Apply Now for Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program (2017-18)

To cultivate the next generation of employee rights advocates, The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at The Institute.

About Us
The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (“The Institute”) is a nonprofit charitable and educational organization. Created in 2008, The Institute’s mission is to advocate for employee rights by advancing equality and justice in the American workplace. The Institute seeks to achieve its mission through a multi-disciplinary approach and a combination of innovative legal strategies, policy development, grassroots advocacy, and public education. Our vision for the future is one in which workers are paid at least a living wage in an environment free of discrimination, harassment, retaliation, and capricious employment decisions; employers will fulfill their promises to provide retirement, health, and other benefits; workers’ safety and livelihood are not compromised for the sake of corporate profit and interests; and individuals who have been subjected to unjust treatment in the workplace have effective legal representation and access to the civil justice system.

The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is The Institute’s founding organization. NELA is the country’s largest professional organization that is exclusively comprised of lawyers who represent individual employees in cases involving employment discrimination, wrongful termination, employee benefits, illegal workplace harassment and retaliation, as well as other employment-related matters. NELA’s mission is to advance employee rights and serve lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. NELA pursues its mission through education, legislation, public policy, amicus curiae briefs, judicial oversight, publications, technical support and other activities. Working hand-in-hand, The Institute and NELA reach broadly-engaging advocates, organizations, coalitions, legislators, academics, agency officials, media, and the public-to create a more just workplace.

About The Fellowship
Paul H. Tobias is the founder and first Executive Director of NELA. For over fifty years, Paul has inspired countless employee rights advocates through his pioneering and tireless contributions to the field of plaintiffs’ employment law. To cultivate the next generation of employee rights advocates, The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at The Institute. The Fellow will further, or in some situations may help to launch, The Institute’s programs.

The 2017–2018 Paul H. Tobias Fellowship is a two-year placement with an annual stipend of $51,000, plus health, dental, and vision insurance; annual leave; and medical leave. The Fellowship period is flexible, and may commence between October 1–December 31, 2016, and end between September 1–December 31, 2018 depending on the needs of the applicant and The Institute. The Fellow will be considered a regular full-time staff member and will attend staff meetings and work closely with the Executive Director, Director of Law & Policy, and Program Director.

The Institute’s initiatives protect workers’ access to the courts and promote employee rights by influencing the broad, macro conversations that shape employment law. Past PHT Fellows have engaged in the following activities:

  • Researching and drafting substantive policy papers designed to help plaintiffs’ employment lawyers and other workers’ rights advocates defeat motions for summary judgment.
  • Providing research and writing support to a task force that developed pattern discovery protocols for employment cases in federal court.
  • Providing technical assistance to practicing employment lawyers on topics such as: responding to motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, developing briefs to support motions for class certification, and resisting motions to compel arbitration.
  • Planning and participating in legal conferences and symposia on summary dismissals of employment discrimination cases, and forced arbitration of workplace disputes.
  • Writing a law review article on forced arbitration in the workplace.
  • Writing and placing articles and blog posts on substantive policy areas impacting workers’ rights
  • Monitoring and posting content on social media to increase the visibility of The Institute.
  • Hiring and supervising law clerks.


  • A law degree, and no more than two (2) years of post-law school experience.
  • Law students who will graduate from law school by June 2016 may apply, provided that they are committed to sitting for the bar exam in 2016.
  • Law student applicants must have employment law experience through coursework, clinical legal education, or law school clerkships.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil and workers’ rights.
  • Outstanding legal research, writing and analytic skills.
  • Ability to work independently and produce a high quality work product in a timely manner in a multi-task work environment.
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Ability to coordinate and work effectively with volunteers and coalition partners.
  • Experience working with a non-profit organization preferred, but not required.
  • Good sense of humor and ability to get along with others.

The PHT Fellow must be prepared to travel at least three (3) times per year, and also at the request of the Executive Director.

The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

How To Apply

Interested applicants should submit a cover letter describing your interest in the Fellowship and a completed application form, including attachments to:

The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Search Committee
The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy
2201 Broadway Avenue
Suite 402
Oakland, CA 94612

Download Application

Applications will be accepted through April 1, 2016, and will be evaluated on a rolling basis until the Fellowship is filled.

No phone calls please.


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