New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty

Albuquerque, NM

This is the 2024 fellowship description for this mentor organization. This position has been filled.

Our Peggy Browning Fellow will become a member of our workers’ rights litigation and advocacy team, contributing to projects around enforcement of the minimum wage laws, wages and working conditions for dairy workers and farmworkers, and increased wages for home care workers. For example, in our continued monitoring of comprehensive reforms of wage law enforcement we won through litigation against the state, our Peggy Browning Fellow will identify issues that arise in individual workers’ cases and advocate with the state. For years, the state’s enforcement officers followed illegal rules that allowed employers to get away with wage theft. Although their rules and policies changed due to our lawsuit, we expect to have to apply continued pressure until the culture at the agency is also sufficiently changed. The Fellow will perform intakes with workers, issue-spot violations, and document discrepancies between the policies as written and as carried out.

The Fellow will also perform farmworker outreach. We are exploring possible advocacy to remove some of the exclusions from our state’s minimum wage that keep farmworkers from being included in basic minimum wage guarantees, and to fight wage theft in the chile industry and agricultural work in general. Finally, we continue to work to enforce farmworkers’ right to workers’ compensation. In 2016, we won a lawsuit challenging the exclusion of farmworkers from the state’s workers’ compensation statute. But many of our state’s 15,000 farmworkers continue to work for labor contractors who refuse to provide benefits to workers who are injured.

The Fellow will do research in support of our advocacy priorities, such as misclassification of independent contractors. The Fellow will also develop community education materials, along with materials emphasizing the findings of our agricultural worker survey.

Strong written advocacy skills are essential. We are open to working with 1Ls or 2Ls, and will give strong preference to law students with roots in New Mexico or who plan to practice in New Mexico upon graduation. While Spanish-language ability is a plus, it is not a requirement of this fellowship. We anticipate that the Fellow will work on site at our office in Albuquerque for some days each week. Our office is generally hybrid in-person/remote.

Students receive $7,000 for the 10 week program.

Address cover letter describing your interest in workers' rights to:

Stephanie Welch
Supervising Attorney, Workers' Rights
New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty
924 Park Avenue SW, Suite C
Albuquerque, NM 87102