Post-graduate Legal Fellowship to Start Fall 2022

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) invites rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, or other qualified recent law graduates to apply for NELP sponsorship for public interest fellowship projects to begin in Fall 2022. Sponsorship will enable the applicant to submit proposals for consideration to the Skadden Fellowship Foundation, Equal Justice Works Fellowship Program, and similar programs, including fellowships offered by the applicant’s law school. The legal fellow would be based in NELP’s offices in New York City. This position offers an opportunity to join a committed and high-impact team at NELP that, in partnership with national and grassroots advocates, is working to end structural racism, reduce inequality and build worker power by improving economic opportunity and security for low-wage and unemployed workers, especially workers of color, immigrants and women.

About National Employment Law Project

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. We build worker power and we challenge rules that allow corporate harm and undue power. We are transforming precarious work by raising the floor so that every job is a good job and everyone who wants a job can have one. Together over the next decade, we will build Black, immigrant worker power and advance transformative solutions to achieve racial and economic justice. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:

NELP has a team of 45 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with a 12-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $14M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.

What You Will Do

NELP will work with the aspiring legal fellow to develop a project that supports NELP’s legal campaign work in a number of possible program areas, listed below. NELP would consider a project that advances NELP’s worker health and safety agenda, supports the burgeoning movements for “just cause” employment protections, or one that promotes the inclusion of historically-excluded groups of workers due to racism, including home care workers, tipped workers, those misclassified as “independent contractors,” and workers currently working for zero-to-subminimum-pay due to their incarceration or detention, participation in a rehabilitation or homelessness assistance program.

The fellow’s project may employ a variety of strategies, including:

  • Providing legal, policy, and strategic assistance for campaigns, including drafting legislation, legal analyses, and policy briefs;
  • Participating in strategic litigation, including with amicus support, related to wage and hour, other labor standards issues, or federal administrative actions;
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, and educational materials and engaging in strategic communications;
  • Coordinating networks of advocates to develop and advance policy campaigns.


Who You Are

  • You have (or will have, before the start of the fellowship) a J.D. degree and relevant bar admission.
  • You are committed to building your racial equity competencies and centering your role in an analysis and understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture and are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing.
  • You are a skilled written and oral communicator and have enthusiasm for learning how to engage with the media.
  • You build relationships that foster trust and transparency across lines of difference by listening deeply, and receive and offer direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose.
  • You are self-aware, curious, respectful, and relational and have 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, and camaraderie.
  • You have demonstrated commitment to workers’ rights, economic justice, and race equity and in particular to the issues of the project’s identified community.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits:  This position will be based in our New York City office. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. NELP will supplement the fellowship award according to the fellow’s placement on NELP’s collective bargaining scale. Classification and compensation for NELP bargaining unit positions is commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales. Based on our Union scale, the salary range for a legal fellow with 0-3 years of relevant experience is $75,500 to $80,900. Compensation also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full-coverage family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, contribution from employer to a retirement plan, and a student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants.

To apply: Through our online database, submit a resume, a cover letter explaining your interest and project ideas, reference list, and a writing sample to, choosing the “Legal Fellow” position. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting “Legal Fellow Application 2022” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. If chosen, candidates will be required to seek their own funding by preparing and submitting proposals to relevant fellowship programs, with guidance from NELP staff.  The Fellow’s work may involve any of the issue areas addressed above, or a more specific area, depending upon the nature of the fellowship proposal.  Deadline for initial applications seeking sponsorship by NELP is August 15, 2021. We will consider applications on a rolling basis.

Application Deadline: 08/15/2021

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.

Back to Top of Page