WSU student receives workers' rights fellowship


Wayne State University Law School student Rachel Lerman has been awarded a 2017 Peggy Browning Summer Fellowship to work at New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice in Louisiana.

Lerman’s interest in workers’ rights was ignited by stories of her grandfather organizing employees at his cousin’s fur shop to protest unfair working conditions.

“I am studying law because I hope to do work that supports immigrants and workers’ rights groups that are using community organizing to build power and leadership in order to make systemic change,” said the second-year student.

Originally from Milwaukee, Lerman earned her bachelor’s degree in community and environmental sociology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

After college, she moved to Washington, D.C. to work with an organization doing community organizing in support of workers’ rights.

“I am very grateful for the opportunity the Peggy Browning Fellowship has provided me. The New Orleans Workers’ Center for Racial Justice builds worker and immigrant power through community organizing. I’ve enjoyed learning from the incredible work they do, and about how legal work can strategically support community organizing,” said Lerman, who also was selected for a 2017 Public Interest Law Fellowship from Wayne Law.

This year, the fund will support more than 80 public interest labor law fellowships nationwide. Nearly 400 people applied for a Browning fellowship.

The mission of the Peggy Browning Fund is to educate and inspire the next generation of law students to become advocates for workplace justice. 

It was established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent labor attorney and member of the National Labor Relations Board.