Senior Staff Attorney, Work Quality

Washington, DC
Full Time
Work Quality

The National Employment Law Project (NELP) seeks a dynamic, experienced, and skilled person to join our Work Quality team as a Senior Staff Attorney to advance NELP’s programs and policy campaigns. You will join a team of experts who are working to build worker power and fundamental rights by fighting to raise job standards, enforce hard-won workers’ rights, and support racial equity. This is an extraordinary opportunity to leverage your talent and join a team that ensures worker-driven policies are at the forefront of current and future worker rights in the U.S. labor market.


Who We Are

Founded in 1969, the nonprofit National Employment Law Project (NELP) is a leading advocacy organization with the mission to build a just and inclusive economy where all workers have expansive rights and thrive in good jobs. Together with local, state, and national partners, NELP advances its mission through transformative legal and policy solutions, research, capacity building, and communications. Our victories over the last decade have impacted the lives of an estimated 100 million workers and their families. We lead and collaborate in fights for higher pay and just benefits, secure and safe jobs, and support at each stage in a worker’s life. We build worker power and we challenge rules that allow corporate harm and undue power. We are transforming precarious work by raising the floor so that every job is a good job and everyone who wants a job can have one. Together over the next decade, we will build Black, immigrant worker power and advance transformative solutions to achieve racial and economic justice. For more information, read our annual reports and explore our website:


NELP has a team of 55 staff people based across offices in New York City, Washington D.C., and Berkeley, CA, with a 12-person Board of Directors, an annual budget of $20M, and hundreds of partners in the field with whom we work to further our mission.


What You Will Do

You may be based in any of NELP’s three office locations and will report to the Director of Work Quality. You will work in conjunction with NELP’s staff of lawyers, policy experts, researchers, and strategic communications experts. You will work with grassroots organizing groups and reformers to design and promote policies in the states and cities that will respond to eroding labor standards, rising income and wealth inequality, persistent structural racism and occupational segregation, and the shifting of power away from workers and toward corporations.  Your work will include supporting the following:

  • 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 to raise the minimum wage and other related campaigns.
  • 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 other workers from core workplace protections.
  • Advancing federal and state legislative and administrative reforms that protect, defend and expand immigrant workers’ rights.
  • Developing new strategies to improve enforcement of basic workplace rights and core labor standards to combat the rise in workers who are not paid what they are owed, endure unsafe workplaces, or face retaliation when trying to organize or assert their basic rights.
  • Deepening our racial equity framework and approaches, through cross-team participation, analysis of policies, and partnerships with state and local partners.


You will be responsible for the following:

  • Engaging in multi-faceted efforts leveraging legal and policy expertise, strategic communications, and an extensive network of stakeholders to ensure partners have legal, policy, and strategic support for campaigns at the federal level and across the country.
  • 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 to federal, state, and local partners and 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 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 dignity, justice, equity, and inclusion.


Who You Are

  • You have ten+ years’ legal and/or policy advocacy experience to advance economic and/or racial justice. Your experience in labor law, employment law and/or organizing is especially welcome.
  • You have a Juris Doctor degree.
  • You are skilled at conducting high-quality and thorough legal and policy research and analysis.
  • You are a skilled oral and written communicator, with a demonstrated ability to create compelling and digestible work products such as reports, op-eds, and/or issue briefs; and are skilled in presenting, testifying, and/or engaging with the media.
  • You are a relationship-builder. You have strong interpersonal skills, enjoy connecting individuals, and have a track record of developing and maintaining alliances.
  • You have a proven track record of working in coalition with groups, such as community-based organizations, legal, labor, and worker centers.
  • You have strong project management skills. You are a strategic and clear-headed thinker and doer, have experience managing multiple projects, overseeing, and tracking details, and a track record of achieving timely results.
  • You have strong racial equity competencies and center your role in an analysis and understanding of how race and power shape systems in our society and culture and you are continuously learning, reflecting, and growing; you foster trust and transparency across lines of difference by listening deeply, and offer direct, honest feedback with compassion and clarity of purpose. 
  • You are self-aware, curious, and respectful with strong interpersonal skills fostering a sense of purpose and community and have high standards for holding yourself and others accountable.
  • You operate with a commitment to excellence, integrity, diplomacy, and camaraderie.
  • Must be eligible and authorized to work in the United States.

Start Date, Location, Compensation and Benefits:   NELP currently offers voluntary access to all office locations (Berkeley, New York City, or Washington D.C.). When NELP returns to working in the physical office, staff may choose to work remotely up to two days per week; this hybrid model seeks to leverage both the benefits of working with colleagues in person and the benefits of flexible remote arrangements. When conditions are amenable, the position will require some travel. The start date will be as soon as possible. This position is in NELP’s bargaining unit, represented by National Organization of Legal Service Workers, UAW Local 2320. Classification and compensation for NELP bargaining unit positions is commensurate with relevant experience and education and based on NELP’s collectively bargained scales. Based on our union scale, here are some examples of salaries for this position:

  • with a JD and 10 years of post-graduate relevant experience, the salary will be $98,300
  • at 11 years, then $101,000
  • at 12 years, then $103,700
  • at 13 years, then $106,300

Based on the union scale, if an individual candidate’s education or experience is higher than an example, the salary will be higher; conversely, with less education or experience, the salary is lower.

NELP believes in work-life balance and ensuring that employees are able to care for themselves and their family members. Therefore, compensation at NELP also includes an excellent comprehensive benefits package, including full coverage of family health insurance, a medical reimbursement plan, generous vacation and sick leave, plus additional organization-wide holidays, significant contribution from employer to a retirement plan (both an unelected contribution and employer match), 12 weeks paid parental leave, and student loan repayment assistance for qualifying participants, and professional development opportunities.


To apply: Go to our online application system at to submit a cover letter and resume. If you have questions regarding this announcement, please forward those to, noting “Work Quality Senior Staff Attorney” in the subject line. No phone calls or other email inquiries please. We will consider applications on a rolling basis; interested applicants are encouraged to submit sooner than later.

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.   


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