A group of law students has formed the “People’s Parity Project” which has a number of goals, but one of them is ending mandatory pre-dispute arbitration agreements. They just announced that they convinced the National Association of Law Placement (NALP) to put information about legal employers’ mandatory arbitration policies in their directory, which is “go-to” resource that law students and placement offices use to research and find jobs in law firms and other legal employers. The the group’s statement on the agreement can be found here.
NALP will now ask the following questions of legal employers who appear in the NALP directory:
Q1. Please describe your firm’s policies for summer associates, associates, and/or other non‐partner lawyers regarding employment disputes and workplace misconduct.
Q2. Please describe specifically your firm’s policies surrounding non‐disclosure agreements as they apply to summer associates, associates, and/or other non‐partner lawyers.
Q3. Please describe specifically your firm’s policies surrounding mandatory arbitration agreements as they apply to summer associates, associates, and/or other non‐partner lawyers.
Several prestigious law firms had eliminated mandatory arbitration agreements under pressure from organized law students in a number of high-prestige schools. It will be interesting to see if more do so as a result of the inclusion of this information in the NALP directory. Although it would directly affect a very small and privileged segment of the workforce, it could have a broader indirect impact because it involves the lawyers who work for the very law firms that have been the engines for the popularity of pre-dispute mandatory arbitration agreements among employers as well as many types of merchants and other businesses, as well as service providers.