Workers Defense Project

Austin, Dallas, or Houston, TX

This is the 2023 fellowship description for this mentor organization.

Workers Defense Project (WDP) is a membership-based organization of immigrant workers and their families, building power among Texas construction workers to protect and advance their rights. Founded in 2002, WDP began as a small legal aid project for immigrant workers suffering wage theft. Since then, the organization has developed a member base in Austin, Dallas, and Houston and gained renown for its ability to translate direct services and grassroots organizing into concrete policy wins in one of the toughest climates for workers in the country. WDP focuses on winning better working conditions in the Texas construction industry, which is both one of the most powerful special interest groups in the state and one of the largest employers of immigrants.

The Employment Legal Services (ELS) department helps members directly address serious workplace problems through legal services and direct action. The Organizing department uses education, advocacy, direct action, and leadership development to empower our members to effect systemic change. The Better Builder® and Policy departments improve conditions for working and immigrant families across Texas by advocating for higher standards in the construction industry and beyond.

The fellow will assist ELS in the development of employment cases on behalf of WDP members as well as conduct legal and policy research to support WDP’s ongoing strategic campaigns. This includes interviewing clients and potential clients of WDP, supporting any ongoing litigation on behalf of WDP or its members, and assisting individual workers in filing and pursuing claims with administrative agencies. Fellows will be supervised by WDP’s staff attorneys, but will also likely collaborate with WDP organizing and policy advocacy staff across the state. This position provides a unique opportunity to work in a fast-paced environment that connects legal advocacy to innovative policy and organizing initiatives.

Spanish language proficiency is required.

Position is in person or hybrid, but the fellow must be located in one of the three metro areas.

$7,000 stipend for the 10 week fellowship.

Address cover letter to:

Hannah Alexander
Staff Attorney
Workers Defense Project
5604 Manor Road
Austin, TX 78723