Application Requirements

 

2015 Summer Fellowship Program  
2015-2016 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. 
 
During 2015, we expect to offer approximately 70 funded ten-week Summer Fellowships.    In addition, we will once again offer a funded part-time School-Year Fellowship (at the Chicago Newspaper Guild). 
 

II.  Eligibility

A. 2015 Summer Fellowship
  1. Applicant must be a first-year or second-year student in good standing at one of the law schools on our List of Participating Law Schools.
     
  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. 2015-2016 Chicago School-Year Fellowship
  1. Applicant must be a student in good standing at a participating law school in proximity to the fellowship location. 
     
  2. Applicant must have completed at least one year of law school before the start of the fellowship. 
 

III. Application Requirements

A. 2015 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. Complete the application on the PBF website and add required attachments. The application package will be sent  simultaneously to PBF and to the selected mentor organizations. 
     
  4. Deadline:  Applications for Summer Fellowships must be received by  PBF no later than Friday, January 16, 2015.  We strongly encourage you to submit your application as soon as  possible rather than waiting until the deadline. 
     
  5. For a summer fellowship, students may apply to a maximum of seven mentor sites.   
B. School-Year Fellowship
  1. The application package must include a cover letter, completed application forms, and resume. 
     
  2. Complete the application on the PBF website and add required attachments. The application package will be sent simultaneously to PBF and to the Chicago Newspaper Guild.  
     
  3. Deadline: Applications for the 2015-2016 School-Year Fellowship will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position has been filled.  We strongly encourage you to submit your application as soon as possible. 
 

IV.  Stipends

  1. The total stipend payment for the ten-week Summer Fellowship is $5,000 (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 2015-2016  Chicago School-Year Fellowship is $5,000.  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 (e.g., NLRB or other government positions), 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., produce application materials and processes; 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 networking opportunities to Fellows, through such means as networking/fundraising events, alumni connections, introductions to labor leaders and labor lawyers, etc.
     
  5. Consult with Fellows and with Mentor Organizations regarding any problems that may arise during the fellowship. 
     
  6. Coordinate and lead Fellows' Wrap-Up Workshop, a networking and program evaluation session held each fall after fellowships have been completed (scheduled in conjunction with PBF's annual National Law Students Workers' Rights Conference).  Mentors are also invited and encouraged to attend.

 B. What Does PBF Expect from Participating Law Schools? 

  1. Publicize our programs extensively among their respective student populations.
     
  2. Support the Fund’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, taking ads in the event's program book, providing facilities, helping organize a fund-raiser, etc.).

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; offices of the National Labor Relations Board; other government agencies, federal or state, that address labor or employment issues; not-for-profit, public interest organizations that advocate for workers; law firms that represent labor organizations and/or workers and that practice in areas of traditional labor and/or employment law.
     
  2. Equal Opportunity:  The Mentor Organization must comply with PBF's Equal Employment Opportunity & Non-Discrimination Policy, as required by AALS (Association of American Law Schools) standards. 
     
  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 6, 2015.  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, 2015.
     
  4. Work Experience:  PBF's mission is to educate law students on the rights and needs of workers.  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 mebers 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 (currently $5,000; see Secdtion 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 $5,000. 

    d. The Mentor Organization agrees to provide stipend or matching funds, if applicable, to PBF as agreed upon, no later than May 1, 2015, 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 expecgted 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 June 1, 2015. (Not applicable to not-for-profit organizations and government agencies participating in PBF fellowship program.)

  D.  What Does PBF Expect from PBF Fellows?

  1. Perform work assigned by Mentor Organization. 
     
  2. Complete the entire fellowship.  The stipend will be reduced pro-rata for any portion of a fellowship not completed.  
     
  3. Complete a Final Fellowship Report (a two-page form and brief essay summarizing the fellowship experience). 
     
  4. Attend a one-day (expenses paid) Wrap-up Workshop (a networking and program evaluation session) in early fall, 2015, scheduled in conjunction with PBF's annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference. 
     
  5. Help publicize PBF programs among their peers at school and in the labor movement.