Section Description Provided by Instructor
(Karen Cacace and Young Lee, Lecturers in Law. Two greded academic and 3 ungraded fieldwork credits)
The Low-Wage Worker Externship at The Legal Aid Society is an intensive introduction to employment law issues faced by low-income workers in New York City. The substantive laws covered will include minimum wage and overtime laws, anti-discrimination laws, including criminal records discrimination, and family and medical leave laws. Legal Aid’s Employment Law Unit represents clients with these claims in federal and state court and before administrative agencies, including the New York State Department of Labor, the Equal Opportunity Commission and the New York City Commission on Human Rights.
The Externshipis comprised of two distinct yet interrelated components: a weekly seminar and a clinical externship at The Legal Aid Society. Each week in the seminar portion of the course students will explore either a substantive area of employment law or a litigation skill. The seminars will be primarily focused on class discussions about the specific seminar topic. The seminars will also include group and individual practical exercises and discussions of students' experiences from their externships.
The second component of the course is an externship with The Employment Law Unit at The Legal Aid Society. This will be a clinical, hands-on experience allowing students to apply the knowledge learned in the weekly seminar to representation of low-wage workers. Each student will have one or two attorney supervisors from The Employment Law Unit and will spend approximately 15 hours per week working with clients of the Employment Law Unit. By working with attorneys at The Legal Aid Society and assisting them in representing their clients, students will develop their client interviewing and litigation skills, a deeper understanding of the substantive employment law topics discussed in the seminar and be exposed to the other legal and practical issues confronting low-wages workers.
Each week, readings will be assigned relating to the topic that is to be the focus of the following week's seminars. Where a substantive area of law is the topic, the statutes and applicable rules will also be part of the reading assignment. Students are expected to have completed the reading and be able to actively participate in class discussions.