Joel Dillard & Associates

Representing Working People

We are proud of our ALUMNI!

The Peggy Browning Fellowship is an elite training program for the next generation of labor lawyers. We are an official mentor organization for the Peggy Browning Fellowship, and are proud to host law student fellows in the summer. Our fellows learn about civil rights litigation first-hand, and the experience is a spring-board to a career in the field.

2022 Peggy Browning Fellow Jillian Etheridge

Law Student at the University of Mississippi

Jillian came to us as a rising 2L from the University of Mississippi law school. She drafted a sexual harassment complaint, participated in contract negotiations, drafted and responded to discovery requests, drafted jury instructions in an overtime case, attended multiple settlement conferences, drafted an opposition to a motion to dismiss and successfully tried a real case to a focus group. She is back in school now, working to complete her law degree.

2022 Peggy Browning Fellow Zak Pearsall

Law Student at the University of Georgia

Zak's fellowship came between his 2L and 3L year at the University of Georgia law school. Like Jillian, he drafted complaints and engaged in discovery. He also participated in investigatory interviews with the NLRB and drafted a position statement for a charging party before the NLRB. He drafted an appellate brief for a matter before the EEOC, and an opposition to summary judgment in a complex pay discrimination case in federal court. Zak completed his law degree in May 2023 and sat for the bar. He is now working for a union-side law firm in Alabama

2021 Peggy Browning Fellow Tess Shelton

Labor Lawyer in Memphis

Tess was instrumental in trying a sexual harassment case to a jury in federal court. She assisted in preparation by presenting arguments to a focus group before trial. At trial, she participated in selecting the jury, prepared demonstratives for use in opening statements, and read deposition testimony in court. The trial resulted in a $750,000 emotional distress verdict. She is now a labor lawyer practicing in Memphis.

2020 Peggy Browning Fellow Nicholas Stonecypher

Labor lawyer for UE

Nicholas came to us as a rising 3L and worked remotely as a fellow during the surreal summer fellowship of 2020 along with Mary Kate Dugan. He drafted an appellate brief, conducted two focus groups, and wrote multiple motions and discovery. After lawschool, he returned to the firm for a six-month post-graduate fellowship in litigation, where he had the opportunity to engage in a successful bench trial. He is now the in-house attorney for the United Electrical, Radio and Machine Workers of America (UE).

2019 Peggy Browning Fellow Emily Dowdle

Employee benefits lawyer in Nebraska

Emily joined our fellowship program as a rising 3L from Washington University in St. Louis law school. She drafted a free speech complaint, wrote summary judgment briefs in a race discrimination case, helped prepare for depositions and settlement conferences, and conducted a focus group in an ultimately successful sexual harassment case. She now works as an employee benefits (ERISA) lawyer in Nebraska at the law firm Kutak Rock.

2019 Peggy Browning Fellow Jay Kucia

Clerk on the Mississippi Supreme Court

In 2019, Jay started work with the firm as its first Peggy Browning Fellow. In 2020, he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Mississippi School of Law where he served as a civil rights research assistant and a labor and employment teaching assistant and also founded the Mississippi Workplace Law Society. After graduation, Jay joined the firm as its first associate. In 2022, Jay left the firm to work as a trial attorney for the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

2016 Summer Associate Schuyler Kinneman

Family Lawyer in Kentucky

Schuyler joined the firm as a student associate before we were a part of PBF. In 2016 he was a rising 3L at the University of Mississippi Law School. In six weeks working at the firm, he drafted summary judgment briefs in a disability discrimination case and discovered his passion for litigation. He now works as a family lawyer in Kentucky.

Paralegal Sharon Smith

Sharon gets an honorary spot on this page as the firm's first paralegal. During her years at the firm, Sharon kept Joel in line. She talked to well over 1,000 potential clients looking for help, and despite that call volume, she still took the time to make sure everyone got a fair shot. She's now moved to Maryland to be with family and has a new job caring for people in need. They are very fortunate to have her. We are all still counting on her prayers for us.


This site is for general information only, and creates no attorney-client relationship. Sending inquiries to the firm does not create an attorney-client relationship. By calling or emailing the firm, you are consenting to receive return calls, emails, mailings and text messages from the firm.

To get legal advice about an employment law, labor law, federal employee law, whistleblower protection, labor unions, worker cooperatives, immigration, discrimination, harassment, wrongful termination, severance, or any related question, you must first have a conflicts check by the firm. We represent exclusively workers, worker cooperatives and unions, but we still must check for potential conflicts of interest, for example, between a supervisor and employee.

First provide the firm with your name, and the name of the person you are making claims against. This allows the firm to check for such conflicts of interest. Until you receive confirmation that there is NO CONFLICT, none of the information you provide will be considered confidential. Do NOT provide any confidential information before we have asked you to do so.

Once we have confirmed there is no conflict, you may discuss your matter with staff in a little more detail, and, if requested, make an appointment. If at your appointment the firm accepts you as a client in writing, then the attorney will be able to provide you with employment law advice.