Chicago-Kent Students Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowships

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

Patrick Foote ‘20 and Tyler Sprague ‘21 have been selected for Peggy Browning Fellowships, which are awarded to law students with a demonstrated commitment to workers’ rights. In 2019, the 10-week summer fellowship will support more than 80 public interest labor law fellowships nationwide.

Patrick Foote '20
Patrick Foote '20

A three-time recipient of Peggy Browning fellowships, Foote will be a fellow with the Communications Workers of America in Washington, D.C. Foote says the CWA is a democratic union that is in tune with his values. In 2011, as an undergraduate at the University of Central Florida, he helped organize a caravan of students to drive from Florida to Alabama to stand in solidarity with CWA workers at a Verizon shareholders meeting while the workers were engaged in a contract fight with the company. Prior to law school, Foote worked as an organizer with Central Florida Jobs with Justice, then as a journalist for the People’s World, the successor to the Daily Worker. There, Foote organized the first editorial staff union in the publication’s 95-year history.

Foote is the incoming president of Chicago-Kent’s Labor and Employment Law Society and secretary of the Chicago-Kent Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild. During his prior Peggy Browning fellowships, he worked with the National Federation of Federal Employees and the Chicago News Guild. He hopes to use his legal education to fight against workplace injustice and build working-class power.

I am very honored to have gotten three Peggy Browning Fellowships,” Foote says. “Working for the labor movement has always been my post-law school goal, so I’m thankful for the opportunity to have worked for so many great mentor organizations.

Sprague says she was ecstatic to receive the Peggy Browning fellowship. As a child of an African-American, blue-collar worker, she has seen firsthand the discrimination that accompanies being a minority in the workplace. It has inspired her to use her legal education to protect minority rights and challenge systemic barriers to employment. Sprague will be a fellow with the Los Angeles Black Worker Center in Los Angeles this summer.

Tyler Sprague
Tyler Sprague '21

“I believe the mission of the Los Angeles Worker Center and the foundation of my ideals match almost identically. This program has dedicated years to promoting access to quality jobs and racial equity in hiring for minorities,” she says. “Through its partnerships, policy initiatives, and employment services and job placement, the Los Angeles Black Worker Center has become a huge resource for the underrepresented community.”

During her undergraduate years at Howard University, Sprague developed a passion for mentoring young girls and at-risk inner-city youth and was heavily involved in the community. She served as a delegation leader with People to People, an organization dedicated to creating a better world through direct exchange between people of different countries and cultures, during which she led a group of more than 40 high school students in a service project abroad.

Sprague volunteers with the Self-Help Web Center at the Daley Center, where she assists self-represented individuals with accessing legal resources and completing documents and forms. She is also a member of the Moot Court Honor Society, incoming vice president of the Black Law Students Association, and a member of the Society of Women in Law and Phi Alpha Delta International Law Fraternity.

Since 2004, 18 Chicago-Kent students have been awarded 23 summer and academic year fellowships from the Peggy Browning Fund. The not-for-profit organization was established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board  from 1994 until 1997. Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse, and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law.

Founded in 1888, 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.