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Joel Friedman

If you’re a human resource (HR) professional or a business leader with personnel responsibility, you’ve probably wished you had a deeper understanding of labor and employment law. Such expertise would make you more effective in your decision making, more confident when setting company strategy, and more successful when hoping to mitigate risks and avoid litigation. For some of you, a solid understanding of the extensive and complex body of federal and state regulations that govern most aspects of recruitment, hiring and retention of employees might also help you sleep better at night.

At Tulane University Law School, we believe that HR and the law are inseparable. We also believe that the professionals who carry the heavy daily responsibility of managing personnel decisions for this nation’s many employers ― big and small ― deserve the opportunity to become labor and employment law (LEL) experts.

I am incredibly proud to invite current and future HR leaders into the new Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law (MJ-LEL) from Tulane. Through its graduates, the program will change HR offices, corporate cultures and employment experiences for the better. It will also accelerate careers and set its graduates apart from the majority of HR decision makers whose understanding of labor and employment law is cursory, at best.

But why now? Whether you’re currently in an HR role or seeking to transition into an HR or leadership role, you’re likely already feeling amply busy. So why apply to the MJ-LEL program now?

The answer is quite simple. The intricacies of labor and employment laws, at the state and federal levels, are constantly changing. And it’s absolutely crucial that HR people keep up with this dynamic area of the law. Can you, right now, stand confidently side-by-side with corporate counsel when managing key initiatives or responding to the legal crises related to the hiring, firing and management of your people?

The application of labor and employment law (which is what HR people spend the majority of their day doing, for better or for worse) is an endeavor that requires a contemporary understanding of complex and high-stakes regulations. Why get an MJ in Labor and Employment Law now? Because if you’re not an expert on the issues that are leading the field now ― like LGBT issues, technology in the workplace, a resurgence of unions, and an increase in OSHA-related workplace safety ― you most certainly won’t be ready to contend with the issues that await you tomorrow.

Joel Wm. Friedman
Program Director, Master of Jurisprudence in Labor and Employment Law
Jack M. Gordon Professor of Procedural Law, Tulane University Law School