The National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA) is the largest professional membership organization in the country comprised of lawyers who represent workers in labor, employment and civil rights disputes. Founded in 1985, NELA advances employee rights and serves lawyers who advocate for equality and justice in the American workplace. NELA and its 68 circuit, state, and local Affiliates have a membership of over 3,000 attorneys who are committed to working on behalf of those who have been illegally treated in the workplace. NELA’s members litigate daily in every circuit, affording NELA a unique perspective on how the principles announced by the courts in employment cases actually play out on the ground.
NELA advocates for independent and fair-minded federal judges who are committed to equal justice under law for all Americans, and who do not place the interests of employers over the rights of employees. NELA takes an active role in assessing candidates nominated to federal judgeships as well as individuals interested in becoming candidates for such vacancies. NELA screens potential judicial nominees, ensuring they are faithful to the progress made on civil rights and individual liberties, and possess a demonstrated record of respect for justice and equality in the workplace. In support of this work, NELA released a special report in 2012 called “Judicial Hostility To Workers’ Rights: The Case For Professional Diversity On The Federal Bench,” which calls for the nomination of individuals with professionally diverse backgrounds.