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Post-Grad Legal Fellowship, Coal Program

Chicago, IL
Philadelphia, PA
Washington, DC
Department:  Litigation

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Earthjustice’s Coal Program, which uses litigation and advocacy to challenge the coal industry’s harmful impacts on people and the environment and to speed our nation’s transition to clean energy, is now accepting applications for candidates interested in seeking post-graduate legal fellowships funded through the Equal Justice Works or Skadden programs, a law school, or other sources to commence in the fall of 2018. The position would be based in our Philadelphia, PA or Washington, DC offices, or in Chicago, IL.  Qualifying applications will be for a one- or two-year project, to commence in the fall of 2018, with a preference for projects focusing on environmental issues affecting communities of color, low-income people, and other vulnerable populations.

Our Work: The fellowship attorney will work closely with experienced Earthjustice attorneys in challenging our nation’s reliance on aging coal-fired power plants, and to speed the transition to clean energy resources. A core part of that work has been seeking to ensure that communities are not left with the toxic legacy of unsafe coal ash disposal that threatens public health and water supplies at nearly 1,400 sites in the U.S.  We also work to require the promulgation of stringent environmental standards to reduce pollution from coal plants, defend those standards after they are issued, and bring permitting and enforcement actions to ensure that environmental standards are faithfully implemented. In addition, we litigate in state public utility commissions to halt proposed investments in aging and uneconomic coal plants and to shift such investments to clean energy resources. The Fellow will work closely with staff attorneys and clients to develop and implement litigation and advocacy strategies, and will participate in the full range of tasks involved, such as factual investigation, legal research, discovery, briefing, witness preparation, and oral advocacy.

Who We Are Looking For: Earthjustice seeks highly qualified candidates who possess outstanding legal research and writing skills and are interested in working as a fellow for at least one year. Applicants should be third-year law students, judicial clerks, or other recent law school graduates who are eligible for post-graduate fellowships. Applicants should have a strong academic record, strong work ethic and sense of initiative, strong interest in working on environmental issues in a social justice context, sound and creative judgment, an ability to work well in a collegial setting, and a demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.

Acquiring Fellowship Funding: If selected by Earthjustice, the candidate will be responsible for securing funding through a fellowship, as Earthjustice is unable provide compensation for this position. Candidates should identify potential sources of funding before applying but do not need to have secured such funding at the time of their application. Please note that deadlines for applying for third-party funding vary based on source.

Applications to the fellowship programs are due as early as September 2017. For more information about Equal Justice Works, click here. For more information about Skadden, click here. Law school or other external fellowship funding sources are welcome.

To Apply 

Interested applicants should submit their:

  • Cover Letter. If your fellowship will necessitate identifying a specific project proposal, please note in your cover letter if you have an idea for a possible fellowship proposal (optional to include a short description, no longer than 1 page), and/or if you are interested in developing a project jointly with Earthjustice.
  • Resume
  • Writing Sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum
  • Law school transcript

Applications to Earthjustice, to serve as the host of the project, will be accepted on a rolling basis until candidates are selected.  Applicants who wish to seek fellowships through the Equal Justice Works or Skadden programs should apply to Earthjustice no later than September 8, 2017.

Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.

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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.

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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, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.