Application Requirements

2024 Summer Fellowship Program  
2024-2025 Chicago School-Year Fellowship Program

I.  Introduction

The mission of the Peggy Browning Fund (PBF) is to educate law students about the rights and needs of workers.  Since our first Summer Fellowship Program in 1998, the prestige of a Peggy Browning Fellowship has become widely recognized.  
Students have been consistently enthusiastic about the invaluable experience they gained.  Many law firms, labor unions, and nonprofit organizations serving workers  have reported that, because of our reputation and their experience with our Fellows, they consider a Peggy Browning Fellowship as an especially important credential. 
Our core program is our Summer Fellowship Progam, which provides funded ten-week summer fellowships to law students across the United States. In addition, we will offer a funded, part-time school-year fellowship (at the Chicago News Guild). Peggy Browning Fellows work in a wide variety of social justice organizations, including unions, non-profit organizations such as worker centers, and union-side law firms.

II.  Eligibility

A. 2024 Summer Fellowships
  1. Applicant must be a first-year or second-year student (pro-rated for evening students) in good standing at a law school.
  2. See the fellowship descriptions for each respective Mentor Organization for any additional eligibility requirements, which may vary from one organization to another.  Some require one or more of the following: specific language skills, a labor law course, or having completed two years of law school. 
B. 2024-2025 Chicago School-Year Fellowship
  1. Applicant must be a first-year or second-year student (pro-rated for evening students) in good standing at a participating law school in proximity to the fellowship location and must remain so throughout the fellowship. Students who will graduate by December 2023 are not eligible.
  2. If the COVID-19 pandemic continues to prevent reopening of this mentor organization's offices, the Guild will accept applications from students attending law schools outside of the Chicago metro area, and the Peggy Browning Fellow will work and attend proceedings remotely.
  3. Applicant must have completed at least one year of law school before the start of the fellowship. 

III. Application Requirements

A. 2024 Summer Fellowships
  1. The application package must include at least a cover letter, completed application form, and resume. 
  2. See the fellowship descriptions on our website for each respective Mentor Organization for any additional requirements, which may vary from one organization to another.  Some require one or more of the following: an additional writing sample, specific language skills, a labor law course, or having completed two years of law school. 
  3. Applications should be submitted via PBF's website. The application package will be sent  simultaneously to PBF and to the selected mentor organizations. We strongly encourage students to apply as soon as possible once the application period has commenced.
  4. Deadline:  Applications for Summer Fellowships must be received by PBF no later than Friday, January 12, 2024.  We strongly encourage students to apply as soon as  possible rather than waiting until the deadline.
  5. Applicants may include up to 7 organizations per application; for additional fellowships, a new application form must be completed.
B. School-Year Fellowship
  1. The application package must include a cover letter, completed application forms, and resume. 
  2. Applications should be submitted via PBF's website. The application package will be sent simultaneously to PBF and to the Chicago Newspaper Guild.  
  3. Deadline: Applications for the 2024-2025 School-Year Fellowship will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.  We strongly encourage students to apply as soon as possible once the application period has commenced. 

IV.  Stipends

  1. The total stipend payment for the ten-week Summer Fellowship is $7,000 (unless otherwise indicated).  In many cases Mentor Organizations supplement the stipend.  Refer to each respective fellowship description for details. 
  2. The maximum stipend for the 2024-2025  Chicago School-Year Fellowship is $7,000.  This is based on a Fellow working 200 hours each semester.  The work schedule will be flexible, based on the needs of the Mentor Organization and the Fellow.
  3. In most cases, Peggy Browning Fund Fellows  will receive stipend payments directly from the Mentor Organizations.  In a few other cases, students will receive stipend payments in installments directly from PBF.
  4. Fellows will be responsible for paying applicable taxes on the stipends they receive.

V.  Roles and Expectations

A. The Role of the Peggy Browning Fund    
  1. Establish fellowships with Mentor Organizations. 
  2. Establish and maintain liaison with participating law schools.
  3. Coordinate the fellowship application process (e.g., establish application processes; produce website pages, forms and related materials; publicize the program among law schools,  on website and via other means;  consult with students about their applications, consult with Mentor Organizations regarding applicants; award fellowships). Fellowship awards will be made only by PBF, not by mentor organizations.
  4. Provide stipends for selected fellowships.
  5. Provide networking opportunities to Fellows, through such means as networking/fundraising events, alumni connections, introductions to labor leaders and labor lawyers, etc.
  6. Coordinate and/or conduct teleconferences, webinars and/or zoom meetings for fellows on relevant topics.
  7. Consult with Fellows and with mentor organizations regarding any problems that may arise during the fellowship. 
  8. Coordinate and lead Fellows' Wrap-Up Workshop, a networking and program evaluation session held each fall after fellowships have been completed.

 B. What Does PBF Expect from Participating Law Schools? 

  1. Publicize our programs extensively among their respective student populations.
  2. Support PBF’s annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference to the extent possible (e.g., through covering some or all costs for their respective students to attend, becoming a conference sponsor, taking ads in the event's program book, providing facilities, helping organize a fund-raiser, etc.).
  3. Collaborate with PBF in organizing and presenting regional Advocating for Workplace Justice workshops.

C. What Does PBF Expect from Mentor Organizations?   

  1. Mission:  The mentor organization's mission must include the protection of workers' rights.  Only organizations that represent workers, labor organizations, or their interests will be accepted into the program.  Examples include:  labor organizations; not-for-profit, public interest organizations that represent workers and/or advocate for their rights; law firms that represent labor organizations and/or workers and that practice in areas of traditional labor and/or employment law.
  2. Equal Opportunity:  Our Fellows have a right to work in an environment that is free from harassment and discrimination in all forms. In compliance with the standards of the Association of American Law Schools, PBF will place Fellows only with mentor organizations that agree to observe the principle of equal opportunity in employment, without discrimination or segregation on the ground of race, color, religion, national origin, sex, gender (including identity and expression), sexual orientation, age or disability.
  3. Management and Supervision:  All mentor organizations will be expected to do the following:

    a.  Provide PBF with a suitable fellowship description. 

    b.  Interview applicants and select fellowship candidates in a timely manner, in accordance with guidelines and schedules set by PBF.  All fellowship awards are to be made by PBF, not by the mentor organization.  Target Date for selection:  February 4, 2024.  We recognize that extenuating circumstances may necessitate an extension, but we expect each organization to make every effort to reach this target, for the benefit of the students as well as other mentor organizations.

    c. Provide appropriate orientation, work assignments, professional supervision by an attorney and regular feedback to the PBF Fellow throughout the fellowship.

    d. Give PBF a Mentor's Feedback Report by August 15, 2024.
  4. Work Experience:  PBF's mission is to educate law students on the rights and needs of workers, to inspire them to become the next generation of advocates for workplace justice.  To that end, PBF expects all mentor organizations to provide Peggy Browning Fellows with varied work assignments that expose them to as wide a variety of legal and advocacy work as possible, consistent with the mission of the Mentor Organization. 

    PBF will assess the mentor organization's fellowship description and will monitor the actual experience of the PBF Fellow, to determine if the Mentor Organization is offering and providing the Fellow with a diverse and challenging educational experience in the area of workers' rights.  PBF suggests that the mentor organization should provide the Fellow with a variety of legal work which includes, to the extent possible within the mission of the organization, the following:

    a.  Work on actual pleadings and litigation documents, in addition to memoranda on legal issues;
    b. Attendance at and participation in administrative and legal proceedings, if possible;
    c. Contact with workers and clients;
    d. Participation in public events organized and sponsored by the mentor organization;
    e. Opportunities for networking with other members of the legal and workers' rights communities, including seminars and workshops.
  5. Fellowship Stipend:

    a. Fellows must be paid at least the minimum stipend amount set by PBF ($7,000 in 2024); see Section IV above).

    b. Fellows must be paid on a timely basis.

    c. Some mentor organizations cover the full stipend or supplement the amount provided by PBF.  In such cases, the stipend must match what the mentor organization pays other students for doing comparable work, as long as the stipend is at least $7,000. 

    d. The mentor organization agrees to provide stipend or matching funds, if applicable, to PBF as agreed upon, no later than May 2, 2024, or to the Fellow during the fellowship.
  6. Support for Wrap-Up Workshop and Annual Conference:  Any Mentor Organization that covers the stipend is also expected to contribute $500 toward the cost of bringing its Fellow(s) to the Wrap-Up Workshop and PBF's annual National Law Students Workers Rights Conference. This contribution should be made by August 31, 2024. (Not applicable to worker centers and other not-for-profit organizations participating in PBF fellowship program.)

  D.  What Does PBF Expect from PBF Fellows?

  1. Perform work assigned by mentor organization. 
  2. Inform PBF staff promptly of any fellowship-related issues.
  3. Participate actively in the supervision process.
  4. Complete the entire fellowship.  The stipend will be reduced pro-rata for any portion of a fellowship not completed. Students are responsible for paying any applicable taxes which may be owed on the stipend.
  5. Complete a Final Fellowship Report (a brief form and essay summarizing the fellowship experience). 
  6. Attend a one-day Wrap-up Workshop (a networking and program evaluation session) during the fall of 2024 and attend PBF's annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference (mid-October 2024) either in person (expenses paid) or via a virtual event, as circumstances warrant.
  7. Help publicize PBF programs among their peers at school and in the labor movement.