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17 Jan

Making a Career Change From Public Health to HR

Student Spotlight: Erika Hathaway (L ’19)

Erika Hathaway works in recruiting for a large tech company in Seattle, but she wasn’t always looking for human resources jobs. Erika earned her undergraduate degree in public health. When she was considering her career options, she wanted to find a job that combined her two loves: policy and working with people.

Luckily for Erika, the Online Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law (MJ-LEL) at Tulane University Law School perfectly matched up with her interests. “I wanted to pursue a master's degree that combined all of the things that I enjoy, and labor and employment law did that for me,” she explains.

And the program quickly proved its worth. “After the first two semesters, you really gain a solid understanding of labor and employment law in general, as far as the various regulations and statutes… as well as legal analysis, writing and how to really present what we've learned,” Erika says.

Within her first year in the program, Erika decided she wanted to make a career change, bolstered by her new knowledge base. “When I applied for the position that I'm in now,” she says, “the fact that I was in this program, I'd guarantee, is what got me the job.”

Beyond helping her secure a new job, Erika’s education at Tulane has boosted her confidence at work. “Being able to go to some of our business partners, some of our major stakeholders, and really speak with the confidence that I know why we can't do this or why we need to be doing something else, has probably been the most pivotal part of my education here at Tulane.”

Watch the video above to hear more about Erika’s experience and the mentorship opportunities she’s found while earning her labor and employment law degree online from Tulane.


To learn more about the courses you’ll take during your first year in the program, hear from Professor Jennifer Cooper, who teaches Legal Analysis I and Legal Analysis II in the Online MJ-LEL.