Contact: Elizabeth Coplan
University of Washington School of Law



UW 1L Emily Nelson receives Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Internship

SEATTLE -- The Laurel Rubin Farm Worker Justice Project is an advocacy project that funds law students to work with organizations that provide legal services to farm workers in Washington. Interns have the opportunity to work alongside legal aid attorneys on issues such as worker safety, housing, access to health care, immigration, employment discrimination, and unemployment.

“After working on rural land rights and food sovereignty issues in Latin America, I am thrilled to be transitioning into the field of legal aid, specifically to address the injustices many farm workers face. That I get to do this in my home state of Washington is an added bonus.”

The internship and project is in honor of Laurel Rubin, a young attorney who was serving low-income farm workers in Washington State when she died tragically in 1998. Rubin was “passionately committed to helping migrant workers obtain fairness and respect” in the workplace, and in their everyday lives. The Laurel Rubin Project began in 1999, and since then has sponsored 32 summer internships for law students who share Rubin’s dedication to working for justice for farm workers.

Nelson will be working in Columbia Legal Services’ Wenatchee office for ten weeks this summer under the supervision of legal aid attorneys.

“I look forward to strengthening my budding legal skills this summer, and also to learning about Washington's agricultural sector from the perspective of the farm worker. In addition, I hope to learn how best to serve the legal needs of this often-overlooked group, and to help them ensure that their rights as workers are protected.”

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