The way in which citizens in developing countries conceptualize legality is a critical but understudied question for legal consciousness and legal mobilization studies. Drawing on participatory observations and extensive interviews from western China, this article explores the subjective interpretations of migrant wage claimants on law and justice behind their disruptive actions. Their perception of justice differs starkly from what the law stipulates as target, evidence and proper procedures. Who shall be held responsible? What constitutes evidence? When shall they be paid? How much? Their perceptions also differ from the attitude “against the law” found among members from disadvantaged social groups in the United States. The Chinese case of legal perception is shaped by the moral precepts ingrained in the culture, and more importantly, by the lopsided relationship between migrant workers and the political and business elite. It thus points to the daunting barriers in channeling the ever-growing number of social conflicts into court.