Fair Work Center is seeking third year law students or recent law graduates interested in applying for public interest fellowships beginning in fall 2020, including Skadden, Equal Justice Workers, Justice Catalyst, and other independently funded programs.  

 

FWC Legal Fellowship

About Fair Work Center
Fair Work Center is a hub for workers to understand and exercise their legal rights, improve working conditions and connect with community resources. We envision a society in which workers are treated with dignity and respect, regardless of class, gender, or race. We work to ensure that workers know their rights under city, state, and federal law and that employers are held accountable to labor standards. We provide free individualized consultations, community education, pro se assistance to workers navigating administrative enforcement processes, and maintain an active litigation docket in state and federal court. In 2018 we served over 500 workers and recovered nearly $1 million. Coupling our legal services with community-based training on rights at work means we are comprehensively addressing the crisis of wage theft and employment law violations in our community while building power for workers. We are widely regarded as a national model for community-based enforcement of employment laws.

Fair Work Center has recently joined forces with Working Washington, the organization best known for passing the $15 minimum wage in SeaTac and Seattle and the recent Domestic Workers Bill of Rights, adding its policy expertise and organizing capabilities to our work. The alignment of our two organizations is a model for worker centers–a one-stop-shop where workers can fight to raise employment standards across the state and can also access the education and legal resources necessary to make those rights real. Seattle and Washington are at the forefront of the worker justice movement in the country, and what we accomplish here is often a template for other states and cities. Current campaigns include expanding Washington workers’ access to overtime protections, organizing gig economy workers, expanding secure scheduling protections statewide, and enforcing Seattle’s Secure Scheduling and Domestic Worker Ordinances.

 

Fellowships
The fellowship candidate must be a third-year law student or recent law school graduate with a demonstrated record of public service and a willingness to apply for public interest law fellowships. Fair Work Center staff will work closely with candidates to explore project proposals that align with their interest as well as advance unmet needs of low-wage and vulnerable workers.

In addition to work on a fellowship-sponsored project, fellows’ responsibilities may include:

  • Conducting consultations with workers and advising them of their rights under Seattle, Washington, and federal law;
  • Designing new training materials and resources to assist pro se claimants in navigating enforcement processes, including state agencies and small claims court;
  • Representing clients in state and federal litigation, and before administrative agencies;
  • Providing research and policy support to strategic enforcement efforts under the supervision of the Legal Director;
  • Collaborating with Fair Work Center and Working Washington staff to design and implement campaigns advancing the rights of workers in priority industries, under the supervision of the Legal Director.

Candidate Qualifications 

  • Licensed to practice law, in good standing, or intending to sit for the Washington state bar upon graduation.
  • Ability to speak another language, particularly Spanish, is preferred.
  • Commitment to workers’ rights and public interest law.
  • Prior advocacy, organizing, or other work experience in workers’ rights issues.
  • Experience working with or personal connection to low-income communities is preferred.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and public speaking skills.
  • Demonstrated use of cross-cultural communication skills.
  • Ability to work collaboratively and handle multiple demands.
  • Ability to work collaboratively with community educators and organizers.

How to Apply

Interested fellows should submit a cover letter, resume, and legal writing sample (not to exceed 5 pages) to Danielle Alvarado (dalvarado@fairworkcenter.org) with the applicant’s last name and “Legal Fellow” in the subject line. The cover letter should include at least one project proposal.

Submissions for Fellowships will be accepted through August 6, 2019.

We are an Equal Opportunity Employer. We strongly encourage people from communities most negatively affected by the income inequality crisis to apply, particularly: people of color, immigrants, women and feminine-identified people, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, queer, trans, and gender non-conforming people. We seek candidates whose lived experiences reflect the lived experiences of the clients in our office. Experience in retail, food service, health care, domestic work, and construction, some of the common industries where our clients work, is welcomed.