NELA and The Institute are profoundly saddened by the passing of our Founder and first Executive Director Paul H. Tobias. Today we lost a giant, not just in plaintiffs’ employment law, but in the profession as a whole.
Paul was a visionary with tremendous compassion for working people, and he, along with a few of his colleagues, conceptualized a nationwide network to support attorneys who advocate for workers. With a handshake and an encouraging word for everyone who joined the fight, Paul spread the Just Cause Conspiracy. More than three decades later, NELA is the largest plaintiffs’ employment bar in the country, with more than 2,000 members and 69 state and local affiliates.
Paul’s belief that great things can be accomplished through a spirit of collaboration and community will continue to serve as our guiding light. He captured people’s imagination about what the workers’ rights community could accomplish together if we shared our knowledge and resources. He leaves a legacy that drives us all to work harder for equity and justice in the workplace. For that, and for his kind and generous nature, he will be greatly missed.
We will be in touch with information on a celebration of Paul’s life for the NELA and Institute family. We will also set up a tribute page on our website to honor the influence and impact he had on our work and our lives. At that time, we will invite you to share your comments and stories with us, which we will collect and share with Paul’s family.
Our hearts are with those who were uplifted by Paul: his family, friends, colleagues, and the thousands of workers Paul helped during his career. We share in your grief and are so grateful for the opportunity to walk with this remarkable person.
Rest in Power, Paul.