Luber: Today on JD Careers Out There we�re
exploring careers in employment law so stick around. [theme song] Hey everyone, I�m Marc
Luber and today�s guest is Mike Maslanka. He�s an employment lawyer practicing in
Dallas, Texas where he�s a partner with Constangy Brooks and Smith representing employers.
Mike�s been listed as one of the top hundred lawyers in Texas Monthly and Texas Super Lawyers
as well as one of the best lawyers in Dallas for 10 years in a row by D Magazine and he�s
an author of several books and he�s got an award winning blog called Work Matters.
As you might already know, at JDCOT we help you find and succeed in fulfilling careers
using a law degree and exploring career paths both in and out of law to help you figure
out what fits you is a big part of that. Today, Mike�s going to let us know all about being
an employment lawyer – so let�s meet Mike. Mike, welcome to JDCOT! Mike: Great to be here, Marc, thanks very
much. Luber: Definitely, thank you for being here.
So Mike, I�m going to ask you to tell us all about a typical day and who fits this
path best, what type of personality and skill sets and then we�re going to talk about
how to break in and how to succeed. But first let�s start with the basics, tell us about
your practice and what you do as an employment lawyer. Mike: Well I�m an employment lawyer and
I represent companies, just exclusively employers. Sometimes large, mid size companies, small
companies. And the transcendent message I want get across to those who are interested
in this is that we really help them manage their workforces – because if you�re not
managing the workforce, the workforce is managing you. And there are a lot of different ways
to do that. You have to make sure the client understands the law, you have to make sure
the client understands the nature of their workforce and the one thing that really is
absolutely crucial to bring to bear, and I say this as an employment lawyer representing
companies, is to make sure that you have a sense of fairness. It�s very important for
employment lawyers to have that and to train their clients, to bring them to their own
wisdom so that when they make decisions about employees, it�s based on facts and it�s
based on numbers, but at the end of the day it�s really based on what is fair; what
is fair to the company but also what is fair to the employee. That may surprise some people,
but employment lawyers who represent companies do in fact have a heart – and employers, HR
people, do in fact have a heart too. So in a sense, that�s what I do: manage the workforce,
don�t let them mange you. Companies that are smart understand that good employees are
productive employees. And having a good, productive employee – it�s just like money in the bank
– and they need to treat it that way. And one of my jobs is if they don�t have that
sense already, to try to help impart that sensibility to them. Luber: What are some of the types of fact
patterns that you might deal with, that you might see on a daily basis so that someone
can get an idea of, �ok, that�s the kind of thing I�m dealing with when I�m an
employment lawyer�. Mike: Sure, let me give you two or three examples.
One example, I represent a national restaurant chain. And one of the issues that has come
up is a Seventh Day Adventist. He converted to that religion, he was an incumbent manager,
is they have certain religious requirements with respect to working on weekends. Well
how do you accommodate that? Does the law require an accommodation? How do you deal
with the employee in arriving at an accommodation? Religious discrimination, very interesting
stuff. Then you get the harassment lawsuits, the sexual harassment lawsuits. It�s a question
sometimes of�sometimes it�s a question of misunderstanding. Sometimes it�s a question
of someone saying, �Well I really didn�t mean to offend someone,� and so you deal
with those issues in terms of consulting with your clients. And then of course sometimes
there are lawsuits – and I will in fact represent companies, not just in litigation, but I also
try lawsuits. I�ve tried maybe 50 or 60 cases to verdict. Luber: Alright, if you�re on YouTube, please
give us the thumbs up if this was helpful! And to see the full interview with Mike, come
visit us at You�ll hear more about what it�s like to be an employment
lawyer, how to break in and how to succeed. If you�re already at the site, you can just
scroll down to the full video. Make sure you join our membership so you get access to all
the helpful video content. Thanks again for watching everybody. I�m Marc Luber and look
forward to seeing you again soon. Take care.