Labor and Employment, Legal Practice Area |

Labor and Employment, Legal Practice Area


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Labor and employment refers generally to a practice that involves companies, corporations, government agencies, or other employers as it concerns the relationship with one particular employee or potential employee, or a group of employees, organized or otherwise. Law firms tend to represent either management-side labor and employment issues (representing the employers) or the employee side.This practice may be either a consulting-based practice (advising clients on relevant employment practices and issues) or controversial (representing clients in a specific dispute).
Labor and Employment, Legal Practice Area

Relevant experience for a labor and employment lawyer may consist of a combination of a variety of experiences from counseling regarding general guidance about labor and employment to traditional labor law to employment litigation. Sometimes, however, a lawyer hones just one specialty. A recruiter should define the desired skill set for a labor and employment candidate so that he or she can be sure to meet the client’s needs.To help, we have provided an overview of the three major areas below.

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General Labor and Employment Counsel. Attorneys fitting this bill provide general advice on labor and employment issues and often have experience in one or more of the following areas:
  • Counseling a company on developing employment standards and policies, including employee handbooks and other policies that comply with relevant local, state, and federal laws.
  • Counseling a company with respect to Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) codes and standards.
  • Providing advice to a company with respect to affirmative action programs.
  • Establishing programs within an organization to define appropriate conduct to prevent discrimination against employees on the basis of gender, race, age, or other basis proscribed by a company or law.
TRADITIONAL LABOR LAW. Not all labor and employment lawyers have what is considered traditional labor experience. If this specific type of experience is relevant, the benchmarks will likely include the following:
  • Representing parties before the relevant administrative agencies that handle labor issues. In particular, a labor attorney will have experience before the National Labor Relations Board and its state-specific counterparts.
  • Traditional labor disputes will often include unfair labor practice issues, union certification proceedings, or collective bargaining agreement negotiations.
EMPLOYMENT LITIGATION. Finally, a labor and employment lawyer may have employment litigation experience.There are certainly law firms or departments of law firms that do this work almost exclusively. An employment litigation practice is generally litigation involving an employer regarding its employment/hiring practices in general.This is usually an action brought on behalf of a group of people, or a class. It may also be litigation over a specific event or events involving one particular employee’s experience within a company or other employer.
  • This litigation will occur both before federal administrative agencies, such as the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and state and federal courts.
  • The disputes may include allegations of discrimination on the basis of gender, race, religion, sexual orientation, disability, or age. Relevant federal laws prohibiting such discrimination include the Civil Rights Act of 1991, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, among others.
  • Disputes among parties may also include violations of employment contracts, including non-competition and confidentiality issues.
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About Harrison Barnes

Harrison Barnes is a prominent figure in the legal placement industry, known for his expertise in attorney placements and his extensive knowledge of the legal profession.

With over 25 years of experience, he has established himself as a leading voice in the field and has helped thousands of lawyers and law students find their ideal career paths.

Barnes is a former federal law clerk and associate at Quinn Emanuel and a graduate of the University of Chicago College and the University of Virginia Law School. He was a Rhodes Scholar Finalist at the University of Chicago and a member of the University of Virginia Law Review. Early in his legal career, he enrolled in Stanford Business School but dropped out because he missed legal recruiting too much.

Barnes' approach to the legal industry is rooted in his commitment to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. He believes that the key to success in the legal profession is to be proactive, persistent, and disciplined in one's approach to work and life. He encourages lawyers to take ownership of their careers and to focus on developing their skills and expertise in a way that aligns with their passions and interests.

One of how Barnes provides support to lawyers is through his writing. On his blog,, and, he regularly shares his insights and advice on a range of topics related to the legal profession. Through his writing, he aims to empower lawyers to control their careers and make informed decisions about their professional development.

One of Barnes's fundamental philosophies in his writing is the importance of networking. He believes that networking is a critical component of career success and that it is essential for lawyers to establish relationships with others in their field. He encourages lawyers to attend events, join organizations, and connect with others in the legal community to build their professional networks.

Another central theme in Barnes' writing is the importance of personal and professional development. He believes that lawyers should continuously strive to improve themselves and develop their skills to succeed in their careers. He encourages lawyers to pursue ongoing education and training actively, read widely, and seek new opportunities for growth and development.

In addition to his work in the legal industry, Barnes is also a fitness and lifestyle enthusiast. He sees fitness and wellness as integral to his personal and professional development and encourages others to adopt a similar mindset. He starts his day at 4:00 am and dedicates several daily hours to running, weightlifting, and pursuing spiritual disciplines.

Finally, Barnes is a strong advocate for community service and giving back. He volunteers for the University of Chicago, where he is the former area chair of Los Angeles for the University of Chicago Admissions Office. He also serves as the President of the Young Presidents Organization's Century City Los Angeles Chapter, where he works to support and connect young business leaders.

In conclusion, Harrison Barnes is a visionary legal industry leader committed to helping lawyers achieve their full potential. Through his work at BCG Attorney Search, writing, and community involvement, he empowers lawyers to take control of their careers, develop their skills continuously, and lead fulfilling and successful lives. His philosophy of being proactive, persistent, and disciplined, combined with his focus on personal and professional development, makes him a valuable resource for anyone looking to succeed in the legal profession.

About BCG Attorney Search

BCG Attorney Search matches attorneys and law firms with unparalleled expertise and drive, while achieving results. Known globally for its success in locating and placing attorneys in law firms of all sizes, BCG Attorney Search has placed thousands of attorneys in law firms in thousands of different law firms around the country. Unlike other legal placement firms, BCG Attorney Search brings massive resources of over 150 employees to its placement efforts locating positions and opportunities its competitors simply cannot. Every legal recruiter at BCG Attorney Search is a former successful attorney who attended a top law school, worked in top law firms and brought massive drive and commitment to their work. BCG Attorney Search legal recruiters take your legal career seriously and understand attorneys. For more information, please visit

Harrison Barnes does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for attorneys and law students each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can attend anonymously and ask questions about your career, this article, or any other legal career-related topics. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

Harrison also does a weekly free webinar with live Q&A for law firms, companies, and others who hire attorneys each Wednesday at 10:00 am PST. You can sign up for the weekly webinar here: Register on Zoom

You can browse a list of past webinars here: Webinar Replays

You can also listen to Harrison Barnes Podcasts here: Attorney Career Advice Podcasts

You can also read Harrison Barnes' articles and books here: Harrison's Perspectives

Harrison Barnes is the legal profession's mentor and may be the only person in your legal career who will tell you why you are not reaching your full potential and what you really need to do to grow as an attorney--regardless of how much it hurts. If you prefer truth to stagnation, growth to comfort, and actionable ideas instead of fluffy concepts, you and Harrison will get along just fine. If, however, you want to stay where you are, talk about your past successes, and feel comfortable, Harrison is not for you.

Truly great mentors are like parents, doctors, therapists, spiritual figures, and others because in order to help you they need to expose you to pain and expose your weaknesses. But suppose you act on the advice and pain created by a mentor. In that case, you will become better: a better attorney, better employees, a better boss, know where you are going, and appreciate where you have been--you will hopefully also become a happier and better person. As you learn from Harrison, he hopes he will become your mentor.

To read more career and life advice articles visit Harrison's personal blog.

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