I am excited to announce the hiring of Marie Duarte, our new Associate General Counsel for members of Teamsters Local 117.
Marie Duarte emigrated from the Dominican Republic to the United States when she was 14. After earning her undergraduate degree in English and American literature, Marie chose to study law at Northeastern University because of the law school’s public interest orientation and abundant opportunities for clinical experience.
"One thing is clear: I stand with workers."
Her interest in labor law blossomed during her first year of law school when she interned for the Cambridge public schools’ general counsel’s office.
“The most interesting and compelling work I did was labor work,” Marie recalls, “but I felt like I was sitting on the wrong side of the table when we went into arbitrations and negotiations. I wanted to side with the employees and the union attorneys.”
To make that shift, Marie interned at SEIU’s Washington, DC headquarters the following year.
“It was a natural fit,” Marie notes. “The work aligned with my values and vision of how the world should work. I believe that every worker in this country should be able to attain social and economic mobility.”
At SEIU, Marie researched and drafted legal memoranda on a wide range of issues, including banking, antitrust, real estate, the Railway Labor Act preemption and matters of first impression under Puerto Rico’s Home Rule Act.
She helped draft legislation that allowed public sector employees to engage in collective bargaining with the city of San Juan. In her third year of law school, Marie was named a Peggy Browning Fellow, which provided her with a summer clerkship at a DC labor firm. There she gained general litigation experience and worked on whistleblower protections, non-compete agreements, the False Claims Act and product liability issues.
After graduating in 2014, Marie went to work for a progressive Seattle-based labor-side firm, where she represented clients in state and federal court, arbitrations and administrative proceedings. She also counseled parties on work stoppages, managed ULP strategies in the context of contract bargaining and organizing drives, and worked on ERISA pension merger and related funding and participation issues.
While in Seattle, she successfully recovered $8.08 million dollars on behalf of workers in Washington and California engaged in a strike, after their employer denied them the compensation to which they were entitled.
After leaving the Northwest to work for a labor law firm in New York, she returned to Seattle for a position at Teamsters Local 117.
“What I love the most about labor law is its diversity. Labor law intersects with race, gender, healthcare, immigration, environmental policy, education and so many other aspects of our society. Workers sometimes don’t realize they are the common thread holding our country together. There is nothing more inspiring than seeing workers come together to bring about signifcant social change.”
Marie will be a tremendous asset to our Union. Please join me in welcoming her to our team.