National Employment Lawyers Association

Legislative and Public Policy Office
Washington, DC

This is the 2023 fellowship description for this mentor organization. 

About NELA
Founded in 1985, the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is the country’s largest professional association exclusively composed of lawyers who represent employees in cases involving employment discrimination and other employment-related matters. NELA advances employee rights through legislation, public policy, and other advocacy activities. Through our Washington DC Office, which opened in 2006 to further our Legislative & Public Policy agenda, NELA advocates for stronger federal employment and labor laws 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).

Public Policy Internship Opportunity
NELA’s Washington, DC Office offers a summer-long public policy fellowship for law students interested in employee rights advocacy. Students selected for this opportunity will report directly to and work closely with the Legislative & Public Policy Director of NELA. NELA is a national voluntary bar association for employment lawyers with a legislative and public policy program to advance and defend employees’ rights.

Peggy Browning Fellows will be involved in many aspects of NELA’s Legislative & Public Policy Program and can expect to gain experience in various aspects of legislative advocacy and knowledge of current issues in employee rights. Fellows are assigned projects that are critical to our public policy work, such as helping prepare On The Hill, a monthly legislative e-briefing produced for our members and others covering NELA's legislative activities; helping with preparation of action alerts provided to NELA members regarding time-sensitive legislative issues; reaching out to legislative offices and staff on issues of concern to NELA members; and attending congressional briefings and coalition meetings on behalf of NELA, with advance preparation and support from NELA’s L&PP Director. Fellows will also interact closely with NELA committees and leadership, gaining exposure to employment rights lawyers nation-wide. Specific assignments are tailored to our fellows’ interests and abilities.

Recent fellows have worked with NELA staff, members of congressional staffs, and ally organizations on substantive issues including:

  • Researching federal judicial nominees, and drafting letters of support or opposition to nominees in order to advance NELA’s goal of ensuring a fair and impartial judiciary
  • Ending forced arbitration in employment;
  • Drafting and conducting research to be used in written comments on agency rulemaking
  • Strengthening overtime protections and fair pay laws for working people, including tipped wages, increasing the minimum wage, strengthening equal pay laws, etc.; and
  • Researching and tracking pending legislation central to NELA’s goals and mission

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 and/or prior experience working in the federal or state legislature is preferred.

The Fellowship will be in person in Washington, DC, remote or a hybrid—all of which can be worked out between the student and the Legislative and Public Policy Director.

The total ten-week stipend for this fellowship will be $7,000.

Address cover letter to:

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