The ABB New York City and Southern Offices are both recruiting rising third-year law students, judicial clerks, and recent law school graduates interested in applying for an externally funded 1-2 year public interest fellowship starting in September 2021. The NYC fellow would be based in New York City; the Southern Office fellow would be based in Nashville, TN.
A Better Balance (ABB) is a national legal advocacy organization dedicated to promoting fairness in the workplace and helping workers care for themselves and their families without sacrificing their economic security. Through nationwide policy advocacy, legal services, strategic litigation, and enforcement and education, ABB is improving workers’ lives at the local, state, and federal levels. We remain steadfast in working to dismantle the intersectional forms of injustice that contribute to the structural inequality working families in this country face, including but not limited to, gender injustice, racial injustice, economic injustice, health injustice, and injustice against immigrants, LGTBQIA communities, and people with disabilities, and are seeking candidates that are committed to this work.
Since our founding, A Better Balance has been working to value the labor of caregiving and to shift the debate over work-family issues from those that center the concerns of white, professional workers to a focus on the needs of low-wage workers and workers of color. We approach our work around the country with these values at the helm. Ensuring families of color have access to strong work-family policies—especially BIPOC workers who are currently the least likely to have access to these policies due to centuries of institutionalized racism, systemic barriers to economic mobility, and pervasive discrimination—is a core principle of ABB’s work.
The organization has fought for and won new paid leave policies, important pregnancy and caregiver protections, breastfeeding accommodations, inclusive protections for all families, including LGBTQ families, and victories on other economic justice issues throughout the country. Our advocacy work and legal efforts have gained national recognition in dozens of outlets including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. We are dedicated to lifting up the voices of our clients, who are predominantly low-wage workers of color, and those most directly affected by our policy work. Our free and confidential helpline provides legal assistance and information to low-wage workers.
ABB is based in New York City and maintains a Southern office in Nashville, TN and offices in Denver and Washington, DC.
Our Southern Office focuses on the issues affecting working families in the Southeast United States, where poverty rates for women and families, particularly women and families of color, are among the highest in the country and where legal protections are often scarce. Pregnant workers across the South, especially in low-wage and physically demanding jobs are forced out of their jobs when they need a modest accommodation to keep working. Workers of color are the least likely to have access to paid leave and other critical workplace rights to help them to care for their families without risking their economic security. Our Southern work thus focuses on remedying these legal gaps by enforcement and education as well as working to pass pregnant workers fairness laws, paid family and medical leave, and paid sick days laws across the Southeast and pushing back against policies that harm working families in the region including attacks on progressive local policies.
In New York, where we are headquartered, we have been leaders in many successful campaigns both in the city/state and across the country, including on paid family and medical leave laws, the fight to guarantee earned sick time to millions of workers across the country, pregnant workers fairness laws, which ensure that pregnant workers are not pushed out of their jobs when they need a modest accommodation to stay healthy, caregiver and lactation anti-discrimination laws, and fair workweek laws. Following legislative campaigns, we are working on effective implementation of these laws, creating materials, doing outreach to low-income communities, and prioritizing representation of low-income workers of color who are being denied rights we helped secure.
Potential projects in the Southern Office could focus on:
- Enforcing new pregnant workers fairness laws in the South including in Tennessee, Kentucky, South Carolina, and Virginia; educating and empowering low-wage workers and communities of color about those laws;
- Providing direct services to low-wage workers of color in particular industries or populations with uniquely Southern issues affecting working families;
- Developing a mobile clinic to serve a particular population, such as an immigrant/refugee population; and/or
- Public education and enforcement of existing federal legal protections, such as pregnancy discrimination, family & medical leave, and breastfeeding protections for working families in the South.
- Addressing the needs of working parents who lack quality, affordable, and accessible child care
Potential projects in the NYC office could focus on education and enforcement of laws both in NY and elsewhere across the country, particularly as they impact low-wage workers and communities of color:
- Pregnancy accommodation laws;
- Lactation laws;
- Paid sick time laws;
- NYC Fair Workweek Law;
- Caregiver discrimination laws
- Paid family and medical leave laws; and/or
- Any long-lasting effects of COVID-19 and other related emergency employment laws (including national and state-level emergency paid sick leave and paid family leave laws (including leave for school closures), as well as anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation provisions);
The NYC fellow could also focus on expanding laws and policies in the following areas:
- Paid family and medical leave or paid sick time campaigns around the country;
- Pregnancy accommodation campaigns around the country
- LGBTQ work-family issues;
- Quality, affordable, accessible child care
- Defending local, progressive laws from state and federal interference (preemption); and/or
- Other issues related to expanding work/family laws and policies in New York State and/or nationally.
- Law degree required by May 2021, bar admission in NY or TN by Fall 2021 strongly preferred.
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice, work/family law and policy, gender and women’s rights, civil rights, and/or advocacy for low-income populations and ending racial, gender, health, and economic injustice.
- Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the office using an approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regards to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, disability and socio-economic circumstance
- Superior written and oral communication, advocacy, legal research, and analytic skills. Experience writing for legal and non-legal audiences a plus.
- Self-motivated with demonstrated problem solving, prioritizing, time management, team-building, and organizational skills.
- Comfort and familiarity with small non-profit environment, ability to use limited resources efficiently and effectively, ability to thrive in a fast-paced environment.
- Experience working with diverse communities, particularly communities of color.
- Experience with the community you propose to serve a plus.
- Spanish, Mandarin, Cantonese, Bengali, Haitian Creole, French, and/or Korean fluency are a plus.
Funding and Benefits
This position requires external funding. Flexible and supportive work environment, with generous vacation, sick, and family leave policies. A Better Balance has an excellent benefits package, including health and dental insurance; paid vacation, sick, and personal time. We are committed to “walking our talk” and encourage a healthy work/life balance for all employees.
How to Apply
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
To apply, please e-mail a resume, tailored letter of interest, a short writing sample, and two references with the subject line “2021 Fellowship – [First Name Last Name]” to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
A Better Balance is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization and we value diversity, inclusion, and belonging in our workforce. We are an equal opportunity employer and encourage applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, family status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, arrest or conviction, or any other factor protected by law.
A Better Balance is committed to providing reasonable accommodation to individuals with disabilities or other medical needs. If you are an individual with a disability or other medical need and need assistance applying online, please e-mail email@example.com. If you are selected for an interview, you will receive additional information regarding how to request an accommodation for the interview process.
Application Deadline: 08/28/20 (Accepted on a Rolling Basis)
About LSSC and ABB:
The Local Solutions Support Center (LSSC) works across the country to reframe and respond to the misuse of state interference in local policy making in order to promote economic, social, and health equity. To meet that goal, LSSC deploys nonpartisan strategies and tactics to educate the public and policymakers about local policymaking authority and the abuse of state preemption (when states prohibit local regulations around a particular issue area). LSSC also works to repeal existing preemptive laws that stifle local innovation and prevent communities from addressing systemic inequities, support local officials and governments against attacks from the state or federal legislatures, and, where appropriate, proactively affirm and strengthen home rule. Recently, LSSC has increasingly been helping advocates and local decisionmakers understand the contours of local power in this COVID-19 era. LSSC is proud to support ABB’s Defending Local Democracy Project, this Local Democracy Term-Time Fellowship, and other legal partners and experts working to address the abuse of state preemption.
ABB is a national legal advocacy organization that is a leader in the movement to reshape laws and policies to fit the needs of today’s workforce. ABB’s mission is to promote equality and expand choices for workers at all income levels so they may care for themselves and their families without sacrificing their economic security. ABB works on the national, state, and local levels and employs a wide range of strategies—legislative advocacy, litigation, direct services, grassroots organizing, research and public education—to promote flexible workplace policies, end discrimination against caregivers, affirm the rights of LGBTQ workers, and support family caregiving. A Better Balance also works on the front lines with advocates and elected officials across the country, using the power of the law to defend progressive local policies against state and federal preemption.
The LSSC Local Democracy Fall Fellows, who will be housed at ABB, will assist LSSC and ABB in all aspects of the organizations’ efforts to defend local democracy from the misuse of state preemption. Areas of work will include:
- Researching and drafting legal memos on questions related to home rule and local government, including analysis of local authority to enact policies in response to the coronavirus outbreak;
- Assisting with drafting state and local legislation and supporting materials;
- Drafting fact sheets, talking points, and other materials to support advocates around the country organizing to defeat preemption and protect home rule;
- Tracking preemptive legislation; and
- Participating in regular strategy and operations communications.
- Currently enrolled in a J.D. program.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Demonstrated commitment to local democracy, local government, work/family law, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights, economic justice, and racial equality.
- Self-motivated with demonstrated problem solving, prioritizing, time management, team-building, and organizational skills.
Compensation: Fellows will work 8-10 hours per week during the Fall semester of 2020 (start and end dates flexible). Compensation for the LSSC Local Democracy Term-Time Fellowship is $15 an hour. Applications will also be accepted from law students with external funding for a Fall externship.
Application Instructions: Please e-mail a cover letter, resume, and writing sample (in one combined PDF) with the subject line “[FIRST NAME] [LAST NAME] Fall 2020 Fellowship Application” to Dilini Lankachandra at firstname.lastname@example.org by August 28, 2020.
We will consider applications on a rolling basis.
A Better Balance, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate based on race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, family status, citizenship, disability, veteran status, or any other factor protected by law. People of all backgrounds are encouraged to apply.