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Bridge the Division Between HR and the Law

December 15, 2019

Student Spotlight: Crystal Kelly (MJ '18)

When it comes to human resources (HR), it's often easy to overlook the field's intense emphasis on employment law, but understanding compliancy is absolutely paramount to an HR professional's ability to protect the organization from legal action.

But, as a current student in Tulane University's dynamic online Master of Jurisprudence in Labor & Employment Law (MJ-LEL) program, Crystal Kelly knew HR professionals today must be more proactive and less reactive—something more easily achieved by bridging the growing divide between HR and employment law.

"So, in the HR world, there's been this kind of division between the two. Here's HR, and here's your legal counsel. And the two can talk past one another. You speak legal, I speak HR," Crystal said. "This is literally somewhere right in between, so you can become a translator to speak both sides, and I really think that the program is going to be the next phase of human resources."

And when it comes to learning the law while remaining employed in the field, Crystal has found herself recharged and ready to study when she returns home because of how rewarding it is to apply what she learns in class at work the following day.

"The coursework and my job are so synergistic. It's almost like I have more energy. I'm literally being fueled and, in some ways, enlightened by the courses. I'm ready to engage in my work 'cause I'm like, 'Oh, I can go apply it immediately,'" Crystal enthusiastically explained.

"At some point in my course content, I thought: Everything about my life has been pointing to this moment. I will take this, and I will build the next 20 years of my career from it. No joke. I really will, and I know that."

To hear more from Crystal on her time in Tulane Law's online MJ-LEL program, watch her full response in our video below.

If you're not working in HR, you might be wondering if this program can be applied in your profession as well. If that's the case, prepare to be pleased!

Listen to current online MJ-LEL student Gary Maxwell discuss his use of labor law for his professional union, or watch current student Jean Houpert explain why she learned HR law as a small business own