National Employment Law Project

Washington, DC

This is the 2020 fellowship description for this mentor organization's Washington, DC office.

NELP 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 low-wage workers and the unemployed.  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:

  • Researching work equity and social isurance policies through a racial equity lens;
  • Conducting research that can provide state partners with technical assistance and capacity-building support;
  • Exploring innovative social insurance and work equity policies that build worker power, dismantle structural racism, and address income inequality;
  • Fighting back against rollbacks of labor and employment rights at the federal, state and local level, and eliminating loopholes that exclude immigrants, people of color, and contingent and temporary workers from core protections;
  • Advocating for effective policies across the country that help reduce barriers to employment faced by people with arrest and conviction records - disproportionately people of color - including fair chance hiring ("ban the box") and occupational licensing reforms.

The Peggy Browning Fellow will assist NELP attorneys. Aspects of this work may include:

  • Providing legal, policy and strategic assistance for campaigns, including drafting legislation, legal research and analyses, and policy briefs;
  • Engaging in analysis of policies related to social insurance programs, home care, occupational segregation, and increasing access to quality jobs for Black workers;
  • Researching unemployment insurance, other social insurance, and work equity policies through a racial equity lens;
  • Assisting with providing state partners with technical assistance;
  • Drafting memorandums, reports, op-eds, and community educational materials and engaging in strategic 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. 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 include a legal writing sample.

Address cover letter to:

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