Cheryl A. Beckett

Professor Emeritus



  • J.D. Gonzaga University School of Law, magna cum laude, 1981
  • A.B. Rutgers University, cum laude, 1974


Before joining the Gonzaga faculty in 1991, Professor Beckett served as counsel for United Food and Commercial Workers’ Union, Local 1439, Spokane, Washington. She has also practiced labor law with the National Labor Relations Board in Anchorage, Alaska, and with the firm formerly known as Hafer, Cassidy, and Price in Seattle.

Professor Beckett currently serves as a Commissioner and Chair on the City of Spokane Civil Service Commission, and continues to serve as arbitrator and mediator on both public and private labor issues when called upon by employers and unions. She is a member of the American Bar Association, Labor and Employment Law Section; the Washington State Bar Association, Labor and Employment Section; the Association of American Law Schools, Labor and Employment Law Section and Legal Research and Writing Section; and the Association of Legal Writing Directors.

She has presented at various seminars, workshops, and conferences on both labor and employment issues, as well as on legal writing topics.


  • Co-authored the 2012/2013 updates to the deskbook, Employment in Washington: A Guide to Employment Laws, Regulations, and Practices (4th ed. Release 15, Matthew Bender & Co., a member of the Lexis Nexis Group) (2013).
  • Publisher’s Review, Employment Discrimination Law: Bridge into Practice, by Rachel Croskery-Roberts and Margaret Curtiss Hannon (to be published by Aspen Publishers 2012)
  • Publisher’s Review, Legal Research & Legal Writing by Diana R. Donahoe (Aspen Publishers 2011)
  • Burnout in the Seasoned LR&W Teacher – “Be Careful What You Wish For,” published in Second Draft, Celebrating 25 Years of the Legal Writing Institute, Spring 2010
  • A Factor By Any Other Name: The Religious Employers’ Defense to Contraceptive Equity Claims Under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII, published in Rutgers Journal of Law and Public Policy, Volume 7, Issue 1, December 2009
  • Publisher’s Review, Legal Writing: How and Why, by Richard Neumann and Sheila Simon (Aspen Publishers 2008).
  • Publisher’s Review, Employment Law: Private Ordering and Its Limitations, by Timothy P. Glynn, Rachel Arnow-Richman, and Charles A. Sullivan (Aspen Publishers 2007).
  • Publisher’s Review, Employment Law by Richard Carlson (March 2005, Aspen Publishers)
  • Editor, 2000 Proceedings Issue of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.
  • Editor, Legal Research and Writing for Paralegals by Joanne Hames and Yvonne Ekern (Prentice Hall 1999).
  • Editor, 1996 Proceedings Issue of Legal Writing: The Journal of the Legal Writing Institute.
  • Book Review, Persuasive Writing for Lawyers and the Legal Profession, by Louis J. Sirico, Jr. and Nancy L. Schultz, published in AALS Section on Legal Writing, Reasoning, and Research Newsletter, Fall 1995.
  • Beckett, Goldberg, Mechanic, and Schendel, Defending the Rights of Construction Workers, in EMPLOYMENT AND UNION MEMBER GUIDE TO LABOR LAW, National Lawyers Guild (New York: Clark Boardman Co., Ltd., 1986).


  • Developed and presented CLE for the Washington Association of Prosecuting Attorneys (WAPA), entitled, “The Art of Writing Persuasively to the COA: Ten Tips.” Co-presented with Professor Kevin Shelley on April 16, 2014 in Richland, WA.
  • April 23, 2014, Commemorating the Rwanda GenocideTwenty Years Later. Screened the award-winning documentarian Anne Aghion’s film, My Neighbor My Killer, followed by Q & A.
  • Developed, facilitated, and presented Legal Capacity Building Program in Kigali, Rwanda, May 24- June 1, 2013.
  • August 25, 2012; Negotiation Seminar, Washington State Council of County and City Employees, AFSCME, Local 1553
  • Rwanda: Post-Genocide Reconciliation and Development.
    April 3, 2012 at Gonzaga University School of Law
    April 16, 2012 at Red Lion River Inn
    June 13, 2012 at Gonzaga in Florence Pro-Seminar.
  • March 1, 2012 – featured speaker, presenting Stories of Workplace Discrimination, The Law, and The Courts’ Response at the Conference on Human Rights: Discrimination in the Workplace at Spokane Community College.
  • December 1-12, 2011, Rule of Law delegation to Rwanda, Africa. This program took place in and around Kigali, Gashora, and Gisenyi, Rwanda. It included, among other sessions, a series of roundtable discussions with Rwandan lawyers and judges; conferences with the faculty and students at two Rwandan law schools (National University of Rwanda in Kigali and Kigali Independent University, Gisenyi campus); a forum with the Rwandan Legal Aid Organization, a membership-based network encompassing 34 organizations such as NGOs, trade unions, bar associations, and legal aid clinics engaged in the provision of legal aid services to vulnerable groups; a visit with the Minister of Justice, Tharcisse Karugarama; tours of two genocide memorials and massacre sites; a tour of a UN Millennium Villages Project, Vision 2020 Umerenge Village in the Bugesera District; and a day-long visit at Les Enfants de Dieu, a project for 130 street children run by a former Rwandan lawyer. This private project is modeled after the ministerial offices of the Rwandan government and designed to provide the children with decision-making opportunities.
  • November 30, 2011, presented Ethical Issues in Employment Law at the Second Annual Labor and Employment Law Conference at the Spokane Convention Center.
  • September 15, 2011, co-facilitated a Spokane community forum with the Seattle office of the EEOC and the Washington State Human Rights Commission on the Equal Pay Act and sexual harassment issues.
  • December 1, 2010, presented Ethical Considerations in Employment Law, CLE sponsored by The Seminar Group in Spokane, Washington
  • December 2009, presented Top 10 Ethical Issues Facing the Employment Lawyer, Spokane County Bar Association Ethics Potpourri CLE
  • August 29, 2009, presented Burnout in the Seasoned LR & W Teacher – Be Careful What You Wish For, Lewis & Clark School in Portland, Ore.
  • July 18, 2009, presented Burnout in the Seasoned LR & W Teacher – Be Careful What You Wish For, Association of Legal Writing Directors Conference at the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law
  • February, 2008, presented on the Labor Perspective on the Writers’ Guild Strike, sponsored by the Gonzaga University School of Law Intellectual Property Caucus and Labor and Employment Law Caucus
  • November 1, 2007, presented Ask the Arbitrator: Scenarios and Case Handling Tips at the Labor and Employment Relations Conference for the Inland Empire Chapter of the Labor and Employment Relations Association in Spokane, Washington
  • October 18, 2007, presented on Compliance with State and Federal Anti-Discrimination Laws at the WSBA Benefits, Compliance & Consequences of Diversity CLE at Gonzaga University School of Law
  • August 2007, Associate Professor Cheryl Beckett and Associate Professor Kevin Shelley organized the 2007 Northwest Regional Legal Research & Writing Conference: Teaching LR&W in Changing Times, held at Gonzaga School of Law
  • April 2006, Law and Practice: Fair Labor Standards Act, Family Medical Leave Act, Trade Secrets and Covenants Not to Compete, ABA Section on Labor and Employment Law; Co-Sponsored by Gonzaga University School of Law, Spokane, Washington
  • October 2006, A Factor By Any Other Name: Using the Bennett Amendment as a Defense in Contraceptive Equity Claims Under Title VII, First Annual Colloquium on Current Scholarship in Labor and Employment Law, Marquette University School of Law, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • September 2005, Teaching Legal Analysis: The Early Years-From Deconstruction to Construction, Northwest Regional LR&W Conference, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington
  • October, 2004, Persuasive Approaches To Legal Analysis, Eastern Washington Women Lawyers, Spokane, Washington
  • February, 2003, Legal Writing for Legal Assistants, Half Moon Seminars, Spokane, Washington
  • Dec. 2001, Public Service Ethics CLE, Spokane County Bar Association, Spokane, Washington
  • February, 1999, Shooting The Rapids: Avoiding Workplace Discrimination Rocks, Moderator, Panel Discussion, Thomas More Scholarship Program, Gonzaga University School of Law
  • October, 1998, The Sex Trials of ’98: A Review of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Recent Treatment of Sexual Harassment Issues, Associated Industries Management Services, Inc., Spokane, Washington
  • February, 1998, Writing Workshop Brown Bag, Washington State University (extension), Spokane, Washington
  • September, 1996, The Law School Experience, 1996 West Coast Consortium Recruitment Fair, Fairbanks, Alaska.
  • July, 1995, Professional Status for the Legal Writing Instructor, Legal Writing Directors’ Conference, San Diego, California
  • September, 1994, The Law School Experience, 1994 West Coast Consortium Recruitment Fair, Fairbanks, Alaska
  • March 1993, Organizing in the Public Sector, Panel Member for Presentation to Spokane Professional City Workers
  • October, 1992, Conscious Drafting: Simplify Your Writing and Simplify Your Practice, Continuing Legal Education Program, Sponsored by the Spokane County Bar Association
  • March, 1988, Developments in Labor Law, Continuing Legal Education Program, Sponsored by the Spokane County Bar Association

Teaching Areas

  • Legal Research and Writing
  • Labor Law
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Comparative International Labor and Employment Law in Gonzaga’s Summer Program in Florence, Italy