National Employment Lawyers Association

Legislative and Public Policy Office
Washington, DC

This is the 2019 fellowship description for this mentor organization. This fellowship has been awarded to Grace Pezzella from Georgetown University Law Center.

The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) advances employee rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. It provides assistance and support to lawyers in protecting the rights of employees against the greater resources of their employers and the defense bar. NELA and its 69 circuit, state and local affiliates have more than 4,000 members around the country. 

Founded in 1985, NELA is the country's largest professional association that is exclusively comprised of lawyers who represent employees in cases involving employment discrimination and other employment-related matters. NELA members represent workers in individual, class, and collective actions under federal and state labor and employment laws, including but not limited to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and other anti-discrimination statutes, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, whistleblower protections, union-side labor laws, as well as laws protecting workers' rights to privacy, fair wages and hours, and family and medical leave.

NELA advances employee rights through legislation, public policy, and other advocacy activities. Opened in 2006, NELA's Legislative and Public Policy Office in Washington, DC advocates for stronger federal employment and labor statutes before the United States Congress and the federal agencies that enforce them (e.g., the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Labor, and U.S. Department of Justice). Our legislative and public-policy initiatives generally spring directly from our members' day-to-day experience representing workers. For example, we have worked on restoring the protections of the Americans with Disabilities Act; supporting appointment of nominees to the federal judiciary who believe in equal justice under the law for all of America's workers; banning forced arbitration of employment disputes for workers; eliminating unfair taxes on non-economic damages awarded in employment cases; and ending the perennial EEOC practice of refusing to accept workers' charges of unlawful discrimination.  NELA's advocacy initiatives also include filing amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals in support of legal positions that protect or strengthen workers' rights under the various employment laws.

The Peggy Browning Fellow will assist the Legislative & Public Policy Director on all aspects of developing, researching, publicizing, and communicating NELA’s legislative and public-policy priorities. In this capacity, the Fellow may conduct legal research to identify and evaluate legislative proposals; work with NELA members around the country to compile their experiences in representing clients; draft legal memoranda, legislative fact sheets; represent NELA at meetings with Congressional staff as well as coalition and other meetings; and assist with monitoring judicial and executive branch agency appointments, Congressional actions, and Federal Register notices.

The 2019 Peggy Browning Fellow will likely work on issues related to judicial nominations and ending forced arbitration, as well as other issues.  She or he can also expect to work on some of the tasks associated with developing our Legislative Action Team and writing and production of On The Hill, a monthly publication about NELA's work on Capitol Hill.

Applicants should have completed at least one year of law school; possess excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office, and have a demonstrated commitment to workers’ rights. Experience or course work in employment law is preferred.

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

Address cover letter to:

Laura M. Flegel
Legislative & Public Policy Director
National Employment Lawyers Association
1828 L Street NW
Washington, DC 20036