2019 Winter/Spring Legal Externship

Application Deadline:  1/16/2019 (Accepted on a Rolling Basis)

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks one to two 2019 winter/spring semester legal externs to work part-time in a paid position on a new project documenting the conviction history restrictions limiting access to state occupational licenses in high-demand industries across the country. The position(s) will be in NELP’s California Office in Berkeley.

About NELP

The National Employment Law Project is a non‐profit research and advocacy organization that partners with national, state, and local allies—including community groups, worker centers, unions, faith-based organizations, policy makers, and think tanks—to develop and promote policies and programs that create good jobs and enforce hard-won worker rights. NELP is one of the country’s leading workers’ rights organizations, developing innovative policy models, conducting research, educating the public and other advocates, supporting worker organizing, and engaging in strategic communications.

In 2005, recognizing that the criminal justice system has compounded the poverty trap for low-income families and communities of color, NELP launched its work to reduce barriers to employment faced by people with arrest and conviction records. We work with allies to dismantle unfair collateral consequences and ensure that workers with records are not locked out of the job market. For example, NELP co-sponsored the California “Fair Chance Act,” a private-sector “ban the box” law that took effect January 1, 2018. NELP recently launched a new nationwide initiative to reduce barriers to occupational licenses based on arrest and conviction records.

The Externship

NELP seeks one to two law students to work in a paid externship position in our Berkeley, California office during the 2019 winter/spring semester (for an 8-10 week period) for 10 to 15 hours per week.

The California Office positions will focus on NELP’s new fair chance licensing initiative, documenting arrest and conviction record restrictions limiting access to state occupational licenses in major growth industries. Please visit NELP’s fair chance licensing webpage for more information about this area of our work. Specifically, the individuals will assist NELP attorneys with the following activities:

  • Performing in-depth legal and policy analysis of state occupational licensing laws;
  • Analyzing state labor market data documenting high-growth industries;
  • Conducting research in support of state fair chance licensing campaigns;
  • Drafting memoranda and factsheets summarizing the results of the legal and empirical research.

We welcome law students with a commitment to racial and economic justice. Previous experience or coursework related to criminal justice and employment law are helpful but not required.

To Apply

Interested law students should fill out our application form at https://www.tfaforms.com/4713877. Please select “2019 Spring Semester Berkeley Law Clerk” as the position you are applying for and attach a resume, cover letter, writing sample (no more than 5 pages), and list of references. Compensation for this externship position is $20 per hour, with a maximum of 15 hours per week (during an 8-10 week period).  Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis but no later than January 16, 2019. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible.

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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