The Employment Law Clinic provides student attorneys with a unique look at both sides of the employment relationship through litigation representation of individual employees and transactional counseling of nonprofit employers.
Student attorneys are introduced to the employee's perspective through litigating unemployment insurance (UI) appeals. These appeals require full representation, including client interviewing, counseling, preparation and execution of direct and cross examination, as well as closing statements. Student attorneys interface with the DEED website on behalf of the client, represent the client in the telephonic appeal hearing, and manage every aspect of the lawyer/client relationship with the assistance of a supervising attorney well-versed in the management of these cases.
Student attorneys are introduced to the employer's perspective through counseling and representation of nonprofit employers. This representation involves transactional-type interviewing so that student attorneys may understand their clients' workforce, employment practices, compliance with federal and state regulations applicable to the workplace, and potential areas of legal risk. Student attorneys then may audit and revise policies and employment handbooks; review and/or draft independent-contractor or employment agreements; assess and advise on compliance with employment-eligibility recordkeeping regulations; and identify, assess, and advise on employment issues unique to each employer.
- On average, three client meetings are held in each UI case. These are to conduct the client intake and review client documents; to prepare the client for testimony; and to represent the client in the UI appeal by phone.
- Student lawyers will meet at least twice with nonprofit employer clients, for client intake and to deliver work product. Student lawyers also may visit the workplace in order to conduct audits as needed.
What to expect when working on cases and with clients:
- Students will take on an average of 1-2 UI cases. Students will meet with clients in person, on the phone, and will correspond with them. Students will appear before unemployment law judges by phone.
- Students will work in two- or three-person teams when counseling nonprofit employers, whose needs regarding employment laws and regulations will likely vary widely from client to client. Students will need to identify areas of greatest risk and work to mitigate risk and ensure compliance with applicable laws and regulations. Targeted legal research and familiarity with reliable secondary sources will be very helpful.
NOTE: This course requires certification pursuant to the student practice rule and is open to JD students only.