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Awards and Fellowships


Arvid Anderson Public Sector Labor and Employment Attorney of the Year Award

2023 Award Recipient: Joel A. D'Alba

Attorneys, whether publicly or privately employed, who have devoted substantially their entire careers to the advancement and development of public sector labor and employment law at the state and local level are eligible to receive the Arvid Anderson Award. Continue

Federal Labor and Employment Law Attorney of the Year

2023 Award Recipient: Kerry Leibig

The prestigious Federal Labor and Employment Law Attorney of the Year Award is a salute to federal labor and employment lawyers and their many accomplishments. Any career attorney in the field who has made a significant contribution to the field is eligible for nomination. Continue

Frances Perkins Public Service Award

2023 Award Recipients: Chicago Workers Collaborative

The need for pro bono services in the labor and employment area is acute. Questions relating to labor and employment law account for more than a quarter of the issues raised in many pro bono programs. The American Bar Association Section of Labor and Employment Law wants to acknowledge individuals, firms, corporate and union legal departments, government agencies, and other organizations who help meet this crucial need. Continue

Honorable Bernice B. Donald Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Award

2023 Award Recipients: Jeanine Conley Daves 

The Honorable Bernice B. Donald Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in the Legal Profession Award recognizes an ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) member, law firm, corporation, organization or academic institution that has demonstrated leadership in and commitment to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion in the legal profession. Continue

New/Young Lawyer Award

2021 Award Recipients: Kyle E. Simmons, Kaser Permanente

This Award recognizes up to two new and/or young members of the ABA Section of Labor and Employment Law (LEL) who have demonstrated a commitment to the Section and to the advancement of the Section’s initiatives, specifically including promoting involvement and membership in the LEL Section. This is an excellent way to honor and encourage those New and Young lawyers who have already exhibited an eagerness and enthusiasm for the Section and all that it offers.  Continue


The Government Fellowship Program was implemented by the Section to provide selected government lawyers who are members of the Section an opportunity to participate in the activities of the Section and to receive appropriate support from the Section. Government agencies are invited to identify individuals of excellence from their staff, who then submit applications to the Section office. The program covers three years of Section activity after which the Fellows are encouraged to continue their participation in the Section on an individual basis. Fellows are provided travel expense and registration fee reimbursement for their assigned committee’s Midwinter Meetings. The application form for the Government Fellowship Program is only available from the government agencies and is not available directly from the Section of Labor & Employment Law.

Applications for the Government Fellowship Program are solicited from the following government agencies in early spring (or as vacancies arise):

  • Federal Labor Relations Authority (FSL)
  • Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service (ADR)
  • Internal Revenue Service – Employee Plans Rules and Agreements (EBC)
  • Merit Systems Protection Board (FSL)
  • National Labor Relations Board (DLL, ERR, Ethics, P&P)
  • National Mediation Board (RLA)
  • Pension Benefit Guaranty Corporation (EBC)
  • State Public Employment Relations Boards (State & Local Government Bargaining)
  • U.S. Department of Homeland Security (Immigration Law)
  • U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division (EEO, ERR)
  • U.S. Department of Labor (EBC, ERR, EEO, FLSL, OSH LAW)
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (ADR, EEO, ERR, FLSL)
  • U.S. Occupational Safety & Health Review Commission (OSHA)

Section Development Fund Fellowship Program

The purpose of the Section Development Fund Fellowship Program is to increase membership in the Section by encouraging participation in the Annual Section Conference and Standing Committee Midwinter Meetings by providing Fellowships  to individuals who would otherwise be financially unable to participate in such events. The Fellowships cover one Midwinter Meeting and/or one Annual Section Conference per ABA fiscal year (September 1 – August 31). Over the duration of the Fellowship, participants must attend at least one Annual Section Conference. Applications are solicited throughout the year, with a submission deadline of July 31, 2023. Fellowships are announced following the ABA Annual Meeting in August.

Access the Section Development Fund Application Form (PDF) here.

Young Lawyers Division (YLD) Fellowship Program

The Young Lawyers Division Fellowship Program is designed to give young lawyers who are Section members the opportunity to become familiar with and actively involved in the Section. Highlights of this program are:

  • Participants are assigned to a Section standing committee
  • Participants are expected to attend the Midwinter Meetings of their assigned committee

Fellows will be provided an allocation to be used to cover Midwinter Meeting travel and registration expenses.

Access the Young Lawyers Fellowship Application Form (PDF) here.

Award Resources