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2015 Summer Law Clerkship

Location: 
Anchorage, AK
Bozeman, MT
Denver, CO
Honolulu, HI
Juneau, AK
New York, NY
Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco, CA
Seattle, WA
Tallahassee, FL
Washington, DC
Department:  Legal
Job Type: 
Clerk, Extern or Intern

Earthjustice is seeking summer law clerks who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.

Our work is currently divided into three major areas: 

  • Protecting Our Natural Heritage focuses on cases that protect endangered species, national forests, national parks, other public lands, water resources, and the oceans. 
  • Safeguarding Our Health focuses on cases that protect public health, in particular clean air and water, toxic chemicals, and mercury. 
  • Promoting a Clean Energy Future focuses on cases that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency while challenging the reliance on coal, oil and other dirty fuels. 

Summer law clerks work with attorneys on case development and litigation. Under the supervision of an attorney, a law clerk’s primary responsibilities are to perform legal and factual research, and to develop case strategy and legal theories. Law clerks may also have the opportunity to assist attorneys with preparing briefs and motions, to meet with clients and experts, to participate in moots of oral arguments, and to attend court proceedings and conferences with opposing counsel. In addition to involvement in ongoing litigation, the summer program includes seminars with attorneys from across the organization on current environmental issues.

The Earthjustice Summer Clerkship position includes a stipend up to a maximum of $6,500, with the stipend amount dependent on the extent of a clerk’s funding from other sources for the summer. Earthjustice will pay $6,500 less the total amount received from other sources. We strongly encourage candidates to pursue outside funding, but the ability to secure outside funding will not be considered as part of the hiring decision. 

Earthjustice has ten regional offices: Alaska (Anchorage and Juneau), California (San Francisco), Florida (Tallahassee), International (San Francisco), Mid-Pacific (Honolulu), Northeast (New York and Philadelphia), Northern Rockies (Bozeman), Northwest (Seattle), Rocky Mountain (Denver), and Washington, D.C. Each of these offices accepts applications for summer law clerks and interested students may apply to multiple offices with one email application.

To learn more about these offices, please see the summaries below.    

TO APPLY

Law students who have a minimum of ten consecutive weeks to commit in the summer of 2015 are eligible to apply by submitting a cover letter, resume, recent writing sample (of no more than ten pages), unofficial transcript, and a list of three references to: jobs@earthjustice.org. Incomplete applications will not be considered.

Please put “2015 Summer Law Clerk: [preferred Earthjustice office(s), if any]” in the email subject line. Students who wish to apply to multiple Earthjustice offices may submit a single cover letter or attach separate cover letters addressing their interest in individual offices. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE

Applications are accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis. Students are encouraged to apply as early as possible as positions may be filled early in the fall.

OFFICE SUMMARIES

Alaska

The Alaska Office’s docket is focused on protecting the Alaska coastal rain forest, safeguarding America’s Arctic, and conserving the Bering Sea and Gulf of Alaska marine ecosystem. Our work also includes wildlife conservation, protection of lands and waters from mining activities, air and water quality enforcement, and national park and other public lands management. Our clients include national, regional, and local conservation organizations; Alaska Native tribal organizations; Alaskan communities; ecotourism businesses; and other organizations concerned about enforcing the laws to protect the environment.

Both locations of the Alaska Office—Juneau and Anchorage—offer breathtaking scenery and outstanding access to wilderness and recreational opportunities. The long daylight hours make summer the ideal time to experience and appreciate Alaska. 

California Regional

The California Office has undertaken campaigns to protect lands and wildlife, improve air and water quality, promote clean energy and transportation policies, and  ensure that state residents are protected from toxic substances.  The California Regional Office currently has campaigns focusing on Clean Energy, Air Quality in the Central Valley, Pesticides and Health, and land management and conservation in the Sierra Nevada and Bay Delta.  Our attorneys bring a mix of lawsuits under federal environmental laws such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, as well as California statutes, to protect the environment and promote environmental justice.

Florida

The Florida Office focuses on litigation involving water pollution and conservation, public trust waters, wetlands protection, Everglades restoration, clean air, and climate change in federal, state, and administrative courts.  Tallahassee is the state capital and a medium-sized college town with two major state universities.  The city is a regional cultural center and is within a one-hour drive of many pristine rivers and springs, and a half-hour from the St. Marks Wildlife Refuge.  The area provides extraordinary opportunities for canoeing, kayaking, bird watching, and fishing.  Our office is located downtown two blocks from the United States District Courthouse and the Florida Supreme Court.

International 

The International Program uses the power of the law to protect the environment and human health worldwide.  We represent public interest and community groups in international tribunals, domestic courts, and international institutions to defend the right to a healthy environment around the world. Our recent and current work includes advocacy to establish strong standards to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and short-lived climate pollutants; establish the human right to a healthy environment; protect the Arctic environment; promote citizen participation in environmental protection in Latin America; and increase the resilience of the marine environment to the effects of ocean acidification.  Depending on our docket, our summer clerks might draft submissions to US courts or international tribunals, write memos in support of litigation in foreign domestic courts, or research issues related to international environmental treaty negotiations.  For some examples of our recent work, visit http://earthjustice.org/about/offices/international.

Mid-Pacific

The Mid-Pacific Office opened in Honolulu in 1988 to protect natural and cultural resources throughout Hawai‘i and the mid-Pacific region. Earthjustice Mid-Pacific is the only non-profit environmental law firm in the state of Hawai‘i.  Our office works with local and national groups on a range of environmental, cultural, public health and disclosure, and clean energy issues. Our attorneys use law and community advocacy to protect fragile Native marine and island ecosystems, restore water and cultural rights of local and Native Hawaiian communities, defend communities from the impacts of genetically engineered crops and associated pesticides, and promote a clean energy model of the future.

Northeast

The staff of the Northeast Office work to address the serious health and environmental threats associated with fracking, coal-burning power plants, toxic chemicals, and other sources of pollution.  The Northeast Office continues efforts to head off the fracking boom in regions surrounding the Marcellus and Utica shales, including defending the rights of municipalities to enact zoning restrictions on oil and gas development.  The Northeast Office also plays a key role in Earthjustice’s work to phase out coal-fired power plants, the country’s single biggest source of climate change pollution, toxic air and water pollution, and industrial waste.  In addition, we fight to secure stronger protections of farmworkers from exposure to dangerous pesticides, tighter regulations of factory farms, and safeguards for overburdened communities that are impacted by chemical contamination of their air and water.

Northern Rockies

The Northern Rockies Office—staffed by five attorneys, a litigation assistant, and an office manager—is engaged in a regional, ecosystem-based litigation program focused on protecting wild public lands in the Northern Rockies from industrial development; safeguarding some of America’s last remaining grizzly bears, wolves, bison and other wildlife; restoring the region’s rivers, streams, and native fish runs; and stemming the mining and burning of coal that feeds global warming.  In recent years, the work of the Northern Rockies office has increasingly touched on Native American interests and issues of Indian law, including work to restore wild bison to tribal lands; to oppose oil and gas exploration on public national forest lands of extreme cultural and spiritual importance to the Blackfeet people; and to halt a state proposal to open a massive new coal mine on lands significant to the Northern Cheyenne in southeast Montana.

Northwest

The Northwest Office opened in 1987 to enable Earthjustice to take a more active role in preserving the unique natural resources and environment of the Pacific Northwest. Since that time, the Northwest office has undertaken campaigns to protect old growth forests, promote salmon recovery, improve water quality, protect Puget Sound and the communities that depend on it, stop coal-fired power plants, protect farmworkers and their families from pesticides, and respond to climate change, among other things. Although the primary focus of the Northwest office is representing environmental and citizens’ groups in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, we often take cases with national and international scope. 

Rocky Mountain

The Rocky Mountain Office opened in 1973 and was Earthjustice’s first regional office. More national parks and monuments are concentrated in the Rocky Mountains, the Colorado Plateau, and the Desert Southwest than in any other part of the country. The Rocky Mountain Office protects these renowned landscapes and other prized public lands throughout Colorado, Utah, Arizona, and New Mexico. The Office also safeguards the region’s precious water resources, including the mighty Colorado River, from being overdrawn. In addition, the Rocky Mountain Office has a robust energy practice that seeks to reduce the impacts of oil and gas development, decrease our dependence on coal and other dirty fossil fuels, and promote the growth of clean renewable energy sources. We represent a wide variety of national, regional, and local environmental organizations; and in some cases we work in close partnership with American Indian tribes. 

Washington, DC

Earthjustice's Washington, D.C., office serves both as a regional office for issues arising in the mid-Atlantic states, and as a center for litigation on important national environmental issues. The D.C. office's docket currently includes litigation to: protect public health and the environment from air pollution; prompt the regulation and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; protect streams, wetlands, drinking water supplies, and other waters from pollution and outright destruction; compel the federal government to improve its management and protection of our ocean resources; advance energy efficiency; and challenge the federal government's practice of allowing mountaintop removal mining in the Appalachian region.

Our Values

Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected.

As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

About Earthjustice

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.