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.

Student opportunities

The William C. Wefel for Employment Law offers a variety of opportunities for students during their time at SLU LAW.

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.

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.

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.

Access to Renowned Scholars and Practitioners

As an employment law student, you will have numerous opportunities to meet and network with prominent academics and leading members of the practicing bar, as well as prospective employers. The Wefel Center frequently hosts workshops, conferences and symposia that explore current significant issues in labor and employment law. Many of these nationally known speakers also publish articles in the Saint Louis University Law Journal.

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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 >

Powerhouse faculty

Cutting-edge research

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 Courses

Explore

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.

Invisible Labor

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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