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Fellowship Opportunities

The Institute provides the following fellowship opportunities for new lawyers and law students.

The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program

The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellowship Program

The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program

Paul H. Tobias is the founder and first Executive Director of National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA.) For over fifty years, Paul has inspired countless employee rights advocates through his pioneering and tireless contributions to the field of  plaintiff’s employment law. To advance the next generation of employee rights advocates, The Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge projects at The Institute. The Fellow will further, or in some situations may help to launch, The Institute’s programs.

The 2015-2016 Paul H. Tobias Fellowship is a two-year placement with an annual salary of $45,000, plus health, dental, and vision insurance, annual leave, and medical leave. The Fellowship period is flexible, and may commence between October 1-December 31, 2014, and end between September 1-December 31, 2016 depending on the needs of the applicant and The Institute. The Fellow will be considered a regular full-time staff member and will attend staff meetings and team meetings with the Executive Director, Legislative & Public Policy Director, and Program Director.

The Institute's initiatives protect workers' access to the courts and promote employee rights by influencing the broad, macro conversations that shape employment law. Past PHT Fellows have contributed to the following types of projects:

  • Researching and drafting substantive policy papers designed to help plaintiffs' employment lawyers and other workers' rights advocates defeat motions for summary judgment.
  • Providing research and writing support to a task force that developed pattern discovery protocols for employment cases in federal court.
  • Providing technical assistance to practicing employment lawyers on topics such as: responding to motions to dismiss and motions for summary judgment, developing briefs to support motions for class certification, and resisting motions to compel arbitration.
  • Planning and participating in legal conferences on summary dismissals of employment discrimination cases, and forced arbitration of workplace disputes.
  • Writing a law review article on forced arbitration in the workplace.


  • A law degree, and no more than two (2) years of post-law school experience.
      o Students who will graduate from law school by June 2014 may apply,
         provided that they are committed to sitting for the bar exam in 2014.
      o Student applicants must have employment law experience through
         coursework, clinical legal education, or law school clerkships.
  • A demonstrated commitment to civil and workers' rights.
  • Outstanding legal research, writing and analytic skills.
  • Ability to work independently and produce a high quality work product in a timely manner in a multi-task work environment.
  • Ability to work cooperatively in a highly collaborative environment.
  • Ability to coordinate and work effectively with volunteers and coalition partners.
  • Experience working with or in a non-profit organization preferred, but not required.
  • Good sense of humor and ability to get along with others.
  • The PHT Fellow must be prepared to travel at least three (3) times per year, and also at the request of the Executive Director.

The Employee Rights Advocacy Institute For Law & Policy is an equal opportunity employer. We encourage applicants from diverse backgrounds to apply.

Application Process

The application process is now closed.

Questions about the fellowship may be directed to Roberta L. Steele, Program Director, No phone calls please.


The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellowship Program

Based in NELA's/The Institute's San Francisco headquarters office, The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellow works with the Program Director to implement projects related to NELA's Amicus and Judicial Nominations Program as well as The Institute's National Litigation Strategy Project.


Applicants should have completed at least one year of law school. They should possess excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills, be proficient in Microsoft Office, and have a demonstrated commitment to workers' rights. Experience or course work in employment law is preferred.

Application Process

The Employee Rights Advocacy Fellowship has been filled for the current semester.