Employment and labor law shapes business profitability and worker quality of life, making it central to economic and social policies and to a wide range of legal practice.
SLU LAW is one of the few law schools to provide a concentration in employment law to prepare students for this dynamic practice area.
Founded in 1987, the William C. Wefel Center for Employment Law offers an extensive curriculum to provide students with the foundation for successful practice in the constantly evolving area of employment law.
In 2019, Pre-Law Magazine ranked our employment law program among the top three in the country in its first ranking of the field.
The William C. Wefel for Employment Law offers a variety of opportunities for students during their time at SLU LAW.
ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law
In 2018, SLU LAW became the new editorial home of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law. Published since 1985, the Journal provides balanced discussions of current developments in labor and employment law to meet the practical needs of attorneys, judges, administrators and the public. You’ll have the chance to collaborate with the faculty editors and work on a publication with a circulation of 20,000 members.
Semester in D.C.
You'll get in-depth, practical experience in federal labor and employment regulation and policy through this program, in which you'll work nearly full time in a federal agency in the nation's capital, such as the National Labor Relations Board or the EEOC.
Employment Law Association
As a member of this student group, you’ll be introduced to new issues and career opportunities in the field through speaker events.
Make a Difference in the Legal Clinics
Second- and third-year students, supervised by practicing lawyers, work in the SLU LAW Legal Clinics as student attorneys. As an employment law student, you'll have the opportunity to participate in litigation that involves issues of unemployment facing our immigrant neighbors.
Gain Experience in Field Placements
Field placements provide opportunities for law students to learn in employment law practice settings. Placement experiences are intended to enrich students' legal education through skill development, increased understanding of substantive law, development of professional responsibility and identity, and institutional understanding.
Brandon Hall, J.D., Class of 2019, associate attorney, Hammond & Shinners, P.C., says,
"The School's emphasis on a commitment to the greater good was a message that really resonated with me. Every day, the faculty, staff and student body put this message into action in efforts to truly make a difference in the community."
Brandon Hall, J.D., Class of 2019, associate attorney, Hammond & Shinners, P.C. says, "The School's emphasis on a commitment to the greater good was a message that really resonated with me. Every day, the faculty, staff and student body put this message into action in efforts to truly make a difference in the community."
Putting Your Education to work
Brandon Hall (’19) was a staff editor of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, a leader of the Employment Law Association, president of the Environmental Law Society & Student Animal Legal Defense Fund, and a faculty fellow for three professors.
He also interned at the MO State Public Defender’s Office, clerked for the MO Court of Appeals and in 2019 won a national writing contest on employee benefits.
Hall graduated with concentrations in both employment law and health law and today practices employee benefits law.
In the field
Employment law field placements in Washington, D.C. include:
- National Labor Relations Board (NLRB)
- Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
- United States Department of Commerce (USDOC)
- NLRB - Contempt Litigation & Compliance Branch Division of Enforcement Litigation, Office of the General Counsel
- NLRB - The Division of Advice, Office of the General Counsel
- EEOC - Office of Legal Counsel
- EEOC - Office of General Counsel
- EEOC - Internship with EEOC Commissioner
- USDOC – Employment and Labor Law Division, Office of the General Counsel
Law Students advance Workers’ Rights
Through her work in the Civil Advocacy Clinic, employment law concentration student Rose Tanner ('19) successfully argued a case on behalf of a client before the Missouri Court of Appeals. This decision set new precedent in the state for individuals applying for unemployment benefits after a "good cause" quit from their previous place of employment. Learn more >
Professor Matt Bodie: Prof. Bodie is co-director of the Wefel Center and focuses his research on the role of information, control and ownership within the corporation and the workplace. A former attorney for the National Labor Relations Board, he has authored or co-authored more than 40 books, book chapters, articles and essays, and he has been published or quoted in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg Law and Quartz, among other media outlets.
Professor Miriam A. Cherry: Prof. Cherry is co-director of the Wefel Center and focuses her research on the intersection of technology and globalization in employment law topics, with a specialty in the "gig economy." She spent the summer of 2018 conducting research at the International Labour Office (ILO), a specialized agency of the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, on jurisdiction and crowdwork. She's frequently sought out by media outlets for her expertise and has been quoted in WIRED, the New York Times, the Atlantic, Fast Company and other publications.
Professor Marcia McCormick: Prof. McCormick is a former director of the Wefel Center and focuses her research on employment discrimination, civil rights, federal courts, and gender and the law. She began her legal career as a staff attorney with the International Human Rights Law Institute and went on to work in the Illinois Attorney General's Office before entering academia. She is frequently interviewed by media, including National Jurist, St. Louis Public Radio, Bloomberg Law, Newsweek and Fortune.
At the intersection of health law and employment law: Professors Elizabeth Pendo, Ana Santos Rutschman and Ruqaiijah Yearby.
As well as other multidisciplinary faculty members: Professors Carol Needham, Kerry Ryan and Lauren Bartlett.
Professors Miriam Cherry, Matt Bodie and Ruqaiijah Yearby presented the following webinar in September 2020 about labor and employment law issues during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Summer Law Program in Madrid
SLU LAW's ABA-approved summer program offers six weeks of enriching, rewarding education in one of the most exciting, historical and culturally rich cities in the world. Learn more >
We’ve Got Unique CoursesExplore
The Future of Work
Emerging technologies are changing the ways people work. This course focuses on the impact of the platform economy and gig work, big data and people analytics, artificial intelligence and the algorithmic boss, blockchain, drones, and 3D printing on the world of work. You will examine the responses to these technologies by businesses, unions and workers, as well as national governments and international organizations. You'll ask questions like "How can workers and businesses address the coming technological changes?", "Do we need additional market or government interventions?", and "Will existing forms of regulation still work in order to safeguard worker health and safety?" Welcome to this fascinating area of study!
Sports Law: Labor Wrangling Endorsement and the Art of the Deal
In this course you'll examine the legal and regulatory environment of professional and amateur sports, with a special focus on labor law issues and negotiation. The lawyer's expanding opportunities and responsibilities are explored in this $60 billion a year industry commanding expertise in numerous and diverse practice areas. Class projects call students to 'represent' sports clients, such as athletes, teams, coaches, leagues, etc. These projects will heavily emphasize your negotiation skills and comfort with collective bargaining.
Information Privacy Law
Information relating to businesses, private financial matters, medical history and consumer activity is now generated and distributed at a furious pace. As its use escalates, we are struggling as a society with the extent to which it should remain private, and as to whom. In this course, some of the many topics covered include genetic data, trade secrets, surveillance, monitoring of email, drug testing, identity theft and conflicts between privacy and free speech.
Across the world, workers labor without pay for the benefit of profitable businesses - and it's legal. Labor trends due to technology and online platforms hide some workers, and outsourcing hides still more. Branding policies erase some workers, while other jobs are taken over by unpaid interns. Meanwhile other workers must use "emotional labor" to get ahead in the workplace. This seminar explores the legal and sociological dynamics that allow labor to be hidden from view.
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