Andrew Brooks and Patrick O’Connor,
first-year students at the University of Wisconsin Law School, have been
awarded a ten-week summer fellowship by the Peggy Browning Fund.
Brooks and O’Connor competed with more than 500 applicants nationwide for two of approximately 70 fellowships offered this summer at labor-related organizations. The fellowship honors law students who excel academically and who have demonstrated a commitment to advancing the cause of workers’ rights.
Brooks will work at the United Steelworkers, based in Pittsburgh, Penn., where he will assist staff attorneys with legal research and writing, and with dispensing advice to officers and staff.
Prior to coming to UW Law School, Brooks served in the U.S. Army. He later attended the University of New Orleans and became active in New Orleans labor issues. He worked as an American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations summer intern, as well as with the Greater New Orleans Building and Construction Trades Council and the Jefferson Parish Federation of Teachers.
Brooks, the grandson of a garment factory worker and the son of a civil rights worker, says his interest in labor law has roots in his family history. “My family taught me to respect workers and to never forget whose side I'm on,” he says.
O’Connor will work in Washington, D.C., at Laborers' International Union of North America, where he will conduct research and writing on a wide range of labor and employment law topics.
Like Brooks, O’Connor says his interest in labor law stems from a combination of personal and academic experiences. O’Connor’s parents have union backgrounds: His father, a social worker in vocational services, belonged to American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, while his mother was a postal worker who belonged to the American Postal Workers Union. “My parents have had an indelible impact on my political views, societal values and career interests,” O’Connor says.
The Peggy Browning Fund is a nonprofit organization established in memory of labor attorney Margaret A. Browning, who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board from 1994 until 1997.
Submitted by Law School News on June 12, 2013
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