Staff Attorney – Berkeley, California Office

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a staff attorney to support campaigns nationally to improve economic security for workers, with a focus on people with arrest and conviction records. This position is a unique opportunity for a dynamic leader to be part of NELP’s team fighting for policies to create good jobs, expand access to work, and strengthen protections and support for low-wage workers and the unemployed. 

About NELP

NELP is a national non-profit with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Seattle and Berkeley. NELP promotes federal, state and local policies to create good jobs, strengthen workers’ upward mobility, enforce worker rights, and improve benefits and services for the unemployed. In collaboration with national and grassroots partners, NELP advances its work through research, advocacy, litigation support, technical assistance and strategic communications designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, improve workplace safety and health, strengthen unemployment insurance, ensure employer accountability for all workers – including workers in contract employment, encourage fair chance hiring practices, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy.  NELP works from the ground up to build change, in close partnership with community groups, unions, faith-based organizations, legal services program and policymakers.

Job Responsibilities

The staff attorney, to be based in NELP’s Berkeley, California office, is responsible for the following:

  • Implementing advocacy agenda in several policy priority areas, including fair-chance employment, occupational licensing reform, and other policies that expand job opportunities for people with records and workers of color.
  • Providing legal, policy and strategic assistance for national, state and local campaigns, including legislative analysis, legislative tracking, campaign strategy, and model policies.
  • Building and maintaining strategic relationships with allies, policymakers and key stakeholders, with a special emphasis on building worker power.
  • Drafting reports, policy briefs, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials, and engaging in strategic communications.
  • Drafting amicus briefs and supporting strategic litigation related to policy priority areas.
  • Representing NELP in the media, legislative and agency hearings and other public forums.


We are seeking candidates who are results oriented, with strong organizational skills, and who excel in relationship building in support of strategic campaigns.  You should have:

  • Strong critical thinking, writing, and communication skills.
  • A track record building partnerships across a variety of interest groups.
  • Advocacy or organizing experience promoting labor and employment rights, criminal justice reform, civil rights and racial justice, or other economic justice issues.
  • Demonstrated commitment to racial and economic justice.
  • Three years of legal or relevant policy experience preferred.
  • J.D. degree (admission to the bar is preferred but not required).

Compensation & Benefits

Compensation dependent on years of experience based on NELP’s collective bargaining scale.  Excellent benefits package. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320.

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity, fair chance, affirmative action employer, committed to building a diverse and inclusive workforce.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without regard to race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status.

Apply Now:

Applications will be accepted and interviews conducted on a rolling basis. All applications must be received by March 27, 2017. To apply, send cover letter and resume to:

Berkeley Staff Attorney Application in the subject line.

Back to Top of Page