Two USF Law Students Win Prestigious Public Interest Labor Law Fellowships

Posted Tue, 08/22/2017 - 17:14

Alexina Del Vecchio 2L and Matthew Vann 2L spent their summers in public interest labor law internships funded by Peggy Browning Fellowships. They were chosen not only for excelling in law school but also for demonstrating commitment to workers’ rights through their educational, work, volunteer, and personal experiences.

“The Peggy Browning internship will open doors for Alexina and Matthew because employers recognize it as a highly competitive honor that trains students with a serious interest in labor and employment law,” said Professor Maria Ontiveros, who focuses her teaching and research on employment law. “They will also attend a seminar in the fall with training sessions and opportunities to network with attorneys, policymakers, and other interns. At the end of their internships, they will become part of a strongly connected intern alumni group.”

Ontiveros described Del Vecchio’s strength as lying “in her lifelong commitment to helping workers and working class people improve their lives. And Matthew understands that one very effective way to create a just work environment is to ensure that employers understand and comply with the law, rather than focusing solely on remedying injustices after they occur.”

I also developed my research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, and experienced the excitement of working for justice in the nation’s capital at this critical moment in history." - Alexina Del Vecchio 2L

Del Vecchio was in Washington, D.C., this summer working at Farmworker Justice, focusing on immigration, workers’ rights, and healthcare policy advocacy for migrant farmworkers. Last summer she participated in the AFL-CIO Law Student Union Summer program, working with the American Federation of Teachers in Vancouver, Washington, and she has also worked with the Instituto Laboral de la Raza in San Francisco, representing migrant workers in wage and hour cases. She is the vice president of the Labor and Employment Law Students Association at USF and has been a law clerk at Levy Vinick Burrell Hyams, a plaintiff side employment and civil rights firm in Oakland.

“My Peggy Browning Fellowship at Farmworker Justice allowed me to connect with an invaluable network of practitioners and other law students dedicated to workers’ rights,” said Del Vecchio. “I also developed my research, writing, and oral advocacy skills, and experienced the excitement of working for justice in the nation’s capital at this critical moment in history.”

Vann was a law clerk at Neyhart, Anderson, Flynn & Grosboll in San Francisco, where his work focused on labor law relating to unions, arbitration regarding collective bargaining agreements, ERISA, and bankruptcy. Last summer, he was a judicial intern with Judge Cynthia M. Rufe of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. This past academic year, he participated in USF’s Employment Law Clinic assisting federal employees before the Merit Systems Protection Board. He serves on the executive board of the Black Law Students Association and the Sports and Entertainment Law Association, and participated in the Thomas Tang National Moot Court Competition.