Law 798: Labor Law and Public Policy
The course will engage students in a research and writing exercise on pressing issues in labor and employment law that may have call on legislative address – by a state statute or a city ordinance (in a home rule city such as Chicago). Students will be asked to do these three things once a topic is selected:
- Prepare a “deep dive” report on the problem: on how extensive the problem is, surveying all the critical business, economic, scientific, or engineering or medical, or other necessary literature that explains and situates the problem.
- Survey such law as many exist that deals with the problem – domestic and, if possible, foreign (depending on language facility) – and assess the strengths and deficiencies.
- Draft a statute or ordinance setting out your proposal for a solution accompanied by a detailed explanation of how the law would work, pitfalls – practical as well as legal – that could be anticipated and how your proposal deals with them.
Students should notify the instructor and secure approval of his or her selection as soon as possible. Because the depth of research is so critical it is strongly recommended that the topic be selected by the end of the preceding semester so that research can be commenced during break.
Students will select (or be assigned) a date for presentation of their work in progress. No later than the Monday preceding the class the student should circulate to the class: (1) a statement of the problem; (2) a summary or abstract of the business, economic, and scientific context based on the student’s in-depth research – a bibliography could suffice as background for the student’s oral representation; and (3) the text of the proposed statute or ordinance. The class will discuss, comment on and question the presenter on the proposal. The student’s final paper should deal with the criticism the class generates.
This course is eligible for upper-level writing credit.
Sequence and Prerequisites: None
Evaluation: The grade in the course will be based 90% on the paper and 10% on class performance – of the student’s presentation and the acuity of student comment on the work of others.