Staff Attorney, Work Quality

National Employment Law Project
New York
Mission Statement: 

NELP works from the ground up to build systemic change. We collaborate with community partners on advocacy campaigns, developing and testing innovative policy ideas in cities and states, then scaling them up to effect change nationally.We partner with advocacy networks grounded in the full range of stakeholders—grassroots groups and national organizations, worker centers and unions, policymakers and think tanks.

Position Description: 

You will report to the Work Quality Director and work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, and strategic communications staff in the Work Quality team.  The Work Quality team partners with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to test new models and promote policies in the states and cities that will respond to the pressing issues of the U.S. labor market, laying the foundation for federal reform. Your work will include supporting the following:

  • Developing new strategies to improve enforcement of basic workplace rights and core labor standards to combat the rise in workers who are not paid the minimum wage or overtime, endure unsafe workplaces, or face retaliation when trying to organize or assert their basic rights; 
  • 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 organize; 
  • Fighting back against rollbacks of core labor and employment rights at the federal, state, and local levels, and eliminating loopholes that exclude immigrants, people of color, and contingent and temporary workers from core workplace protections; and
  • Deepening our racial equity framework and approaches, through cross-team participation, analysis of policies, and partnerships with state and local partners.

You will be based in NELP’s New York City or Washington D.C. office and will be responsible for the following: 

  • Leading local and state advocacy in key policy priority areas, as described above in the Work Quality portfolio, by engaging key constituencies, allied organizations, and policymakers. 
  • Providing legal, policy, and strategic support for campaigns across the country, including drafting model legislation, policy briefs, and legal analyses. 
  • Drafting amicus briefs and supporting strategic litigation related to Work Quality issues. 
  • Representing NELP in advocacy coalitions, public forums, legislative and agency hearings, and in the media.  
  • Drafting reports, op-eds, blogs, and educational materials, and engaging in strategic communications. 
  • Supporting NELP’s racial equity work and campaigns with key constituencies, allied organizations, and policymakers.
  • Supporting a workplace culture where all team members grow and develop professionally. 

Actively contributing to NELP’s work in becoming an anti-racist organization that reflects and embodies internally the values of social justice, diversity, and inclusion.Start Date, Location, Compensation & Benefits: This position will be based in New York City or Washington D.C. Start date will be as soon as possible. Salary is competitive within the non-profit sector and commensurate with experience and education based on NELP’s collective bargaining scale. An attorney with three years’ experience would be paid $69,900 under our collective bargaining scale. Excellent benefits package. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320.  

  • You have advocacy experience promoting labor and employment rights, civil rights and racial justice, or other economic justice issues. Your experience in labor law, employment law and/or organizing is especially welcome. 
  • You have real interest in and commitment to developing expertise in racial equity and the work quality issues described above.
  • You have a J.D., with a minimum of three years of related legal experience preferred. You must be admitted to the D.C. or New York bar or willing to sit for admission to one of these bars.
  • You have excellent written and oral communication skills (Spanish-language fluency a plus). 
  • You have demonstrated commitment to economic and racial justice. 
  • You are a strategic and clear-headed thinker and doer who is comfortable managing multiple projects simultaneously.  
Application Deadline: 
Thursday, October 31, 2019
Application Instructions: 

To apply:  Submit cover letter, resume, and three references via, choosing “Work Quality Staff Attorney” from the “Position” drop-down menu under “Application Information.” If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to nelp [at], noting “Work Quality Staff Attorney” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis. Applications due by October 31, 2019.  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.  

Country/US Territory: 
United States