Two UW Law students receive Peggy Browning Fellowships in labor law

Ashley Capacio and Nicholas Chang, second-year law students at University of Wisconsin Law School, have been named 2015 Peggy Browning Fellows.

The Peggy Browning Fellowship provides stipends to law students who dedicate their summer to advancing the cause of workers' rights by working for labor unions, worker centers, the U.S. Department of Labor, union-side law firms and other nonprofit organizations.

Ashley CapaccioAshley Capacio will spend her summer in Washington, D.C., working with AFSCME, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees.

Capacio, who comes from a family of union members, first got involved in labor legislation and public policy advocacy at UW-La Crosse, where she majored in political science. Last summer, she was a student in UW Law’s Family Court Clinic. She also worked as a children’s advocacy intern at New Horizons Outreach Center and Shelter in La Crosse.

“Given the wave of anti-labor legislation across the country, I am more determined than ever to strive to protect worker’s rights,” she says.

Nicholas Chang will spend his summer in St. Paul, Minnesota, working at Centro de Trabajadores Unidos en la Lucha.

Like Capacio, Chang says his interest in labor law peaked during the debate around Wisconsin’s Act 10, the 2011 law that restricted the power of public-employee unions to bargain collectively. But he credits his grandparents, who were farmers in northern Wisconsin, with instilling his passion for justice.

As an undergraduate at the University of St. Thomas, Chang was active in student leadership related to issues of diversity and inclusion; and at UW Law, he serves as a student representative in the Legal Education Opportunities Committee, which promotes the recruitment, retention, and success of law students of color. He is currently a student in the school’s Consumer Law Clinic, where he works on cases related to payday loans, auto fraud and foreclosures.

To be selected for the Peggy Browning Fellowship, students must excel in law school and have a record of promoting workers’ rights. The two UW Law students competed against more the 400 applicants to win their spots as fellows. Approximately 80 fellowships were awarded to law students nationally.

Submitted by Law School News on May 11, 2015

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