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John Marshall Law School Student Sayra Contreras Awarded Prestigious Peggy Browning Fellowship

CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, UNITED STATES , March 26, 2019 / -- John Marshall Law School first-year student Sayra Contreras has been awarded a summer fellowship from the Peggy Browning Fund.

Contreras is a bilingual, first-generation college student who was born in Michoacán, Mexico. She received her undergraduate degree from Northern Illinois University, where she interned at the University’s Office of General Counsel. Upon graduation, Contreras worked at the DeKalb County Courthouse as a member of the Treatment Court. Her ultimate goal is to fight for workplace justice and human rights issues, while always demonstrating humility and respect. Contreras credits her educational success to her Mexican immigrant parents who have inspired her to work hard and taught her the importance of determination.

Contreras will spend the 10-week fellowship working at the Farmworker & Landscaper Advocacy Project, a non-profit organization based in Chicago. The Farmworker and Landscaper Advocacy Project works to improve the working conditions for thousands of migrant and seasonal workers in the agricultural and landscaping industries in Illinois. The project has educated, advised and referred thousands of people and has filed more than 190 lawsuits in federal and state courts and sent more than 60 demand letter in the name of the workers, recovering almost 3.7 million dollars in back wages and illegal deductions. All litigation relates to the failure of nurseries, farms and landscaping operations to pay wages due, to pay overtime and to refund illegal deductions from wages.

“The Peggy Browning Fellowship has given me the opportunity to immerse myself in the field of labor law to advocate for hard-working individuals,” Contreras said. “I am confident that I will make a difference.”

Securing a Peggy Browning Fellowship is not an easy task, with nearly 450 applicants competing for the honor this year. Peggy Browning Fellows are distinguished students who have not only excelled in law school but who have also demonstrated their commitment to workers’ rights through their previous educational, work, volunteer and personal experiences.

About the Peggy Browning Fund
The Peggy Browning Fund is a not for-profit organization established in memory of Margaret A. Browning, a prominent union-side attorney who was a member of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) from 1994 until 1997. Peggy Browning Fellowships provide law students with unique, diverse and challenging work experiences fighting for social and economic justice. These experiences encourage and inspire students to pursue careers in public interest labor law.

About The John Marshall Law School
The John Marshall Law School, founded in 1899, is an independent law school located in the heart of Chicago's legal, financial and commercial districts. The 2020 U.S. News & World Report's America's Best Graduate Schools ranks John Marshall's Lawyering Skills Program 8th in the nation. Since its inception, John Marshall has been a pioneer in legal education and has been guided by a tradition of diversity, innovation, access and opportunity. In July 2018, The John Marshall Law School and University of Illinois at Chicago Boards of Trustees voted to create UIC John Marshall Law School — Chicago’s first and only public law school. The transaction, which is expected to take effect for Fall 2019, has since received approval from the Illinois Board of Higher Education and acquiescence from the American Bar Association. Learn more at

Miller McDonald
The John Marshall Law School
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