Professor Kalsem joined the faculty of UC's College of Law in 2001. With Professor Verna Williams, she co-directs the university's joint-degree program in Law and Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies, a pioneer program for which the College of Law is nationally known. She also is a co-director of the College's Center for Race, Gender, and Social Justice. Professor Kalsem teaches in the areas of commercial law, bankruptcy, feminist legal theory, and law and literature. In 2003 and 2010, she received the Goldman Prize for Teaching Excellence.
Prior to joining the UC faculty, Professor Kalsem taught at the University of Iowa's College of Law and Department of English while completing her doctoral studies. Her interdisciplinary scholarship on 19th-century women and the law was supported by numerous fellowships and grants, including a Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation Grant and an American Fellowship from the Association of University Women. Professor Kalsem continues to write in the areas of women's legal history and the cultural study of law and her book In Contempt: Nineteenth-Century Women, Law, and Literature was published this spring by the Ohio State University Press. She also writes about issues of gender, race, and class in the contexts of bankruptcy reform and consumer protection. Her scholarship has been published in such journals as the Harvard Women's Law Journal, the Southern California Review of Law and Women's Studies, and the UCLA Women's Law Journal.
Professor Kalsem has presented papers at national and international conferences, including meetings of the Law and Society Association and the Association of Law, Culture, and the Humanities. She has served as chair of the American Association of Law School's Section of Law and the Humanities and currently sits on the Executive Board of the Section.
Prior to teaching, Professor Kalsem practiced law in Chicago with the law firm Sidley & Austin.