UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa.— Megan Dougherty, J.D. candidate for the Class of 2023 at Penn State Law in University Park, received a summer fellowship through the Peggy Browning Fund, a non-profit organization that helps future labor lawyers through fellowship opportunities, an annual workers’ rights conference, and regional workshops. Dougherty’s fellowship gave her the opportunity to work with Beins, Axelrod & Keating, P.C., a union-side labor firm in Washington, D.C.
“Penn State Law in University Park provides fellowships that connect students to potential employers so they can get real world experience and get their foot in the door after they pass the bar,” said Amanda DiPolvere, senior assistant dean for Enrollment and Career Development at Penn State Law. “We give new meaning to the words ‘experiential learning.’”
Dougherty applied to be a Peggy Browning Summer Fellow because she plans to pursue a career in labor law. During her fellowship in D.C., she gained experience in helping prepare for hearings, arbitrations, and working on the subsequent briefs. She also worked on an appeal and smaller research projects.
“I have had a great experience with my fellowship this summer. The experience reaffirmed my plans going into my third year of law school. I planned to take courses that aligned with that career path and apply for labor-focused positions post-grad. That is still my plan,” said Dougherty.
Dougherty notes the importance of balancing education and experience so she can pursue her goals after graduation. Her class in labor law and involvement in the Arbitration Law Review provided her with foundational knowledge on labor disputes outside of the courtroom, while her time as a Peggy Browning Summer Fellow provided the opportunity to get practical experience, learn more about workers’ rights, and build connections with students and lawyers involved in labor law.
“The most interesting part of the fellowship has been on the practical side—seeing how labor arbitrations and National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) proceedings play out in real life and getting to see the results of the work I’ve done,” she said.
“The fellowship has been invaluable in gaining practical experience, as opposed to broader, theoretical experience that I got from the classroom. It has also added more depth to my commitment to workplace justice. I highly recommend that students look into the Peggy Browning Fund for its fellowship opportunities.”