Employment Law

General Advice

The Labor and Employment Law field has dramatically expanded in recent years and continues to grow. The study of employer and employee responsibilities and rights has a broad range. The field encompasses the traditional establishment of collective bargaining relationships between unions and management in the private sector and the more recent establishment of such relations in the public sector. The prohibition of employment discrimination based on race, age, sex (including sexual harassment), religion and disabilities falls under this category as does the regulation of employee benefits, qualified retirement plans and regulation of health and safety in the workplace.

The study of labor and employment law provides the foundation for the practice of law as a representative of management, individual employees and unions. This concentration also provides a base for practice in governmental positions, such as with the National Labor Relations Board, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the Human Rights Commission of a state or local government. It is also beneficial in the practice of corporate law, and in representing other institutional clients such as in health care industries or in higher education. Significant increases in the number of employment discrimination cases filed have made this area an important component of any litigation department. A wide range of opportunities for employment exists in this field.

Requirements for the Concentration in Employment Law

Since 1987, the Wefel Center for Employment Law has offered students the opportunity to achieve a Concentration in Employment Law while pursuing the J.D. degree. To obtain the concentration, students must complete 11 hours of approved coursework and write a publishable paper on an employment law topic in addition to meeting the requirements of the J.D. degree. Students pursuing the concentration are required to take and pass with a grade of C or higher either Labor Law or Employment Law (students are strongly encouraged to take this foundational class in their second year), but can otherwise choose from approved employment law classes. These choices can include directed research projects to focus studies in the areas of employment law which are of most interest.

For detailed information about the Concentration program, students are encouraged to contact Professor Matthew Bodie, Director of the Wefel Center for Employment Law (Room 940; phone: 977-7507; email: matthew.bodie@slu.edu).

Of course, students who are not interested in the Concentration are encouraged to enroll in the Labor and Employment Law courses of their choice.

Specific Courses

  • Alternative Dispute Resolution (2)
  • Disability Law (3)
  • Employment Benefits Law (3)
  • Employment Discrimination (3)
  • Employment Law (2 or 3)
  • Information Privacy Law (3)
  • Labor Law (3)
  • People Analytics (2)
  • Sports Law (2)
  • Virtual Work (3)
  • Workers' Compensation (1)

Wefel Center faculty will also offer at least one seminar each year on employment law topics. See registration materials for further details.

Sequencing of Courses

Students seeking the Concentration are strongly encouraged to take Labor Law or Employment Law in their second year. Students are also encouraged to participate in the Employment Law semester in Washington D.C. program in the Spring of their third (or final) year. Also recommended is directed research on an employment or labor law topic, supervised by a faculty member (directed research may qualify for credit toward the Concentration in Employment Law).

Additional suggested courses include externships through the School of Law Clinic with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the National Labor Relations Board and the Civil Rights Enforcement Agency for the City of St. Louis (although the credits earned through these clinic externships will not count toward the concentration).

Extracurricular Programs

Extracurricular activities include: lectures/programs each semester on current issues in labor and employment law sponsored by the Wefel Center for Employment Law and the Employment Law Association. Opportunities to attend full day conferences focusing on important Employment Law issues featuring prominent national and local speakers and to meet members of the local bar who attend the program are also offered. Students can also participate in the activities of the Employment Law Association.


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