 627-650 (Marcie Pitt-Catsouphes, Ellen Ernst Kossek & Stephen A. Sweet eds., Mahwah, N.J.: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates 2006)