University of Arizona Law rising third-year student Sonum Dixit has been awarded with a Peggy Browning Fellowship, allowing her to work at Rothner, Segall & Greenstone in Pasadena, CA representing labor unions, labor-management trust funds, and employees with wage & hour and civil rights claims.
The Peggy Browning Fund is a not-for-profit organization 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.
This year, the Peggy Browning Fund accepted over 100 law students into the nationwide fellowships program, the largest cohort in its 25-year history. Securing a Peggy Browning Fellowship is a challenging process, with more than 700 applicants competing for the honor this year. These Fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but who have also demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.
As a child of South Asian immigrants, Dixit heard many stories about her parents and family friends experiencing wage theft, employment discrimination, struggles to find employment, and microaggressions. Dixit first learned about the labor movement when she advocated for California Senate Bill 562, AKA “Medicare-for-All” and saw how effectively labor and nurses’ unions mobilized to advocate for the bill. In law school, she developed a stronger interest in employment and labor law after participating in the Workers’ Rights Clinic. She is currently a legal extern for the Arizona Center for Disability Law and interned at Harvard Legal Aid Bureau’s family practice her 1L summer. She has volunteered with local Proposition 207 expungement clinics and the Name and Gender Marker Clinic hosted in partnership with Southern Arizona Gender Alliance and University of Arizona Pride Law.
"After taking the Workers’ Rights Clinic with Professor Milczarek-Desai in the fall and focusing on wage/hour cases, I’m excited to apply my clinical knowledge in a slightly different setting working with unions. And after taking Labor Law this semester, I’m looking forward to seeing how all the statutes and cases we learned about are applied in practice," explained Dixit. "With the pandemic, automation, and growing attention towards poor working conditions in many sectors, this is an important time to be involved with labor rights work and I’m excited! I am fortunate to have the opportunity to learn about a practice area I’m interested in, and to learn as much as I can from experienced attorneys in the labor field."
Learn more about the Peggy Browning Fund by visiting www.peggybrowningfund.org.