Spring or Summer 2018 Law Clerks

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a 2018 summer law student intern for NELP’s California Office in Berkeley. NELP is also accepting applications from students seeking a semester externship for credit during 2018.

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. 

With a staff of lawyers, researchers, and policy experts, NELP works in close partnership with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to test new models in the states and cities and then translate them to the federal level, in order to respond to the key problems of the U.S. labor market in the twenty‐first century. 

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. As one recent example, NELP co-sponsored the California “Fair Chance Act,” a private-sector “ban the box” law that took effect January 1, 2018. 

The attorneys in NELP’s California Office largely focus on our fair chance advocacy. Some of NELP’s California advocates also work on other workers’ rights issues, including:  

  • Developing new strategies to improve enforcement of basic workplace rights in order to combat the growing 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.  
  • Research and policy development to address the rise of outsourcing and contingent work structures to ensure fair wages and job quality. This work includes examining the worker protections and policy solutions that may be required to make the “on demand” or “gig economy” work for everyone.Page Break 

The Internship 

NELP seeks a law clerk for the Berkeley, California office for summer 2018 (full-time) or 2018 semester work (for academic credit, part- or full-time. 

The California Office law clerk’s work will focus on NELP’s fair chance advocacy (described above). For more information about that work, please visit NELP’s fair chance campaign page. Law clerks will assist NELP attorneys in all aspects of this work (depending on which opportunities arise during the internship), such as:  

  • Performing in-depth legal and policy analysis;  
  • Providing technical assistance to local, state, and federal advocates seeking to craft and campaign for smart policies;  
  • Supporting public education and outreach efforts regarding the relevant laws; 
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, amicus briefs, etc. 

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 email a resume, cover letter (1-2 pages), writing sample (no more than 5 pages), and list of references to Beth Avery at bavery@nelp.org with the subject line “[Summer/Spring/Fall] Law Clerk Application.” In your cover letter, please indicate whether you will be receiving academic credit for your work or specify potential sources of funding. NELP provides internship opportunities for candidates who secure funding from their schools or other programs or who receive academic credit for their work. NELP does not permit unpaid internships unless completed for academic credit. 

Applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Please check for updated postings on our website: http://www.nelp.org/about-us/work-with-us/.  

NELP is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, persons with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ community, and formerly incarcerated individuals are strongly encouraged to apply. 

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