Public Interest TLS'ers?

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confused_humpback
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Public Interest TLS'ers?

Postby confused_humpback » Fri Mar 20, 2015 4:59 pm

Hey all.

I'm a 0L deciding between schools right now and actually figuring out if I should actually go through with it. My initial interests were in labor & employment law, but am highly interested in 501(c)(3) work. I may be oversimplifying, but PI seems to be slightly underrepresented on the forums, and I was wondering if I could hear from some graduates who have built a careers in public interest. In particular, I'm interested about number-related stuff: debt, income, monthly payments, repayment plans. But I'm also interested in what type of work you're involved in, what your average day is like, how competitive/hard was it go get into that field, whether you find the work satisfying, and if you're 0L self would be happy with the direction you've taken.

Thanks!

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Teoeo
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Re: Public Interest TLS'ers?

Postby Teoeo » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:17 pm

I do labor and employment law at the state level (think NLRB but for farm-workers). What exactly do you mean by 501(c)(3) work? Most legal non-profits are 501(c)(3)'s.

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confused_humpback
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Re: Public Interest TLS'ers?

Postby confused_humpback » Fri Mar 20, 2015 5:20 pm

Well, in my market (NYC) there are quite a few organizations registered as non-profits that provide labor and employment law services to workers (largely in low-wage industries). Work like that is appealing not only because it appeals to my practical inclinations but also because it would allow me to capitalize on PSLF.

But I'd also be very interested in labor law work, and also working with the NLRB would be very appealing.

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Teoeo
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Re: Public Interest TLS'ers?

Postby Teoeo » Fri Mar 20, 2015 7:02 pm

In my experience, labor and employment law is an amazing career path. Most people in this country spend a great deal of their waking life at work. Keeping those work places safe ([DOL] - OSHA), free from discrimination (EEOC), free from retaliation for union support and protected concerted activity (NLRB), and free from wage and hour abuses ([DOL] - Wage and Hour Section) can be a very satisfying career path. In my experience, OSHA work has the most fascinating case-facts, wage and hour work has the best remedies, and labor relations work has the biggest societal impact. Try it all out and find out what you like.


P.S. - I didn't include unemployment insurance or workers comp because yuck.

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robertloblawslawblog
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Re: Public Interest TLS'ers?

Postby robertloblawslawblog » Sun Mar 22, 2015 7:26 pm

Hi!

I'm also a 0L, so I'm not the most knowledgeable person in the world on this topic. But I am also super interested in employment law, and through that research, I've also stumbled across a number of top tier plaintiffs firms that do a lot of interesting class actions.

I'm thinking along the lines of Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho, Lieff Cabraser and Lichten & Liss-Riordan.

For whatever reason, the biggest players are clustered in California, most likely because (I'm guessing here) a) the labor laws are more favorable to plaintiffs there and b) the labor market is big enough to sustain state-level class actions.

Sooo long story short, you can theoretically make money and do public-interest-minded employment law. There are also obviously firms that specialize in representing unions, particularly in DC and NYC.

Again, I am not the most knowledgeable person on the topic but there *is* a way to do social justice minded employment law work and not have to stress too hard about making not-that-much-money.

Hope that's helpful in some way.




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