IIT Chicago-Kent student Jessica Mendoza receives Peggy Browning Fellowship

Thursday, September 24, 2015

IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law student Jessica Mendoza has received a Peggy Browning Fund summer fellowship that provides law students with diverse, challenging work and educational experiences in the area of workers' rights. The program is designed to increase students' understanding of the current issues workers face and encourage students to consider careers in public interest labor law.

Mendoza, a 2016 candidate for a J.D., has spent her fellowship period working at the Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project (FLAP) in Chicago. The project works to improve conditions for migrant and seasonal laborers—without regard to their immigration status—in the agricultural, landscaping, food production, and nursery work industries throughout Northern Illinois through outreach, community legal education and litigation. FLAP also assists packinghouse, cannery and meat and poultry workers.

At FLAP this summer, Mendoza is working on a national class action lawsuit seeking to compensate farm workers for their exposure to pesticides under various tort claims.

At IIT Chicago-Kent, Mendoza has served as an associate editor of the Journal of International and Comparative Law. She has completed a legal internship with the Association of Corporate Counsel, and a judicial externship with the Honorable Cook County Circuit Court Judge Alfred M. Swanson. Mendoza completed a legal externship with FLAP, where she conducted legal research on federal labor law violations under the Federal Labor Standards Act.

Mendoza completed her undergraduate education in speech-language pathology and audiology at Northern Illinois University. Prior to law school, she worked as a case manager in the Law Offices of Ernesto Borges. Fluent in Spanish, Mendoza served as a bilingual speech-language paraprofessional with Chicago Public Schools.

The Peggy Browning Fellowship program was established in memory of Margaret A. "Peggy" Browning, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton to the National Labor Relations Board in 1994. Ms. Browning, the first union-side labor attorney appointed to the NLRB, served until her death in 1997.

Founded in 1888, IIT Chicago-Kent College of Law is the law school of Illinois Institute of Technology, also known as Illinois Tech, a private, technology-focused, research university offering undergraduate and graduate degrees in engineering, science, architecture, business, design, human sciences, applied technology, and law.