Employment Advocacy Project (EAP)
The Employment Advocacy Project (EAP) aims to protect the rights of workers and provide legal representation to low-income Philadelphians who have been unfairly denied unemployment compensation benefits.
What we do:
We directly and fully represent low-wage workers who are appealing an unfair denial of unemployment compensation benefits.
How we do it:
We partner with Philadelphia Legal Assistance’s Public Benefits Unit to assist clients with their unemployment compensation cases. This representation can take a few possible forms. At the first stage of appeal, we represent workers at administrative hearings against their former employers in front of a referee, who acts like a judge. These hearings are similar to short civil trials and allow for the introduction of testimony and documentary evidence. In preparation for hearings, we interview clients and prep them for direct and cross-examination. At the next stage of appeal, we represent workers before the Unemployment Compensation Board of Review by writing appellate briefs. This involves research into labor law and identifying legal errors that occurred during hearings. Our advocates have the opportunity to preference representing clients through hearings or by writing appellate briefs.
How and when can I join:
Interested students can complete an application at the beginning of fall semester. To ask questions or to receive an application form, please email EAP’s Managing Advocates, Kristen Marino (email@example.com) and Will Tunney (firstname.lastname@example.org). Full client representation is limited to 2Ls and 3Ls, but first-year students can apply to be a 1L representative and gain an early look into the unemployment compensation system while assisting 2Ls and 3Ls. We ask advocates to make a one-year commitment to EAP and to have space in their schedules to handle two cases per semester.
What skills will I develop:
Interviewing and intake, client counseling, trial prep, working with vulnerable clients, legal writing, legal research, oral advocacy, and the rules of evidence.
The work is likely to be New York Bar eligible.