Attorney Kristin Connors works with a group of Quinnipiac University School of Law first year students Wednesday, Jan. 6, 2015, during the School of Law's January Term which gives law students hands-on experience with practicing attorneys. (Autumn Driscoll/Quinnipiac University)

Workplace Law

Workplace law deals with such issues as employment discrimination, sexual harassment, labor negotiations, unemployment and wage disputes. This concentration prepares you to navigate these and other legal conundrums that emerge in the workplace.

Program Overview

Workplace law is a dynamic and challenging field that affects about 140 million civilian workers and their employers. Specializing in this field opens the door to working with large government agencies such as the U.S. Department of Labor, the Commission on Human Rights and the National Labor Relations Board. You’ll also build the legal foundation you need to represent unions or corporations, or to start a private practice. 

A substantial component of workplace law involves settling disputes, and Quinnipiac is uniquely positioned to ensure that you have a competitive advantage in that area. Our Center on Dispute Resolution's training and its Quinnipiac/Yale Workshop on Dispute Resolution are both valuable assets for our law students. The center holds workshops, sponsors prominent speaking events on campus and offers opportunities to train with lawyers in the field. You can also gain practical experience participating in national and regional mock trial and dispute resolution competitions. 

In our Civil Justice Clinic, you’ll have opportunities to represent real clients with cases relating to unemployment and unpaid wages. And in our employment and labor externship program, you’ll perform the work that workplace lawyers do, whether you choose a law firm, a government agency, or work in-house at a corporation. Because this concentration offers a wide variety of courses, you can individualize your experience and focus on a specific area in workplace law that interests you, such as mediation and arbitration, discrimination law or workers’ compensation.

Curriculum and Requirements

Students who earn the certificate for this concentration develop an understanding of a variety of workplace law principles and remedies, in an array of civil law contexts involving employment law, employment discrimination law, labor law, arbitration, mediation, negotiation and administrative law.

Concentration Prerequisites
To be eligible for the workplace law concentration, you must take Evidence and Administrative Law as two of your four required core electives. Credits for these courses do not count toward the 21-credit concentration requirement, but the grade in these prerequisites do count toward the concentration GPA requirement.

Concentration Requirements

Course Work
To receive the certificate for this concentration, you must earn 21 workplace law credits, divided as follows. (Note: not all courses are offered every year.)

Required Course Work
In addition to the Evidence and Administrative Law requirements (credits for which do not count toward the 21 required credits) you must take the following courses, which will count toward 21 required credits.

  • Employment Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Labor Law
  • Either Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) or Negotiation

Core Workplace Law Courses
In addition to the required courses, you also must take at least two of the following courses, which will count toward your 21-credit concentration requirement. (Not all courses are offered every year.)

  • Arbitration
  • Disability Law
  • Employment Benefits
  • Representation in Mediation
  • Workers Compensation

Remaining Credits
The balance of the credits to be earned from the following courses, if you have not already fulfilled the 21-credit requirement. (Not all courses are offered every year.)

  • Business Organizations
  • Civil Procedure Advanced
  • Federal Courts
  • Immigration Law
  • Introduction to Mediation
  • Remedies
  • Trial Practice
  • Visual Persuasion in the Law
  • Independent study where paper is devoted to a Workplace Law topic approved by the concentration director
  • Additional clinic or externship courses in addition to those required below, as approved by the concentration director
  • Other courses or journal work as approved by the concentration director in consultation with the course instructor

Competitions
The concentration director may deem participation in a noncredit competition in moot court, mock trial, arbitration proceedings, or representing clients in mediation to satisfy the requirement of one or two credits of course work in this category. 

Clinical Requirement
At least three credits must be earned in one or more clinic and/or externship placements approved by the concentration director in consultation with the director of the relevant clinic or externship. (These credits will count toward the 21-credit requirement.) 

Writing Requirement
A substantial paper or a series of shorter writings that together comprise a substantial amount of written work on a topic or topics related to workplace law. If you write a substantial paper, you may use that paper toward satisfying the law school advanced writing requirement. The topic or topics for the written work used to satisfy this requirement must be approved by the concentration director. A paper written for a journal may qualify, if the topic is approved by the concentration director and if the paper meets the guidelines for satisfying the substantial paper portion of the advanced writing requirement.

Honors
Students who achieve a GPA of 3.2 or better in the course work used to satisfy the concentration requirements will receive the concentration with honors.

A student may designate the grade in any course or paper as not counting toward the concentration GPA, if the course is not required for the concentration and if the student meets the concentration requirements with another course or paper.

Waivers
Students who are interested in this concentration but who fall short of specific credits or course work may apply for a waiver of requirements, to be granted at the discretion of the concentration director and the associate dean for academic affairs.

 

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