Each year, one McGeorge law student is selected to receive a full scholarship to attend the Peggy Browning Fund | Annual National Law Student Workers’ Rights Conference held in the Washington DC area. This year’s winner was Ashley Silva-Guzman (class of 2021) – congratulations, Ashley!

Following her experience at the conference in October, Ashley had the following to say:

Ashley Silva-Guzman; National Law Student Workers' Rights Conference
Ashley Silva-Guzman (right) at the 2019 Peggy Browning Fund | Annual National Law Student Workers’ Rights Conference.

I worked in business immigration for two years and while I had a ton of experiences on the immigration side of employment and labor law, I did not experience the breadth of the field. I felt this conference would provide me with more information and experience on labor law and I was right. I had an amazing experience at the conference engaging with law students from a variety of different law schools. I still maintain contact with my roommate who is a law student at UC Davis and that connection has been amazing, as well.

Additionally, I went to a number of workshops. The one that stood out to me was the workshop about unionizing immigrant workers. The speakers spoke passionately about the lack of information provided to immigrants regarding their rights and how to ensure immigrants can unionize safely without risking their status. The plenary speakers also left a lasting impression on me. The leader of Milk With Dignity spoke about his work unionizing milk workers and the horrible conditions they face milking cows for hours a day without breaks and with no opportunities for sick days or time off. The entire conference was such important context for the immigration work I have been practicing. It led me to enroll in Labor Law for the following semester to learn more about the rights provided to those unionizing.”

Students who are interested in workers’ rights and labor law are highly encouraged to attend next year’s conference and contact the CDO to apply for the same scholarship. Even if you do not a receive a fully paid scholarship, keep in mind that the McGeorge CDO will reimburse up to $150 of expenses associated with attending professional conferences and recruiting events for every student each year. While this may not cover everything, it will certainly help to mitigate some of the costs that might have you on the fence in deciding whether or not to go. There will always be more that you can learn, and as a law student, there are few ways to be better prepared than by hearing from and talking to people who are in the field every day. If you are passionate about something, seek out similar opportunities for whatever practice area you are interested in and experience all that you can!