Minority Outreach Program

What is the MOP?

In 1997, the AFL-CIO Lawyers Coordinating Committee (LCC)–a network of approximately 2,100 union-side attorneys representing unions affiliated with the AFL-CIO—created the LCC Minority Outreach Program to encourage law students of color to apply for summer clerkship opportunities at LCC law firms and legal departments. The outreach program seeks to introduce minority law students to the practice of law in the labor movement and to encourage them to join the ranks of union-side attorneys in the ongoing battle for social and economic justice. Hundreds of law students have gained valuable exposure to labor law and the labor movement through this outreach effort. During their clerkships, the students typically deal with important issues arising under a wide range of labor and employment laws, including the National Labor Relations Act, Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Americans with Disabilities Act, Employee Retirement Income Security Act and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act. Also, in recent years, as immigrant workers have played a larger role in the labor movement, many students have gained exposure to a variety of immigration-related issues.

At the conclusion of the networking conference, students are placed in the LCC Mentor Program, through which experienced LCC attorneys provide guidance and support during and after the students’ clerkships. Many Minority Outreach Program alumni have been hired by LCC firms and legal departments, as well as federal agencies, including the National Labor Relations Board. If you are interested in applying at a law firm or legal department, apply directly to the employer. Click here for a listing f participating employers. To apply, send a resume and cover letter detailing your interest in labor law and public interest work. Availability of positions and hiring varies by firm and legal department and hiring decisions are the sole discretion of the law firm or legal department.

Law Clerk Networking Conference

To enhance their summer experience, students also participate in the LCC Minority Outreach Program Law Clerk Networking Conference, which features workshops and presentations on labor law practice, union organizing and representation, politics and legislation. In addition, the networking conference offers students the opportunity to share experiences and make important career contacts with LCC attorneys and union staff. The LCC’s annual Minority Outreach Program Law Clerk Networking Conference for minority law students working as summer law clerks in LCC firms and legal departments is traditionally held in June at the AFL-CIO in Washington, D.C. The conference provides law clerks with an informative overview of the major challenges and opportunities facing today’s labor movement. Union staff, labor law practitioners and members of the LCC Minority Caucus lead discussions on various topics.

The program often includes the following panels: ERISA Basics, Arbitration Practice, The State of the Labor Movement, Labor Law Practice Areas, Social Justice, Organizing and the Law, Union-Side Labor Practice: Contract Enforcement, Finding a Job as Union-Side Labor Lawyer, the LCC Minority Outreach and Mentor Program, Law School Recruiting, NLRB Practice and Immigration.

Past Agendas
Law Schools attended by MOP Students
  • Howard University School of Law
  • Georgetown University School of Law
  • The John Marshall Law School
  • Yale Law
  • Stanford Law
  • George Washington Law
  • Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law
  • New York Law School
  • Fordham University School of Law
  • University of Texas School of Law
  • University of Southern California Law School
  • University of Arkansas School of Law
  • American University Washington College of Law
  • New York University School of Law
  • Tulane University School of Law
  • Catholic University School of Law

Minority Outreach Program Mentoring Experience

Upon completion of the MOP Law Clerk Networking Conference, each attendee is matched up with a mentor, an LCC lawyer who provides guidance and support during and after the students’ clerkships. Students may request a mentor who works in their city or specializes in a particular field that interests them. The MOP Mentor Program has been a great success. Mentors have provided career guidance and inspired many students to pursue careers in union-side labor law. Students have been mentored by partners and associates in law firms and assistant general counsels at legal departments. Law students have often expressed the value of being mentored by dedicated and distinguished attorneys in the union-side labor bar.

MOP Law Firm/Legal Department Participants

Recommended classes for those interested in union-side labor law

  • Labor Law
  • Employment Law
  • Employment Discrimination
  • Trial Advocacy
  • Negotiations
  • Labor Relations (if available)
  • Tax Law
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Pension and Employee Benefits (ERISA)
  • Bankruptcy
  • Copyright
  • Administrative Law
  • Immigration