Staff Attorney/ Senior Staff Attorney

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic, experienced, and skilled Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney to join our Work Quality team to advance NELP’s long-term goal to raise job standards and enforce hard-won workers’ rights. 

Who We Are

NELP is a national non-profit with offices in New York, Washington D.C., Seattle, and Berkeley, promoting federal, state, and local policies designed to create good jobs.  These include policies to, 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 and technical assistance designed to raise wages, end wage theft and workplace violations, ensure safe and healthy workplaces, strengthen unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation, secure employer accountability, encourage fair chance employment, and promote a comprehensive policy framework to build a good jobs economy. For more information, see 

As advocates for workers’ rights, including the right to organize and bargain over working conditions, non-management staff at NELP are members of Local 2320, UAW. 

What You Will Do

As a Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney, you will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts and strategic communications in the Work Quality team.  Your team partners with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to test new models in the states and cities that will respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty-first century, and lay the foundation for federal reform.  Your work includes: 

  • Developing new strategies to improve enforcement of basic workplace rights and core labor standards to combat the rise in the number of low-wage and immigrant workers who are not paid the minimum wage or overtime, endure unsafe workplaces, and face retaliation when trying to organize or assert their basic rights; 
  • Developing policies and providing campaign support to raise labor standards at the federal, state and local levels, with a particular focus on supporting ongoing worker campaigns for $15 an hour and the right to organize; 
  • Fighting back against rollbacks of core labor and employment rights at the federal, state and local level; and eliminating loopholes that exclude immigrants, people of color, and contingent and temporary workers from core protections like minimum wage.  

As the Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney, you will be based in NELP’s New York City or Washington D.C. office (NYC preferred), and will be responsible for the following: 

  • Leading local and state advocacy in key policy priority areas, as described above in the Work Quality portfolio, by engaging key constituencies, allied organizations, and policymakers. 
  • Providing legal, policy and strategic support for campaigns across the country, including drafting model legislation, policy briefs, and legal analyses. 
  • Drafting amicus briefs and supporting strategic litigation related to Work Quality issues. 
  • Representing NELP in advocacy coalitions, public forums, legislative and agency hearings, and in the media.  
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials, and engaging in strategic communications. 
  • Supporting a workplace culture where all team members grow and develop professionally. 
  • Actively contributing to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of social justice, diversity, and inclusion.  

Who You Are 

  • You have substantial advocacy and research experience promoting labor and employment rights, civil rights and racial justice, or other economic justice issues. Your experience in labor law, employment law and/or organizing is especially welcome. 
  • You have a J.D., with five to seven years of related legal experience preferred. You must be eligible for admission to the bar. 
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills (Spanish-language fluency a plus). 
  • You have demonstrated commitment to economic justice and low-income issues. 
  • You are strategic and a clear-headed thinker and doer who is comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously.  
  • You are comfortable with ambiguity and change. 

Start Date, Location, Compensation & Benefits: This position will be based in New York City or Washington D.C. Start date will be as soon as possible. Salary is competitive within the non-profit sector and commensurate with experience and education 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. 

To apply:  Email cover letter, resume, and three references to, noting “Work Quality Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting “Work Quality Staff Attorney/Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Applications due by January 22, 2018.  

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.   

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