The Challenges of Employment Law
Today's post is written by Elissa Furlong, a law fellow working for the firm this year.
An attorney once told me that you when you first graduate from law school, you don’t know anything about how to actually practice law. I only have one year of law school under my belt, so by that equation, my knowledge about how to practice law isn’t especially extensive (but don’t worry because anyone reading this would be in good hands with Joel).
To make matters worse (for me), the consensus surrounding employment/labor law seems to be that it is ever changing and particularly complex. My sources confirming this include my dad, a labor law attorney, one of my professors, who told me she only fully understood the intricacies of employment discrimination once she started teaching it, and even my first day observations working for Joel.
I remember when I first became interested in workers’ rights: it was when I took economics in college and learned about corporate social responsibility and free trade. It continued when I studied human rights in South Africa, and again when I interned with the International Labor Organization. It wasn’t until I started law school, though, that I started to realize that most areas of law, including and especially labor/employment law, are riddled in several shades of grey.
But even if governed by a nuanced and complicated area of law, the concerns and grievances of working people seem straightforward: people want, and deserve, to be treated with respect at work. Although I don’t know a lot about the practice of law, I am hoping that the laws in place, as complex as they may get, can do something to further this simple, universal desire, and tilt in favor of those who want something as fundamental as dignity at their place of work. If you are being deprived of this dignity, you should contact an employment law attorney. She/he can sort through the complicated.
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