Paul H. Tobias Attorney Fellowship Program

The Paul H. Tobias (PHT) Attorney Fellowship Program exemplifies The Institute’s deep commitment to securing the future of employee rights advocacy. Honoring The Institute’s roots as the public interest organization of the National Employment Lawyers Association (NELA), The PHT Attorney Fellowship Program is named for Paul H. Tobias, NELA’s Founder and first Executive Director, for the boundless inspiration he has provided to plaintiffs’ employment lawyers for more than 50 years. It offers a new lawyer who embodies Paul’s indomitable spirit the opportunity to work on cutting-edge initiatives at The Institute for two years.

About Paul H. Tobias

More than 30 years ago, as an attorney representing individual employees in Cincinnati, Paul H. Tobias had the vision to create an organization for plaintiffs’ employment lawyers so they could provide each other information, assistance, and support in protecting the rights of employees against the greater resources of their employers and the defense bar. With his bold leadership, tireless inspiration, gentle persuasion, hard work, keen intellect, and abounding kindness and generosity, Mr. Tobias founded NELA in 1985. Today, NELA, with its 69 circuit, state, and local Affiliates, has grown to a membership of more than 4,000 employee rights advocates, who as a group have represented hundreds of thousands of individual workers in vindicating their workplace rights and ensuring our nation’s promise of equal employment opportunity for all. Through its advocacy programs, NELA has a powerful voice on Capitol Hill and in courtrooms around the country. Mr. Tobias’ fervent commitment to employee rights advocacy has propelled NELA forward every step of the way.

This includes the creation of The Institute in 2008 as NELA’s public interest arm and the country’s employee rights advocacy think tank. We are proud that Mr. Tobias is among The Institute’s most dedicated supporters. We named The Institute’s Fellowship Program after Mr. Tobias to honor his legacy as a pioneer of plaintiffs’ employment law and to cultivate the next generation of employee rights advocates.

Paul H. Tobias is senior partner in the firm of Tobias, Torchia & Simon in Cincinnati, Ohio where he specializes exclusively in the rights of individual employees. Paul is a graduate of Harvard College (AB 1951) and Harvard Law School (LLB 1958). He has practiced labor and employment law for 56 years. Paul is the author of fifteen published articles and three book chapters in the field of labor and employment law; has taught a labor law seminar at the University of Cincinnati (1975–1977); and has made over 150 presentations to bar associations and other groups concerning employee rights. He is NELA’s Founder and served as its first Executive Director, Chairman, and Editor of The Employee Advocate. Paul is the Co-Founder and former Chair and Executive Director of the National Employee Rights Institute (NERI, now Workplace Fairness). He is the editor of a three-volume work: Litigating Wrongful Discharge Claims (Callaghan/West 1987); co-author of Job Rights and Survival Strategies – A Handbook for Terminated Employees (NERI 1997); and executive producer for NERI of the Federal Employees Legal Survival Guide by Passman & Kaplan, PC (1999). Paul also was Editor-in-Chief of Employee Rights Quarterly (Aspen Publishers Inc. 2001–2003). Recently, he has been the leader of groups of lawyers studying employment and labor law in other countries, and has organized six trips abroad. Paul was on the Board of Governors of the National College of Labor and Employment Lawyers and is founder of the Ohio Chapter of the College. He is a founder of the Senior Lawyers Division of the Cincinnati Bar Association. Paul is one of the employee advisors to the American Law Institute (ALI) Restatement of Employment Law Project.

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