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Samuel Estreicher, Professor, New York University School of Law

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   LAW STAR                                                                                           www.lawcrossing.com     1. 800.973.1177




                             Samuel Estreicher, Professor, New York University
                             School of Law
                             [by Regan Morris]
                             Samuel “Sam” Estreicher is well known as a scholar of U.S. employment and labor law. LawCrossing
                             speaks with Mr. Estreicher about his busy career as an attorney, law school professor, writer, and
                             volunteer.




Estreicher is an expert at juggling tasks. As      employment disputes, which is done nowhere         never park their common sense at the door.
the head of New York University’s Center           else in the world. It’s very expensive. And        They’ve got to start believing in themselves,
for Labor and Employment Law, Estreicher           what that means is that claimants cannot           and they’ve got to start believing in their
teaches several courses while maintaining a        get lawyers. Claimants cannot get lawyers,         instincts because, ultimately, they’re going to
caseload through Jones Day, where he is Of         and most claimants feel separated from the         be paid for their instincts,” he said.
Counsel in the firm’s Issues & Appeals and         process. Historically, this is what unions did.”
Labor & Employment practice groups.                                                                   Too many young lawyers doubt their
                                                   Estreicher, who also co-directs NYU’s              instincts and act like “automatons,” he said.
A prolific writer, Estreicher says the blend       Institute of Judicial Administration and is        Estreicher calls his common sense theory
of academia and private practice is a perfect      secretary of the Labor and Employment Law          Holmes 0, in honor of Oliver Wendell
fit for his interests. Estreicher’s interest       Section of the American Bar Association, said      Holmes, Jr., the oft-quoted former associate
in labor preceded his interest in law. The         labor unions need to find a way to become          Supreme Court Justice.
son of a factory worker, Estreicher knew he        more relevant.
wanted a career in labor relations, but he                                                            Estreicher’s third bit of advice for young
wasn’t sure in what capacity. After college,       “I think it’s a big challenge to figure out a      attorneys is not to focus too much on the
he attended the Cornell School of Labor and        new role for unions. I think it’s still a case     race to make partner in a firm, but to build
Industrial Relations and took his first law        that workers need representation,” he said.        a solid and dependable reputation for
course. After earning his master’s degree, he      “What we’ve done now—because of the                excellence.
enrolled in law school.                            decline in unions in part—we rely more on
                                                   lawsuits. And the problem with lawsuits is         “They shouldn’t just be saying to themselves,
“What turns me on about the law to                 because they’re done after the fact, they          ‘I’m just here for two years; I’ll put in the
this day is that you work with ideas, but          can’t do anything to fix the relationship.”        number of hours that people want me to put
you’re also very practical,” he said from                                                             in, and then that’s the end of it,’” he said.
his office at NYU. “You solve problems             Estreicher, who is also on the boards of two       “They should be saying to themselves, ‘This
working in litigation and negotiation. It’s        theater groups in New York and hopes to            is my name; this is my product. I’m going to
the combination of ideas and practical             find time to write plays one day, said young       take pride in it.’ They should try to befriend
stuff making things happen, which is very          attorneys need to become better writers.           everyone. I tell my students, and I tell all the
exciting.”                                         He recommends that all attorneys and               young lawyers at Jones Day every person
                                                   law students buy and study a copy of The           they meet—I don’t care if it’s the janitor—it
Labor unions in the United States are in           Elements of Style by William Strunk, Jr., and      could be a future client. Treat people as
serious trouble with decreasing membership         E.B. White.                                        future clients.”
and power, and the organizations need to
create a new role for themselves, Estreicher       “I work a lot with young lawyers, and they         Estreicher clerked for a judge on the DC
said.                                              need to work on their writing,” he said,           Circuit for a year after law school and then
                                                   adding that he learned a lot about writing         spent a year in private practice before
“We have to do something about the litigation      while working on his master’s thesis and           clerking for Lewis F. Powell, Jr., on the
system. There’s been this movement on the          editing the Columbia Law Review.                   Supreme Court. When Judge John Roberts
company side for arbitration; so there might                                                          was nominated for the Supreme Court,
be opportunities for lawyers in arbitration,”      “Writing is extremely important; so that’s         Estreicher wrote an article for the website
he said. “We’re using the ordinary courts for      one thing. And two, I tell my students [to]        beliefnet.org, predicting Roberts would likely


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          THE LARGEST COLLECTION OF LEGAL JOBS ON EARTH



   LAW STAR                                                                                            www.lawcrossing.com    1. 800.973.1177




mark a shift to the right for the court, but not   casebooks in labor law and employment               way to make a relationship more valuable,
a seismic shift. When asked who he thought         discrimination.                                     professional, and personal. And the best way
would be the next judge nominated to the                                                               to add value is to choose what interests you
court, Estreicher predicted U.S. Attorney          “I could get away with doing the absolute           and develop an expertise, he said.
General Alberto Gonzalez. (Estreicher              minimum, but I don’t do the minimum.
teaches a course in Supreme Court practice         I’m trying to add value to myself,” he said.        “Develop an area of specialty—whatever it is,
and has an appellate practice through Jones        “That’s one of the reasons I love teaching,         whatever turns [you] on—and really become
Day.)                                              I get to write a lot. Plus, I like to shoot my      known in that area,” he said, “because it’s
                                                   mouth off; so I’m in the right job. If you write,   very important to have portable value in any
Writing is a passion for Estreicher, not a         you make it a habit, and it gets easier for         relationship, even in a marriage.”
professional obligation. He’s been a tenured       you.”
professor since 984 and has already
lived the publish-or-perish years. He has          Estreicher is keen on “adding value” and
published several books, including leading         said the key to success is to always find a




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DOCUMENT INFO
Description: Samuel Estreicher is a professor in New York University School of Law and well known as scholar of U.S. employment and labor law.
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