UAW International Union

Legal Department
Detroit, MI

This is the 2019 fellowship description for this mentor organization.

The International Union, United Automobile, Aerospace and Agricultural Implement Workers of America (UAW) maintains an in-house legal staff of eleven  attorneys. The work of the UAW Legal Department consists primarily of appellate, trial and administrative agency litigation, legal advice to union officials, legislative advice, and educational and training activities for union representatives and other attorneys. The Department is involved in a considerable amount of law reform or "impact" litigation before a variety of federal and state courts and administrative agencies. When the UAW retains outside counsel, Legal Department attorneys work closely with those attorneys, suggesting litigation strategies, guiding settlement negotiations and generally overseeing the progress of many suits. 

Department attorneys practice in virtually all areas of labor law as well as many other employment-related areas. Our law reform activities have included consumer, environmental, civil rights, and health and safety issues with an impact far beyond the workplaces of UAW members. The majority of litigation performed by the Department arises under one of the following statutes: National Labor Relations Act, OSHA, ERISA, Bankruptcy Code, Fair Labor Standards Act, Title VII, Landrum-Griffin Act, Age Discrimination in Employment Act, Family and Medical Leave Act, and various state or federal statutory benefit programs (including unemployment insurance, trade adjustment assistance, Social Security, food stamps, etc.). Department attorneys have participated, representing the UAW either as a party or amicus curiae, in several recent cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

Because the Legal Department is in-house, practice here is a bit different from that found in a private union-side law firm. The Legal Department's offices are located in UAW International Headquarters in Detroit. Neither attorneys nor law clerks are required to maintain records of "billable hours." Department attorneys regularly provide advice to top officers of the International Union on matters of vital importance to the Union and its members. In addition to handling cases, the Legal Department also provides assistance to outside attorneys in specialized areas such as bankruptcy law, employee benefits law, or employment discrimination.

Aside from traditional research and writing assignments, law clerks in the Department are often asked to draft briefs and accompany staff lawyers to hearings and oral arguments. Law clerks also have the opportunity to participate in union-sponsored events such as rallies and marches. The Legal Department generally hires rising second and third year law students. Some coursework in or exposure to labor law or work within the labor movement is a plus. For additional information about the union, visit www.uaw.org.

The UAW will pay the Peggy Browning Fellow a stipend of $710 a week, plus health benefits.

Address cover letter to:

James Britton, Assistant General Counsel
International Union, UAW
8000 East Jefferson Avenue
Detroit, MI 48214