Temple Law student Viraj Patel LAW ‘23 has been awarded a summer fellowship by the Peggy Browning Fund. Patel will join the Strategic Organizing Center (SOC, formerly Change To Win) as a Peggy Browning Fellow.
The Peggy Browning Fund, a not-for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney, provides law students with unique, diverse, and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. The application process for Peggy Browning Fellowships is highly competitive, with hundreds of applicants competing for the honor. The fellowship awardees are distinguished students who excel academically and demonstrate a commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer, and personal experiences. These summer Fellowships are designed to encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law, a natural fit for Patel.
A native of Maryland, Patel attended the University of Maryland – College Park, where he graduated with a degree in History. During his undergraduate experience he participated in organizations like the Student Labor Action Project and the United States Student Association, which exposed him to the world of organizing and community struggles for justice. After graduation, Patel worked as an organizer for AFSCME Council 3. With AFSCME he was able to learn and grow as an advocate, as well as gain a better understanding of how legal systems impact unions and working people. Now at Temple Law, Patel plans to start a legal career that is focused on fighting for social and economic justice.
“I am looking forward to gaining first-hand experience with labor and employment law,” said Patel. “It is an honor to be a Peggy Browning fellow and join a group of such accomplished legal professionals. Working people are the bedrock of our society, and the pandemic has definitely shown this. It’s great that we have taken this moment to recognize the workers around us, but that recognition needs to go beyond just posters, TV ads, and pats on the back. That recognition needs to be material and help improve the lives of people who have already sacrificed so much. I joined law school with the goal of fighting for workers, and I could not think of a better place to do that than the Strategic Organizing Center.”