The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship (PHT Fellowship) is an opportunity for a recent law graduate to work for two years at the intersection of law and policy surrounding the workplace and have an immediate impact on major issues affecting workers’ lives. The Fellowship is based at the National Institute for Workers’ Rights, which recently launched a new chapter with an ambitious agenda centered on economic dignity, workplace justice, and the future of worker advocacy. The Tobias Fellowship is one of the premier fellowships for early-career lawyers interested in workplace law.
The PHT Fellow will have two primary responsibilities. The principal responsibility will be to design and execute significant projects that advance workers’ rights in an area of law and policy, as well as manage existing projects, working with the Institute Director. These projects will include identifying partners for research and implementation, including community-based partners. The projects will involve some combination of research and writing, policy work, program design, and public education.
The PHT Fellow’s other main responsibility will be to manage the Institute’s amicus program. The Institute, in conjunction with our sister organization the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), submits amicus briefs to influence the development of workplace law. Fellows will work to identify cutting-edge issues around the country and appropriate cases for amicus. Fellows may contribute to drafting briefs, and will manage the process of enlisting lawyers to draft and edit briefs. In 2023, the Institute has already filed several amicus briefs in federal circuit courts and the U.S. Supreme Court.
Institute employees work remotely, though fellows are welcome to work in NELA’s Washington, DC office or Concord, CA headquarters if they so choose.
The PHT Fellow must have:
- a J.D.;
- passion for civil and workers’ rights;
- interest in and ideally experience with public policy work;
- strong research and communications skills for different audiences;
- self-motivation, flexibility, and the ability to collaborate with a small team.
Founded in 2008, the National Institute for Workers’ Rights (Institute) has a mission of advancing workers’ rights through research, thought leadership, and education for policymakers, advocates, and the public. The Institute has had an impact on such critical issues as forced arbitration, workers’ rights in the gig economy, and the importance of properly applying summary judgment standards in employment cases. The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is the largest bar association in the country focused on empowering workers’ rights attorneys and the sister organization of the Institute.
About The Fellowship
For over fifty years, Paul H. Tobias inspired countless workers’ rights advocates through his ongoing, pioneering contributions to the field of plaintiffs’ employment law. To cultivate the next generation of workers’ rights advocates, the Paul H. Tobias (PHT) Attorney Fellowship Program offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects in employment law.
The PHT Fellowship is a two-year placement with an annual salary of $70,000; $1,000 in professional development funding; 100% employer-paid base health, dental, and vision insurance; annual leave; medical leave; and thirteen paid holidays. The Fellowship period is flexible and can commence at any time between June and September 2024. The Institute’s employees primarily work remotely, though candidates are welcome to work in our Washington, DC office or Concord, CA headquarters.
The Institute and NELA are equal opportunity employers. We value a diverse workforce and an inclusive culture. The Institute and NELA encourage applications from all persons without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, and record of arrest or conviction, or any other characteristic protected by applicable law.
The Institute and NELA make every effort to assure that our recruitment and employment practices provide all persons, including persons with disabilities, with full opportunities for employment in all positions, and we are committed to providing reasonable accommodations as needed. If you are a person with a disability and need an accommodation to apply for this position, please e-mail or call (415) 296-7629. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Applicants should send resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample to Jason Solomon, Institute Director, at with the subject line “PHT Fellow application” by October 15, 2023. Candidates will be interviewed in late October and November, and the Fellow will be chosen by the end of 2023.