Peggy Browning Fellowships
2L Pitt Law students Amanda Bundick, Megan Walker, and Brandon Gatto (pictured left to right here) have been awarded prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowships for 2012. Read the full story here.
Securing a fellowship opportunity is not an easy task. The application process is highly competitive. The applicants shine with outstanding qualifications. Securing a Peggy Browning Fellowship is no exception. Just ask any of the over 500 law students from 125 participating law schools vying for one of the 70 public interest law fellowships nationwide. Or ask the three Pitt Law students who have secured summer fellowship 2012 opportunities: Amanda Bundick, Brandon Gatto, and Megan Walker.
The Peggy Browning Fund 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. Fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but who have also demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.
Megan Walker, 2L Pitt Law student and recipient of a Peggy Browning Fellowship, was attracted to the Fund’s mission.
"I've always been passionate about social justice issues and as a result found myself drawn to employment law. I applied for the Fellowship to work with the Community Justice Project because they work with the underprivileged on a large scale - the very reason I came to law school."
Walker, a graduate of the University of North Carolina at Asheville with a B.A. in Art and Mass Communication, worked for non-profits devoted to assisting impoverished individuals and families. After her first year of law school, she interned for Neighborhood Legal Services Association, where she worked to keep low-income individuals in their homes. Through the Peggy Browning Fellowship, Walker hopes to transform her interest in employment law into advocacy for disadvantaged workers. This summer, she will spend her fellowship working at the Community Justice Project in Pittsburgh.
Fellow 2L Pitt Law student Brandon Gatto will spend his fellowship working at Sheet Metal Workers' Local Union No. 19 in Philadelphia. Drawn to Pitt Law because of its responsiveness to a rapidly evolving legal profession, Gatto has taken advantage of many experiential learning opportunities while in school. Gatto has worked at the labor and employment law firm of Koff, Mangan, Vullo & Gartley in Kingston, Pennsylvania. And in addition to his studies at Pitt, Gatto currently writes weekly news articles for JURIST Legal News & Research Services, Inc., and works at the Law Office of Claudia Davidson as a labor law clerk.
“While earning the degree is essential, practical experience and the actual application of classroom principles are now determining factors in what has become our economy's toughest legal job market in history. I feel extremely fortunate that Pitt not only provides multiple opportunities to gain the field experience employers want, but also that Career Services has made exceptional efforts to promote legal specialties for a student body full of diverse interests,” says Gatto.
Amanda Bundick, also in her second year of law school, had set her sights on being a union-side labor and employment lawyer even before enrolling at Pitt Law, so it’s no surprise that she will spend her fellowship working at United Steelworkers in Pittsburgh.
In thinking about what she thinks her fellowship will be like, Bundick says, “I expect my experience with the Steelworkers to provide me with a different perspective on the reality of protecting collective bargaining rights. After completing my labor law independent study with Professor Frolik this semester, I'm more excited than ever to learn from the General Counsel's office how to best advocate for working people.”
Bundick, a graduate of Washington & Jefferson College, is now the president of the Pitt Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild, and is spending her time in the classroom studying labor law, employment law, and everything else she can to make herself into the best possible advocate for working people.
The Peggy Browning Fund is a not for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a Member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1994 until 1997. Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law.