Course Catalog

Workers Rights Seminar: Legal Theory and Practice (6)

In this combined Seminar and LTP in the Spring of 2009, students will study various bodies of state and federal workers’ rights law, with an emphasis on compensation issues, such as minimum wage and overtime pay, pay discrimination, wage payment and wage theft, and safety nets such as unemployment insurance.

In the LTP portion of the course, students will represent workers in wage and hour or unemployment matters. Students will represent at least one employee in an unemployment hearing. Potential legal work may also include investigating potential wage and hour violations, representing workers before regulatory agencies or in court, legislative advocacy, law reform projects, or drafting amicus curiae briefs (in conjunction with local or national workers’ rights advocacy groups) on important workers’ rights matters. In addition to individual client representation, students will also be assigned to work with a legal services or government agency that enforces workers rights, such as the Public Justice Center, CASA de Maryland, or the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing & Regulation. In these placements, students will develop and litigate wage & hour or other workers rights cases, assist in legislative advocacy, or draft appellate briefs. Students who enroll in the LTP offering are required to attend a day long Clinic Orientation Program.

In the Seminar portion of the course, students will evaluate existing laws protecting the compensation rights of workers in Maryland and consider potential law reform proposals. Students will conduct a statewide needs assessment of the compensation issues faced by low-wage workers and evaluate the effectiveness and gaps in existing enforcement mechanisms (such as agency action, advocacy group protest, individual direct service litigation, and impact or class litigation) and the availability of legal services in such matters. Each student will survey a targeted issue faced by low-wage workers by studying the problem and existing applicable laws; speaking with low-wage workers; interviewing stakeholders, advocacy groups, and government officials that enforce the law; and considering litigation and public policy issues on the chosen topic. Students will write seminar papers on their targeted issue and devise proposals for maximizing access to justice for low-wage workers in that area. Students will prepare and facilitate a class discussion on a topic related to their paper. Together, the class will then develop a “white paper” that prioritizes the legal needs of low-wage workers in Maryland and proposes the design of a legal clinic that will most effectively satisfy those needs.

A paper written for this seminar may satisfy the Advanced Writing Requirement.

Current & Previous Instructors:

This course is not currently scheduled.


Key to Codes in Course Descriptions
P: Prerequisite
C: Prerequisite or Concurrent Requirement
R: Recommended Prior or Concurrent Course

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500 W. Baltimore Street, Baltimore, MD 21201-1786 PHONE: (410) 706-7214 FAX: (410) 706-4045 / TDD: (410) 706-7714

Copyright © 2014, University of Maryland Francis King Carey School of Law. All Rights Reserved