For Alexandra Torres Rodriguez, Tulane University stood out. The law school’s online MJ in Labor and Employment Law focused on meeting the real needs of HR professionals in the workplace, but it also gave her an unbeatable background in compliance and the law.
As a Miami-based HR consultant with 15 years experience, her own business and a master’s in human resources management, Rodriguez knows how competitive the field of human resources can be. Having strong HR knowledge and the legal foundation to navigate today’s laws is giving her the tools to help clients develop smarter business strategies.
“There's a lot of great HR people out there, but not everybody has that knowledge base, the legal perspective that you will,” Rodriguez said. “That helps me change just from a normal HR professional to now being a decision maker.”
The legal expertise has given her the tools to be a better collaborator with her clients as well as the lawyers she encounters through work and professional events. By speaking knowledgeably about the law, she can quickly earn their trust and build a reputation within Miami’s law community. To them, she’s just not another human resources person.
“We can exchange a great conversation because they don't have to explain a lot of things,” Rodriguez said. “I understand their language.”
Rodriguez graduated at the end of 2020, so her time as a student and an HR consultant has been completely reshaped by the COVID-19 pandemic. The uncertainty her clients faced impacted her business significantly, but during that time, she was able to put her legal and HR knowledge to work and step up in new ways, including a Department of Labor investigation.
One of her clients, a restaurant, shut down soon after the pandemic was declared in 2020. However, that didn’t mean the investigation went away. Rodriguez worked closely with the owner and the Department of Labor investigator, helping locate documents and information. As she dug through paperwork, she realized how expensive this situation could have been with a lawyer, instead of her, handling the case.
“I was able to continue from home working on something so big this client could not afford to have an attorney,” Rodriguez explained. “I was very thankful for my knowledge from Tulane. It gave me an opportunity to say, you know what, I can change the scope of my services for some clients—because it's all about budget.”
Finding More Online
While earning her Online MJ-LEL at Tulane, Rodriguez found that the classes and relationships she built with faculty helped her become a better HR professional. She was worried at first because she had never taken an online program, so she made sure to regularly reach out to her instructors, many of whom were working attorneys, judges and other legal professionals, about her coursework and challenges she faced in her full-time job.
“I can do all the reading, I can do all the assignments, and I can do all the classes, but the value itself is not only just that—it's with the professors,” said Rodriguez about the program.
Rodriguez is a single mother of two girls, so while she was taking classes and supporting her business, she was also helping her kids out with school. It was helpful to have professors who knew that she was committed to earning her degree and also understood she juggled many other responsibilities.
Now after completing the program, Rodriguez hopes to continue teaching herself and growing her company, HR Butterfly Effect. The year-old business is already getting recognition, coming in third in the Miami Herald’s Startup Pitch Competition. According to the judges, her goal to share the insights she’s learned helped her company stand out.
“That’s when people come to my business,” Rodriguez said. “They are not only about HR services, but they also want to get educated. It's not just about resolving their issue it's about understanding.”
Grow your potential.
For Rodriguez, the legal knowledge and skill sets she built in the online MJ in Labor and Employment Law program complements the HR knowledge to give her a competitive edge. With her degree, she can confidently tell companies and clients she has the compliance background to help them navigate many of the legal concerns they face.
Learn more about how a Master of Jurisprudence from Tulane Law School can help you get ahead in your HR career.