Picture of Ben King

Ben King

After I passed the bar, I was hired by a legal aid organization to represent low-income families in Detroit. My employer’s mission was to promote access to justice for underrepresented populations and to fight poverty through quality legal representation. Many of my colleagues joined the organization because they agreed with the goals our employer sought to accomplish. There was an extreme dichotomy between our employer’s mission and how it treated its employees. When we brought workplace concerns to our employer they were ignored. This was frustrating, especially, when our concerns impacted our ability to represent our clients. A small number of us decided to organize a union to help address these issues. We often met after work at Temple Bar in Detroit’s Cass Corridor. Like many Detroiters before us, we discussed unionization and collective action over Stroh’s beer. I gained so much through organizing. I gained a union-NOLSW Local 2320. I gained a career, my participation in organizing inspired me to pursue labor law and lead me to my current career as a union-side labor lawyer. And perhaps, most importantly, I gained a family. Those afterwork organizing sessions were the first “dates” I had with the woman who become my wife.