All law students have a personal stake in understanding the law governing the employment relationship: nearly all will be employees, and some will become employers. As a field of practice, labor and employment law offers the opportunity to work on complex matters with profound and direct consequences for the quality of life of workers and the productivity of businesses. Labor and employment lawyers work in litigation, negotiation, compliance, alternative dispute resolution, regulatory, and planning settings. They practice in large corporate law firms and small boutique firms; in-house at corporations and labor unions; in civil-rights and other public interest organizations; as arbitrators and mediators; and at all levels of government (advocating on behalf of plaintiffs, defending governments as employers, and serving as policymakers, adjudicators, and mediators). The field of labor law has important administrative law dimensions, and provides an incomparable setting for considering the efficacy of law in the face of social and economic change.
NYU Law has a strong program for students interested in labor and employment law. There are four basic doctrinal courses in the field, and a core clinical offering. Labor Law focuses on employee collective action (e.g., union organizing and collective bargaining), with an emphasis on federal law governing the private sector (with some references to public sector developments). Employment Discrimination addresses federal protections against discrimination on statutorily prohibited grounds (e.g., race, gender, religion, age, disability). Employment Law covers the common-law rights and obligations inherent in the employment relationship, as well as a range of statutory schemes establishing minimum employment standards. Employee Benefits Law, a field with both taxation and employment law dimensions, focuses on federal regulation of employer-provided retirement and health benefits. The Civil Litigation – Employment Law Clinic offers hands-on and conceptual training in the litigation of discrimination cases and minimum wage and overtime cases. Other seminar and clinical offerings relevant to particular industry or practice area interests are also periodically available.
Find out more about Labor and Employment Law at NYU Law.