Will and Grant apply to the North Carolina State Bar Board of Legal Specialization for recognition of this specialization.
In the interview, they argued that labor law is an increasingly specialized field that affects many different sectors of society, from individuals to companies. Since this is a complex area, there is a need for greater recognition of employment law specialists. From the article:
Although it’s not a requirement for attorneys working in this field, Osborne said, an employment specialty would provide potential clients with a public service.
“We think labor law is a common area of law,” he told Law360 on Friday. “There are literally hundreds of attorneys in North Carolina who practice employment law. There is currently no objective way for potential clients – employers or employees – to identify who is competent in this field, which is very complicated and constantly evolving.”
Osborne made special mention of non-compete, worker classification and protected activities laws, which he says can and do change rapidly. In North Carolina, for example, non-compete agreements are largely subject to ever-evolving common law rather than statutes and regulations, while the agreements themselves “literally can stand or fall depending on some of the words used in this contract,” he said.
Meanwhile, worker classifications and protected activities are regulated by state and federal agencies. Osborne pointed to the National Labor Relations Board, whose enforcement priorities may change over time, he said.
North Carolina attorneys cannot claim to be specialists or to specialize in any particular area of law unless they are certified. According to the Bar Association, the card helps clients to break through “self-praise in advertising and marketing” because the specialization is based exclusively on “objective criteria”.
Read the full article behind the paywall here.
Will and Grant will present their proposal to the Board of Legal Specialization on December 9th. Before this meeting, they must collect signatures from at least 100 North Carolina attorneys. Lawyers interested in creating an employment law major should complete a three-question survey, which can be found here: https://forms.gle/8Kpy7sftVxvA9xXUA.