National Employment Lawyers Association

National Employment Lawyers Association

Logo of the National Employment Lawyers Association

The National Employment Lawyers Association is a professional organization for lawyers who represent workers and employees in employment matters with offices in San Francisco, C.A., and Washington, D.C.

Employment issues include discrimination, wrongful termination, sexual harassment or other harassment, worker safety and issues relating to benefits and pay wrongfully denied or withheld.

Members have access to a range of educational materials and other benefits. The organization, founded in 1985, also advocates for laws and policies favorable to employees.

Today, the NELA has grown to more than 4,000 lawyers as members in the United States and abroad. The National Employment Lawyers Association works to improve the working environment by ensuring the payment of a living wage and promised retirement and health benefits, a safe work environment free of employment discrimination, harassment and retaliation.

The NELA seeks to accomplish these goals by assisting lawyers who represent employees against their employers and former employers.

In addition to being a professional organizations for employment attorneys, NELA also advocates for public policy, such as strengthening worker's rights, prohibiting discrimination and protecting benefits. The organization also files amicus curiae briefs in important litigation.


History of the NELA


NELA began in 1985 as the Plaintiff Employment Lawyers Association. Twelve employment lawyers formed the group to assist other attorneys who represented employees suing an employer or former employer, especially in wrongful termination cases.

In addition to sharing ideas, information and best practices as a professional group, the organization also began advocating for public policy regarding employee rights.

The group changed its name to the National Employment Lawyers Association in 1990, when it had local chapters in most major cities across the United States and more than 1,000 members.


Benefits of Membership in the NELA


Membership is tiered in the NELA. Members who pay larger dues get more benefits. However, consistent benefits include:

  • Access to online resources and discussion boards where members can share ideas and best practices, ask questions and discuss ongoing issues with employment law;
  • Discounts to continuing legal education (CLE) sessions, annual convention and on books and guides published by NELA;
  • Subscription to the organization's quarterly publications, containing news and commentary to keep lawyers up-to-date on employment law; and
  • Access to NELA's Sanctions Assistance for Emergency Relief, a fund that provides financial and professional assistance to members facing sanctions, under certain circumstances.

State and Local Affiliates of the NELA


The NELA organization has more than sixty-nine state and local affiliates around the country. The active state affiliates include:


Contact Information

National Employment Lawyers Association

San Francisco Office
417 Montgomery Street, Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94104
Phone: 415.296.7629

Washington DC Office
1828 L Street, NW, Suite 600
Washington, DC 20036
Phone: 202.898.2880
Fax: 866.593.7521


This article was last updated on Friday, March 11, 2016.