Tag Archive: peggy browning fund

Oct 20

Peggy Browning Fund: 18th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference

By Samantha Ojo.

I had the pleasure of attending the 18th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference, sponsored by the Peggy Browning Fund. The Peggy Browning Fund is an organization like no other, providing forty law students with stipends and summer fellowships in labor-related positions across the nation. The conference brought law students from schools nationwide together at the Maritime Institute in Maryland for two jam-packed days of unique labor and workers’ rights themed programming and networking.

Conference events began on Friday evening with a networking reception and dinner, followed by a screening of the film Farewell Ferris Wheel, which shed light on workers’ rights issues surrounding the United States’s controversial H-2B guest worker visa program. Saturday’s programming began with a keynote address from Mark Gaston Pearce, Chairman of the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”). Mr. Pearce shared his work experiences that he gained during his transition from union-side work to leading the NLRB, advancing as a minority lawyer, and beginning his career in the NLRB’s Buffalo office. St. John’s Alumna and NLRB Staff Attorney, Amanda Jaret ‘13, moderated the panel.

Following the keynote address, I attended two breakout sessions: Introduction to Labor Law and Employee Benefits. The sessions offered great overviews to the fundamentals of Labor Law and Employee Retirement Income Securities Act (“ERISA”) Law.

After lunch, I attended my favorite panel of the weekend: Sports and Labor Law. The panel consisted of attorneys from three major sports unions, the NBPA, NFLPA, and MLBPA, and delved into the unions’ history and development, current initiatives, and stances regarding legal issues. The conference concluded with a panel discussion on organizing workers in the gig economy, which highlighted the unique nature of organizing employees or independent contractors of companies like Uber, Lyft, and Airbnb.

As a first-year law student, it can be difficult to leave the classroom and see legal work in action, but the Peggy Browning Conference both exposed me to new and fascinating legal issues and provided me insight into my desired career with unparalleled access to distinguished individuals at the top of their field. I hope to be able to formally become involved with the Peggy Browning Fund throughout my time in law school, and I strongly suggest that students with an interest in workers’ rights or Labor and Employment Law should research the fellowship and aim to attend the conference next fall.

Jul 16

17th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference – Peggy Browning Fund

The 17th Annual National Law Students Workers’ Rights Conference is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, October 16 and 17, 2015 at the Conference Center at the Maritime Institute, Linthicum Heights, Maryland. Each year this conference brings together law students, experts and practitioners from all over the nation to discuss workers’ rights law. The conference is sponsored by the Peggy Browning Fund a nonprofit corporation which sponsors 40 Summer Fellowships and one School-Year Fellowship for law students in a variety of nonprofit workers’ rights organizations, unions, and NLRB offices throughout the nation (Fellowship application forms are expected to be made available later this fall 2015).

Registration Process:

At the organization’s request, the Law School must approve students’ registrations in order for them to attend the conference. Students will be selected on the basis of demonstrated interest in either workers’ rights issues or public interest law.

Step 1.  Submit your resume and transcript via Symplicity job posting 341022.

Step 2. Upon receiving approval from Helena Quinn, proceed to register online at www.peggybrowningfund.org, or complete the registration form on the last two pages of this brochure and send it along with payment to the Peggy Browning Fund.

Step 3. Forward a copy of your registration confirmation to Helena Quinn at rojash@stjohns.edu.

Deadline: Monday, August 17th.

*Please do not register for the conference without approval.  The Registration Fee is non-refundable.

There is no limit on the number of students that may attend from each school as long candidates have a demonstrative interest in workers’ rights issues, or public interest law, and space is available (first come, first served).

Associated Costs and Funding:

PBF may cover up to one candidates’ conference fee, lodging, and meals.  Candidates that wish to be considered for possible funding must indicate so when forwarding their confirmation to Helena Quinn at rojash@stjohns.edu no later than Monday, August 17th.

While funding should not be expected in connection with conference attendance, the Career Development Office will explore whether limited funding is available to sponsor student attendance.

Students are responsible for the costs of attendance:

  • Registration Fee (covers materials and processing) – $25
  • Conference Fee (includes meals) – $225

Includes meals. Students attending only one day pay reduced rate of $125)

  • Overnight Fee (includes full breakfast) – $110 per person
    • Per person, per night, double occupancy. Students may request a roommate; otherwise, one will be assigned. Single rooms are available for $170 per night, paid in advance.
  • Congressional Staff Briefing…….$18 for box lunch

Please Note: The actual cost per person is greater than the fees listed above; thus, PBF subsidizes every student to some extent.

Conference attendees may make arrangements to arrive early or stay longer at their own expense. This gives students a chance to schedule job interviews or other activities while in the Baltimore-Washington area.

For more information about the conference, please click HERE.

 

Oct 26

15th Annual Worker’s Rights Conference

On October 25th and 26th, I had the privilege of attending the Peggy Browning Fund’s 15th Annual National Law Students Worker’s Rights Conference in Linthicum Heights, Maryland.  The event brought together law students across the country interested in the future of workers’ rights. The conference gave a greater understanding of the issues facing American workers, and was an opportunity to network with fellow students, and top practitioners in the field.

On Friday evening, conference attendees were treated to a showing of Trash Dance.  The film explored an artist’s organization of sanitation workers in Austin, Texas for a performance piece.  After the film, students offered opinions about the film’s metaphors for worker organization.

On Saturday morning, AFL-CIO General Counsel and former NLRB Member Craig Becker delivered the conference’s keynote address.  Mr. Becker reflected on his own experiences when speaking about unions’ future challenges.  He also offered insights into labor cases on the Supreme Court’s current docket and organized labor’s reception of the Affordable Care Act.

Students then participated in workshops that covered various salient issues. I attended three different workshops, all led by prominent figures in organized labor. Dennis Walsh, Regional Director of Region 4 of the NLRB, discussed the NLRA’s nuances in “Introduction to Basic Labor Law”. Fred Feinstein, former General Counsel to the NLRB, detailed how anti-union consultants grew from cottage industry to well-oiled machine in “Future of Worker Mobilization”. Baldwin Robertson, partner of Woodley & McGillivary, summarized issues facing state and municipal union members in “Public Sector Labor Law”.

In the plenary session on Saturday afternoon, panelists Leon Dayan, Jessica Robinson, and Peggy Shorey summarized new assaults on collective bargaining rights in the states, including new right-to-work initiatives and movements to end dues check-offs.  In closing remarks, Dennis Walsh, Marley Weiss and Joe Lurie thanked all conference organizers for their hard work in putting together the engaging and educational programming. It was my pleasure to represent St. John’s University School of Law at the conference.  The Peggy Browning Fund’s programs contribute greatly to the labor law community, and I was fortunate to be a part of this year’s conference.

Panelists (L to R): Peggy Shorey, Leon Dayan, Jessica Robinson, and Matthew Ginsburg.

Panelists (L to R): Peggy Shorey, Leon Dayan, Jessica Robinson, and Matthew Ginsburg.