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Labor & Employment Law Concentration

The University of Minnesota Law School offers J.D. and LL.M. students a unique concentration in the dynamic field of labor and employment law. Drawing on the expertise of our nationally renowned faculty, practitioners of labor and employment law, and partnerships with other University of Minnesota programs, students can immerse themselves in interdisciplinary courses and seminars, simulation courses, clinical programs, externships and an active student organization.

Further questions should be referred to the faculty chair for the concentration in labor and employment law:

Stephen Befort


Program Highlights

  • Unique and wide variety of core and specialized courses
  • Interdisciplinary courses, drawing from a wealth of opportunities throughout the University of Minnesota
  • Opportunities for students to serve as staff members and editors of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law
  • A Capstone Course in Labor and Employment Law in which students act as lawyers in a complex simulation integrating diverse areas of labor and employment law, along with practice skills, ethics and professionalism
  • Externship programs at the National Labor Relations Board, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Minnesota Department of Human Rights
  • Option to participate in a Workers' Rights Clinic, representing low-wage workers
  • Opportunities for part-time and summer employment in state and federal agencies, law firms and Fortune 500 corporations
  • Active Student Employment and Labor Law Association
  • Networking and career employment opportunities with alumni worldwide

Study Opportunities

Concentration courses range from introductory courses in labor and employment law to specialized courses on the Americans with Disabilities Act in the workplace, alternative dispute resolution, employment discrimination, and more. The offerings include a comparative labor and employment law course and an advanced topical seminar in employment law.

Law students also can take advantage of interdisciplinary graduate study opportunities available throughout the University of Minnesota, including the Carlson School of Management, Hubert H. Humphrey School of Public Affairs, and the departments of sociology and applied economics.

Journal Opportunities

The University of Minnesota Law School is the editorial home of the ABA Journal of Labor & Employment Law, distributed to the more than 25,000 members of the American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law. The Journal is a student-faculty collaboration. Second-year students help prepare professional articles for publication and write their own articles for possible publication in the Journal. Third-year students serve as editors, guiding the work of second-year students, and editing all of the professional- and student-authored articles.

Practical Opportunities

The Capstone Course in Labor and Employment Law allows students, working as part of a team of lawyers, to represent a client in an elaborate simulation. Depending on the decisions made by the lawyering teams, students may have opportunities to represent their clients in negotiation, arbitration, mediation, state and federal agency proceedings, and in state and federal court. Actors and volunteers play the role of clients and state and federal agencies and other entities process the claims arising in the simulation as they would real claims. Practicing attorneys offer instruction in labor and employment law and practical skills directly related to the progress of the simulation.

Students participate in a Workers’ Rights Clinic, representing low-wage workers in claims for unemployment compensation and denial of employment licenses.

Students earn course credit for externships at the National Labor Relations board and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and Minnesota's Human Rights Department and Bureau of Mediation Services. Working under the supervision of law professors and government attorneys, students learn legal doctrine and practice skills while handling labor employment discrimination cases, and policy issues.

Employment Opportunities

The Twin Cities legal community offers students abundant opportunities for part-time work during the school year or full-time work during the summer in labor and employment law.

Prospective employers from around the country come to the Law School to interview students for summer and permanent positions. Our graduates work in law and business schools, and state and federal agencies. They work as in-house counsel in corporations and unions, in large and small private law firms, and serve as arbitrators and mediators.

Student-Led Opportunities

The Student Employment and Labor Law Association (SELLA), one of the most active student organizations at the Law School, presents monthly meetings with speakers who address controversial issues in the field. SELLA also hosts networking events.

Labor and Employment Law Faculty

Stephen F. Befort

Jessica Clarke

Laura Cooper

Jill Hasday

Amy B. Monahan


Adjunct Labor and Employment Law Faculty

Douglas Micko

Ellen Smart