Employment law encompasses many widely varied disciplines, and students who are pursuing an education in employment law have many factors to consider as a result. Employment law courses can vary just as much as disciplines, because students will need to understand federal and state labor laws, case law, and topics such as discrimination, unemployment compensation, sexual harassment, child labor, workplace safety, wages, pensions, insurance benefits, and many other employment issues. A good way to start choosing the best courses is to take a look at those pertinent to your preferred area of employment law.
Most undergraduate courses in employment law focus more on federal, state, and local employment law. This is because undergraduate work is meant to be a general introduction to specific topics. When reaching the master's or doctorate level, students will need to be more focused on specific topics.
Specialized education in a certain area of concentration is typical of graduate programs and law schools. When attending law school, students are offered the opportunity to seek out concentrations in which they wish to specialize. Employment law courses will teach the fundamentals of employment law and direct students to understand important areas of their particular concentration, such as equal opportunity employment.
When choosing courses in employment law, students may want to consider a few factors. First, decide if you will be happy practicing within this particular subgroup. A person who can recognize his own strengths, weaknesses and interests has a head start. Pursuing certain courses may lead to wasted time, money and effort if you are not engaged in the studies.
Second, employment rates for certain specialized areas of law are higher than others. Assuming you are pursuing a career in employment law because you want to be employed, be sure your specialty has enough work available. Getting involved with a specialty that is already overcrowded with qualified people could mean that you will be left with little work after graduation.
Finally, it is important to take employment law courses that will apply directly to your specialty. It is good to have a broad base of knowledge, and any extra classes you take can only benefit your future practice. Some will be more beneficial than others, though, and you should focus on taking those courses that apply directly to your specialty before adding any extras.
Another thing to consider when choosing employment law courses is the Internet and other virtual employment venues. As the Internet and other technologies become a larger part of the workplace, becoming familiar with continuing trends would be helpful. Employment law changes as new ideas and technologies are introduced, and students who want to succeed in practice should keep up with them. Virtual employment is changing the landscape of traditional employment law, so it’s a good idea to stay ahead of the curve by taking courses involving Internet employment law.
If these options haven’t completely helped narrow down the search for the best employment law courses, try talking to people. A college adviser typically knows what the various courses involve and how they might benefit a practice. Attorneys already working in your preferred specialty know what knowledge has helped them succeed and should be able to suggest some of the best courses.