National Employment Law Project

Washington, DC

This is the 2021 fellowship description for this mentor organization's Washington, DC office.

The National Employment Law Project is a non-profit research and advocacy organization that fights for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for workers in low wage industries and the unemployed, with a focus on uplifting Black and Latinx workers.  We collaborate with national, state and local allies - including worker centers, community groups, immigrant advocacy organiations, unions, faith-based organizations, policy makers and think tanks - to create good jobs and enforce hard-won worker rights. NELP is one of the country's leading workers' rights organizations, developing innovative policy models, conducting research, educating the public and other advocates, supporting worker organizing, and engaging in strategic communications. All of NELP's work is built upon a strong commitment to eliminating structural racism.  To learn more about us, please visit our website at

The Fellowship:

With a staff of lawyers, researchers, and policy experts, NELP works in close partnership with lawyers, grassroots organizing groups, and reformers to test new policy models in the states and cities and translate them to the federal level, and to enforce long-fought legal rights and protections, in order to respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty-first century. Our work includes:

  • Developing new strategies to improve and ensure enforcement of basic workplace rights in order to combat the growing number of immigrant workers who are not paid the minimum wage or overtime, who endure unsafe workplaces, and who face retaliation when trying to organize;
  • Researching and developing policies to address the rise of outsourcing, the "gig economy," and contingent work structures ("the fissured economy") to ensure fair wages and job quality;
  • Developing policies and providing campaign support to raise labor standards at the federal, state, and local levels, with a particular focus on supporting ongoing worker campaigns for $15 an hour and the right to unionize; fighting back against rollbacks at the federal level; and eliminating loopholes and waiver of rights that exclude immigrants, people of color, and contingent and temporary workers from core minimum wage protections;
  • This past summer our interns worked assisting with NELP's COVID-19 response, including research on issues of the formerly incarcerated and access to unemployment and the ongoing health and safety crisis in the workplace.

The Peggy Browning Fellow will assist NELP attorneys in all aspects of this work, including:

  • Providing legal, policy and strategic assistance for campaigns, including drafting legislation, legal research and analyses, and policy briefs;
  • Strategic participation in litigation related to wage and hour and other labor standards issues, including drafting amicus briefs and preparing legal research memos;
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, and community educational materials and engaging ins trategic communications.

The total ten-week stipend for this fellowship will be $6,000.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce. All qualified applicants will be considered without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

To Apply:

In addition to the basic application requirements (cover letter, application form, essays, resume), applicants for this fellowship must also submit a legal writing sample. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

Address cover letter to:

Nzingha Hooker
Staff Attorney
National Employment Law Project
1350 Conecticut Avenue NW, Suite 1050
Washington, DC 20036