Summer 2020 Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow

The National Employment Lawyers Association (“NELA”) and The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy (“The Institute”) are seeking a full- or part-time Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow for Summer 2020.

Founded in 1985, NELA’s mission is to empower workers’ rights attorneys through legal training, promoting a fair judiciary, and advocating for laws and policies that level the playing field for workers. 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.

The Institute is NELA’s related nonprofit charitable and educational organization.  The Institute was created in 2008 by NELA to advocate for employee rights by advancing equality and justice in the American workplace. The Institute’s mission is to advance workers’ rights through research, thought leadership, and education for policymakers, advocates, and the public.

Description of Position
The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow will be based in NELA’s/The Institute’s Oakland headquarters office and will report to and be under the general supervision of the Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellow and the Program Director. The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow will use his/her independent judgment, initiative and creativity in managing and prioritizing his/her workload. The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow will work with the staff to implement the following activities.

Forced Arbitration
Employers today are increasingly reliant upon pre-dispute, binding forced arbitration provisions to stack the deck in their favor in disputes with their employees.  NELA/The Institute is focused on ending forced arbitration in employment claims and ensuring that employees have a right to have their claims heard in court.  The Fellow will perform research, monitor case law, and provide legal writing and analysis related to NELA/The Institute’s campaign to end forced arbitration.

Amicus Program
NELA files amicus briefs (typically in the U.S. Supreme Court or federal Circuit Courts of Appeals) in support of precedent-setting litigation seeking to protect or strengthen the rights of individuals in the workplace. The Fellow will perform legal research, writing and analysis on ongoing amicus activities and review recent decisions that might warrant our amicus participation.

Public Policy Program and Judicial Nominations
NELA monitors federal appellate judicial appointments and assess nominees. The Fellow will help in that assessment by researching nominees’ records on employment and civil rights matters, and help prepare position statements, letters to Congress, fact sheets, talking points and other advocacy materials.

National Litigation Strategy Project
NELA’s National Litigation Strategy (“NLSP”), is devoted to combating inequality and injustice in the workplace. The Fellow will provide research assistance to the NLSP Task Force as it develops and implements the national litigation strategy, with particular emphasis on examining strategies for combating the high rate of pre- and post-trial dismissals of employment discrimination claims.

Applicants should have completed at least one year of law school. They should 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.

Application Process

Application Deadline: Rolling.
Start Date: Flexible
Pay: Unpaid Position.  NELA/The Institute will work with the Fellow to secure course credit/outside funding if need be.
End Date: Flexible, Minimum 10 weeks required.
Schedule: Minimum 15 hours per week.

Contact Program Manager Ashley Westby for details on the position, and how they can apply.

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