Four UW Law Students Awarded Peggy Browning Fellowships

UW Law students Natasha Anis, 1L, Katy Cook, 1L, Maxwell McPherson, 2L and James Snell, 2L, have been awarded Peggy Browning Fund fellowships in workplace justice advocacy.

As the country continues to face unprecedented challenges to workers’ rights, the fight for workplace justice has never been more pressing. Labor needs lawyers. These Fellows are distinguished students who have demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, employment, volunteer and personal experiences.

Securing a Peggy Browning Fellowship is a challenging process, with over 3,950 applications for the 2024 program. This year, the Peggy Browning Fund accepted 117 law students into its nationwide fellowship program, the largest cohort in the Fund’s history.


Natasha Anis, 1L

Natasha Anis, 1L

Natasha Anis, 1L, will be at Drivers Union WA, Affiliated with Teamsters 117 in Tukwila, WA. Natasha is a first-year law student and a Gates Public Service Scholar dedicated to empowering workers through collective organizing and action. Before coming to law school, she worked as a union organizer for the UAW, building new bargaining units from the worker-level up. Her passion for labor law stems from her background in abolitionist organizing, where she observed the need for more secure and living-wage jobs for returning citizens. After completing a Fulbright grant in East Kalimantan, Indonesia, she worked in labor, civil rights, and education federal policy in Washington, DC. Natasha is interested in the direct impact storytelling has on political movements and community-led organizing. As the daughter of first-generation immigrants, she is inspired by the labor movement as a way for immigrant communities to build power and advocate for their futures. As a labor lawyer, she hopes to use her experience to better assist newly unionizing workers grow their campaigns through legal advocacy and political education. She is excited to spend this summer with the Drivers Union.


Katy Cook, 1L

Katy Cook, 1L

Katy Cook, 1L, will be at Equal Justice Center in Austin, TX. As a first-generation college and law student from Miami, Florida, Katy proudly represents her Venezuelan roots and low-income background as she pursues her legal education at the University of Washington School of Law. The daughter of an immigrant domestic worker, Katy recognizes that labor exploitation and injustice against immigrant communities are deeply intertwined issues. At 17, she began organizing by participating in immigrant justice actions. Then, while studying at Florida International University, Katy organized with Florida Student Power Network’s Migrant Justice Committee and worked for a Miami-Dade County Public Schools Board member and advanced equity in the school system. As a legal assistant at a criminal appeals firm, Katy has witnessed how the legal system uniquely burdens marginalized communities seeking justice and relief. With her experiences and education, Katy is committed to empowering immigrant workers while working to eliminate the systems that allow the exploitation and abuse they face. She is honored to be a Fellow for the Equal Justice Center.


Maxwell McPherson, 2L

Maxwell McPherson, 2L

Maxwell McPherson, 2L, will be at Teamsters Local 117 in Tukwila, WA. Born in California and raised across the West Coast, Maxwell learned the need for organized labor at a young age through his parents, both SEIU nurses. Before law school, he attended the California State University Maritime Academy and the University of Idaho. An essential worker in 2020, Maxwell witnessed the exploitative and dangerous conditions that workers are regularly subjected to. These experiences inspired him to pursue a career advancing economic justice and empowering the working class, enrolling in law school to practice labor and employment law and advance the proletarian cause. He is a board member of Students for Labor and Employment Justice and a member of UW’s National Lawyers Guild. During his 1L summer, Maxwell served as a volunteer intern with the U.S. Department of Labor - Employee Benefit Security Administration, helping workers navigate obstacles placed between them and their health/pension entitlements. Maxwell is excited for the opportunity to advance workplace justice this summer and in his upcoming career.


James Snell, 2L

James Snell, 2L

James Snell, 2L, will be at Streepy Lemonidis Consulting & Law Group & UFCW 3000 in Seattle, WA. James Snell was born and raised in Federal Way, Washington. His academic experiences as an undergraduate student studying Political Science and American Ethnic Studies at the University of Washington equipped him with a critical lens to understand systemic oppression and motivated him to become more involved in local social justice and worker’s rights movements. Before law school, James worked as a harvester at City Fruit, a Seattle-based organization that provides fresh produce to local food banks and meal programs. James currently works as the Volunteer Engagement Manager at Lifelong, a nonprofit based in Seattle dedicated to removing barriers to health for those facing illness and injustice. These experiences bolstered James’ commitment to fostering positive social change and prompted him to pursue his legal degree at the University of Washington School of Law.