3L Nick Kreitman Seeks Practical Experience in Washington

Every summer a handful of John Marshall Law School students fill clerkships with organizations in Washington, DC. This summer, 3L Nick Kreitman found the clerkship with the Communications Workers of America (CWA) fit perfectly his intended legal niche in labor law.

In Washington Kreitman interacts with CWA’s attorneys, researching multiple cases for companies the union represents—“with a view of the Capitol, nonetheless,” Kreitman added. Kreitman has handled mostly arbitration and administrative work.

While pursuing a master of arts in the social sciences at University of Chicago, Kreitman—who initially “had an allergy to the legal profession”—realized the wanton violations committed against labor law, which made him consider going to law school.

“I saw you could be a legal advocate,” Kreitman said. “Being a practitioner rather than writing about [labor law violations] could be more effective.”

Kreitman recognizes labor law as something that supports people, and helps them gain the respect they deserve at work. “All this emphasis companies put on interning and on meshing with your network limits your ability of self-expression, and limits giving coworkers a feel for you and how you work.”

He found his clerkship through the Peggy Browning Fund (PBF), which offers work experiences for students interested in labor law. Kreitman found his first clerkship with United Auto Workers (UAW) in Detroit during summer 2011.

Kreitman sees the value in seeking practical learning outside John Marshall: “The writing courses at John Marshall helped brainstorm—where you think critically about a problem and how to fix it, but it’s the practical experience that helps in terms of thinking practically about problems.”

Kreitman recommends that students interested in pursuing labor law look into fellowships with the PBF. “I’ve met a lot of great people through the UAW and the CWA. They’re committed to changing the workplace for the better.”

The PBF offers clerkships out of Washington, Philadelphia—where the organization is based, and Chicago. Having grown up in the Chicago area, Kreitman is hoping to stay in the city.

“If there’s a job somewhere else, I’ll go where the work is, but I love the city. If I were to travel it would be Washington because that’s where a lot of unions are. But, in Chicago there’s a lot going on in health care. I’d love to help organize health care.”

Kreitman received two bachelor’s degrees, in history and political science, from Elmhurst College in Elmhurst, Ill.

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