Four members of the Brooklyn Law School community were recently recognized by the Peggy Browning Fund. The Fund recognizes distinguished labor attorneys and offers paid summer fellowships to students looking for challenging work and educational experiences in the area of workers' rights.
Vincent Pitta ’78, Managing Partner of Pitta & Giblin, LLC was honored at this year’s Peggy Browning Fund Awards Ceremony in New York City for his achievements on behalf of workers. Pitta was honored for his decades of work, in particular on behalf of unions – in the private and public sectors – ranging from law enforcement, facilities management to healthcare and education industries. Pitta said he was “deeply honored” by the fund’s award and that “defending the best that life has to offer, which are these labor workers, has been my life’s work.”
|Gregory Kirschenbaum '13|
Carrying on the fund’s mission “to educate and inspire the next generation of advocates for workplace justice,” Gregory Kirschenbaum ’13, Wendy Lamanque ’13, and Nicole Oliver ’13 were among the 2012 recipients of the Peggy Browning Fellowship.
The three Brooklyn Law School students were among 70 selected from a pool of more than 500 applicants from 125 participating law schools. “Their experiences, coursework, and family legacies in the labor movement give them the ideal preparation to serve as Peggy Browning Fellows,” said Mary Anne Moffa, the Executive Director of The Peggy Browning Fund.
Kirschenbaum, the son of a union-side labor lawyer and a registered nurse, hopes to further develop his work in the labor and worker rights fields. He will spend his 10-week fellowship working on labor law issues, contracts interpretation, and some intellectual property issues at the Major League Baseball Players Association. The work will provide him with exposure to several areas of sports, labor and employment law, in which he has a special interest. During his first summer of law school, Kirschenbaum interned in the employment law unit at the Legal Aid Society, where he represented claimants in unemployment insurance hearings and assisted in the execution of various employment law cases.
|Wendy Lamanque '13|
Lamanque knew she wanted to become a labor attorney as early as her sophomore year at Cornell University. “My studies in industrial and labor relations struck a chord about how much time we spend at the workplace, and how important it is for it to be a positive and safe environment for everyone involved,” said Lamanque. “This is why I believe it is important for me to defend equality and economic justice.”
|Nicole Oliver '13|
Lamanque will spend her fellowship at the legal department of Communications Workers of America (CWA), the largest telecommunications union in the world, helping organize its various advocacy activities. CWA represents over 700,000 men and women in both private and public sectors, including over half a million workers who are building the “Information Highway.” “I am excited to be part of CWA’s busy environment this summer and learning first-hand about traditional union organizing work,” Lamanque said.
Oliver grew up in a family dedicated to workers’ rights. “My father had a passion for labor law and unions as did my grandparents,” she said. “Listening to their intellectual conversations really instilled in me the same enthusiasm.” As a fellow, Oliver will be working at the National Labor Relations Board in Baltimore investigating unfair labor charges for both management and unions. “I am looking forward to forming my own experiences that go beyond the conversations and text books I have read,” added Oliver.