National Employment Lawyers Association/National Institute for Workers' Rights

Legislative and Public Policy Office
Washington, DC

This is the 2024 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, amicus practice, 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).

About NIWR

The mission of the National Institute for Workers’ Rights (the Institute) is to advance workers’ rights through research, thought leadership, and education for policymakers, advocates, and the public. Founded in 2008, the Institute is the related charitable public interest organization of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA). Workinghand in hand with NELA, the Institute aspires to a future in which all workers are treated with dignity and respect; workplaces are equitable, diverse, and inclusive; and the wellbeing of workers is a priority in business practices.

As the nation’s employee rights advocacy think tank, the Institute influences the broad, macro conversations that shape employment law. We conduct research, develop resources, and educate advocates, judges, the media, policymakers, and the general public to promote employee rights and protect workers’ access to the courts.

Research and Writing Internship Opportunity
NELA & NIWR offer 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 our Institute Director Jason Solomon.

Peggy Browning Fellows will be involved in many aspects of NELA & NIWR’s public policy and advocacy and can expect to gain experience in various aspects of legal advocacy and knowledge of current issues in employee rights. Fellows are assigned projects that are critical to our public policy work, such as helping develop original research into the structural barriers employees face in enforcing their rights; assisting with amicus briefs in courts around the country; drafting web and social media materials to broaden the organization’s reach; and attending briefings and coalition meetings on behalf of NELA, with advance preparation and support from NELA staff. 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 and ally organizations on substantive issues including:

  • Worker health and safety enforcement in the era of climate change and COVID-19;
  • Ending forced arbitration in employment;
  • Intersections between labor and employment law in administrative enforcement; 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 public policy is preferred.

NELA & NIWR are headquartered in Concord, California, with additional offices in Washington, D.C. Most employees work fully remotely. As such, this position is also intended to be fully remote, but hybrid and in-person options may also be worked out with the Institute Director.

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

Address cover letter to:

Jason Solomon
Institute Director
National Institute for Workers’ Rights
National Employment Lawyers Association
1800 Sutter Street, Suite 210

Concord, CA 94520



www.nela.org