National Employment Lawyers Association

Legislative and Public Policy Office
Washington, DC

This is the 2021 fellowship description for this mentor organization. 

The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) advances employee rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. NELA provides assistance and support to plaintiff's employment 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's Legislative and Public Policy Office is in Washington, DC where this position is based, although in view of the COID-19 pandemic, the position is lkely to be remote in the summer of 2021.

NELA advances employee rights through legislation, public policy, and other advocacy activities. Opened in 2006, NELA 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).

We have provided drafting assitance to House and Senate offices as well as lobbied on a wide array of bills including legislation to restore overtime to low-wage workers; bills to end workplace harassment and bills to ban the insidious practice of forced arbitration of employment disputes. We are active in a progressive coalition to ensure the appointment of nominees to the federal judiciary who believe in equal justice under the law for all of America's workers. Although NELA's advocacy initiatives also include filing amicus curiae briefs in the U.S. Supreme Court and federal courts of appeals, our Peggy Browning Fellow does not typically work on amicus briefs.

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; track the progress of legislation, work with the Legislative & Public Policy Director staffing NELA committees comprised of NELA members around the country; draft legislative fact sheets; and represent NELA at coalition meetings and briefings. The Fellow will also be trained to monitor judicial and executive branch agency appointments, Congressional actions, and Federal Register notices.

The 2021 Peggy Browning Fellow can expect to work on 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, and experience working in a policy or legislative setting is extremely valuable.

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