2022 NELC Virtual Academy


The National Employment Law Council (“NELC“) invites applications for selection as Fellows to the 2022 NELC Virtual Academy scheduled for April 22 and 29, 2022. NELC is a non-profit organization charged with enriching minority bar members who represent management in the field of labor and employment law.

The NELC Academy is open to attorneys of color with less than four years of experience practicing management-side labor and employment law. The NELC Academy provides advanced skills training, exposes Fellows to NELC’s national network of experienced minority labor and employment attorneys, fosters mentoring relationships, and creates a pipeline for future NELC leaders.

All NELC Academy Fellows will have direct interaction with in-house attorneys and leading minority labor and employment defense lawyers from across the country, and will be partnered with an experienced attorney mentor. Space in the 2022 NELC Academy will be limited to a maximum of 30 participants and is expected to be highly competitive; preference will be given to lawyers with 2-3 years in practice. Great weight is given to personal statements and letters of recommendation.

Apply for the NELC Virtual Academy - Submit the Following

  • Personal statement on what the applicant hopes to achieve by participating in the NELC Academy (maximum 500 words, in PDF format). The statement should include a self-assessment of the applicant’s career growth challenges and a paragraph describing the qualities the applicant is looking for in a mentor relationship.
  • Applicant’s bio or resume (in PDF format).
  • Strong partner or client recommendation of applicant for the Academy (maximum 500 words, in PDF format).
  • The application must be endorsed by a member of the NELC Board of Directors. The endorsement may be in the form of a short email endorsing the application. Applicants may reach out directly to members of the NELC Board of Directors or contact Carolyn Lam at for assistance in doing so.
  • Returning Academy Fellows please contact Carolyn Lam for application instructions.

A complete application package must be submitted by email to Samantha Woo, at, with a copy to Gwen Robinson, at, no later than January 28, 2022. Early applications are strongly encouraged; late, incomplete or perfunctory application materials may not be considered. If you do not receive an email confirmation that your application has been received within 48 hours of submission, please contact Gwen Robinson.

Academy participation is underwritten by NELC and its sponsors. Registration is $500. (Applicants should contact Samantha Woo if their employer will not pay for their registration). Fellows will be required to actively participate in an Academy-only LinkedIn group in the weeks before the Academy to facilitate full engagement in the program.

The NELC Virtual Academy will be held in conjunction with NELC’s annual comprehensive labor and employment law conference, which is set for April 27 and 28, 2022. Academy applicants need not be members of NELC but will be permitted to attend limited portions of the NELC conference. Click here for information about the 2021      NELC Virtual Conference       or  information about joining NELC.

Feedback from 2021 NELC Virtual Academy Fellows

An amazing experience. Truly loved not only the contents, but the people and their immense passions in helping each other.

I liked how all the speakers were very authentic and kept it real with us. I’ve never been around other attorneys who will tell it how it is. It also was a good balance of in-house and private practice lawyers

I LOVED the mentors who were assigned to me. I am meeting with them both biweekly. They are both speaking life into my career. I feel so fortunate to have them as a resource.

My most important takeaway was that now I am a part of a community of lawyers who are experiencing or have experienced the things I am experiencing and will experience during my career, and that I can rely on that community.

The materials we received were great. In particular, I have found the checklists to be so helpful to follow along during the session but also to use in practice after

The NELC Academy exceeded my expectations. I felt extremely welcomed by everyone on the Committee, Alumni, my mentors, and my Academy Fellows. I learned so much and it really changed my perspective on being an attorney and how to be successful. I have often felt like I was alone and didn’t have people I could turn to for advice, but I feel like I’ve found the right organization for me. NELC is the support system I needed to give me the confidence and advice I’ve always been looking for, and it’s slowly pushing me out of my shy comfort zone.

I enjoyed the war stories as well and the caliber of the presenters. Anytime one has a chance to listen to Grace Speights, it’s always well worth the time.

I enjoyed the choice of panelists. It seemed as though each presenter/moderator was at a different stage in his/her career to provide different perspectives.

The Academy was very well put together and the presenters were very knowledgeable and experienced. I liked how they were able to answer every question with no hesitation and if they could not, the second presenter was able to piggy back off of their answer and add additional discourse.

I thought the Academy was amazing. Everyone I spoke to before spoke so highly of it, yet it still exceeded my expectations.

I enjoyed the way business development was explained. The speakers made business development much easier to understand and made it seem less overwhelming.

Application Deadline: January 28, 2022

For more information, contact Carolyn Lam at
Click here for information about the 2022 NELC Conference or joining NELC.