2023 NELC Academy

NELC Academy




The National Employment Law Council ("NELC") invites applications for selection as Fellows to the 2023 NELC Academy scheduled for May 2-4, 2023 in Washington, D.C. NELC is a non-profit organization charged with enriching minority bar members who represent management in the field of labor and employment law.

The NELC Academy is open to attorneys of color with less than four years of experience practicing management-side labor and employment law. The NELC Academy provides advanced skills training, exposes Fellows to NELC’s national network of experienced minority labor and employment attorneys, fosters mentoring relationships, and creates a pipeline for future NELC leaders.

All NELC Academy Fellows will have direct interaction with in-house attorneys and leading minority labor and employment defense lawyers from across the country, and will be partnered with an experienced attorney mentor. Space in the 2023 NELC Academy will be limited to a maximum of 30 participants and is expected to be highly competitive; preference will be given to lawyers with 2-3 years in practice. Great weight is given to personal statements and letters of recommendation.

Apply for the 2023 NELC Academy - Submit the Following by January 27, 2023:

  • Personal statement on what the applicant hopes to achieve by participating in the NELC Academy (maximum 500 words, in PDF format). The statement should include a self-assessment of the applicant's career growth challenges and a paragraph describing the qualities the applicant is looking for in a mentor relationship.
  • Applicant’s bio or resume (in PDF format).
  • Strong partner or client recommendation of applicant for the Academy (maximum 500 words, in PDF format).
  • The application must be endorsed by a member of the NELC Board of Directors. The endorsement may be in the form of a short email endorsing the application. Applicants may reach out directly to members of the NELC Board of Directors or contact Carolyn Lam at Carolyn.Lam@ecobat.com for assistance in doing so.
  • Returning Academy Fellows please contact Carolyn Lam for application instructions.

A complete application package must be submitted by email to Megan Lawson, at mlawson@gibsondunn.com, no later than January 27, 2023 . Early applications are strongly encouraged; late, incomplete or perfunctory application materials may not be considered. If you do not receive an email confirmation that your application has been received within 48 hours of submission, please contact Megan Lawson.

Academy participation is underwritten by NELC and its sponsors. Registration is $500. (Applicants should contact Megan Lawson if their employer will not pay for their registration). Fellows will be required to actively participate in an Academy-only LinkedIn group in the weeks before the Academy to facilitate full engagement in the program.

The NELC Academy will be held in conjunction with NELC’s annual comprehensive labor and employment law conference taking place May 2-4, 2023 in Washington, D.C. NELC will also host a virtual Academy Alumni Roundtable for 2023 Academy Fellows during the week of April 24, 2023.

Academy applicants need not be members of NELC. Click here for information about the 2022 NELC Virtual Conference or information about joining NELC.



Feedback from 2022 NELC Virtual Academy Fellows

I can’t emphasize how much of impact the folks in this group have made on my network and on my attitude when it comes to the future of my career. This experience couldn’t have come at a better time in my career.

All of the panelists had such great real world advice that was immediately useful to my practice.

I have been blown away by the support from the Academy Committee, Academy Alumni, my gracious mentors, and the NELC membership at large. I can definitely tell that the Committee put a lot of care into making sure this year’s Academy was a success. I have never been part of an organization as welcoming as NELC, and my experience in the Academy confirmed my desire to be a part of the NELC family.

I loved how honest all the presenters were and appreciated the diversity in backgrounds, experiences, and types of advice each person gave.

Both of my assigned mentors have been fantastic. I meet with both of them on a regular basis, and they have both given me so much thoughtful insight. I deeply appreciate how gracious they are with their time and everything they have done for me.

As a first-generation lawyer and first-time mother, I was able to connect with my mentors on both a professional and personal level. I appreciated the advice they gave me regarding balancing my career and family.

It is clear that the Academy takes a lot of time and effort to organize, and I am grateful to have experienced phenomenal lawyers willing to take time out of their busy schedules to make it happen.

I have reached points in my career where I feel disillusioned, overwhelmed, and with a serious case of imposter syndrome. After the Academy, I have felt a deeper sense of belonging in my career and have been truly inspired by the talented diverse attorneys I have met.

I loved seeing so many attorneys of color doing so well in different spaces of the law and also using their shared experiences to better one another. So beautiful!