2024 Summer Legal Internship


Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website: www.nelp.org

NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with an 11-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $17M-$20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.


What You Will Do

With a staff of lawyers, researchers, and policy experts, NELP works in close partnership with lawyers, grassroots organizing groups, and reformers to test new policy models in the states and cities and translate them to the federal level, and to enforce long-fought legal rights and protections, in order to respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty‐first century. Our work includes:

  • Developing new strategies to improve and ensure enforcement of basic workplace rights in order to combat the growing number of immigrant workers who are not paid the minimum wage or overtime, who endure unsafe workplaces, and who face retaliation when trying to organize.
  • Researching and developing policies to address the rise of outsourcing, the “gig economy,” and contingent work structures (“the fissured economy”) to ensure fair wages and job quality.
  • 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 unionize; fighting back against rollbacks at the federal level; and eliminating loopholes and waiver of rights that exclude immigrants, people of color, and contingent and temporary workers from core minimum wage protections.
  • Developing worker-centered strategies with a racial justice framework to improve state policies, build worker power, and improve jobless workers’ access to unemployment insurance; and advocating for federal policies that will ensure all people have access to the social insurance programs they need.


Summer legal interns will assist NELP attorneys in all aspects of this work, including:

  • Providing legal, policy, and strategic assistance for campaigns, including drafting legislation, legal research and analyses, and policy briefs.
  • Strategic participation in litigation related to wage and hour and other labor standards issues, including drafting appellate amicus briefs and preparing legal research memos.
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, and community educational materials and engaging in strategic communications.


Who You Are

  • You are a law student who is able to work full-time (35 hours per week) for 10 weeks.
  • You are committed and excited to focus on workers’ rights advocacy.
  • You are committed to building your racial equity competencies; and you are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing.
  • You are self-aware, curious, and respectful with strong interpersonal skills fostering a sense of purpose and community and have high standards for holding yourself and others accountable.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, humility, and camaraderie.


Start Date, Funding, and Location:

This full-time (35 hours per week) position is based out of one of our three offices (Berkeley, New York City, or Washington D.C.). NELP has a hybrid model that requires you to work in-person at least six days per month. This hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in-person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements. NELP requires internship candidates to seek funding from their school or other programs and will work with you to secure supplemental funding if needed. Students who are unable to secure funding through their law schools or other programs should contact NELP’s Cathy Ruckelshaus, cruckelshaus@nelp.org, for further information. NELP does not permit unpaid internships. NELP encourages all students to apply to the Peggy Browning Fund, which offers valuable resources and summer funding to law students interested in workers’ rights. The start date will be in the Summer of 2024.

To Apply: Candidates must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States. Go to our online application system at nationalemploymentlawproject.applytojob.com/apply to submit a cover letter, resume, and writing sample. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to nelp@nelp.org, noting the job title in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please except as described above. We will consider applications on a rolling basis; interested applicants are encouraged to submit sooner than later.

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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