Law Clerk Program
Earthjustice provides a training ground for law students interested in using their skills to advocate for a clean and healthful environment through our law clerk programs in each regional office.
Summer Clerk Program
During the summer months, students from law schools across the country participate as interns in every aspect of Earthjustice's litigation and environmental advocacy program. Each clerk has the opportunity to work with several attorneys on case development and litigation. Students may draft pleadings and briefs, do legal research, develop strategy and legal theories, gather evidence, and attend client meetings and court proceedings. The summer clerk program also offers students seminars with attorneys in the office and with guest speakers on current environmental issues, as well as opportunities to interact with other local and regional groups active in the environmental community.
Spring and Fall Extern Program
During the fall and spring semesters, student externs can receive full academic credit from participating law schools for time spent working with Earthjustice. This experience exposes students to a wide variety of techniques that are part of a strategic litigation practice and provides an opportunity to explore and understand environmental law. We encourage students to check with their law schools to determine if they can participate in the program.
For currently available positions, visit our Clerkships, Internships, Externships Opportunities.
REGIONAL OFFICE CLERKSHIP PROGRAMS
Alaska - Anchorage and Juneau
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 - Los Angeles
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.
California Regional - San Francisco
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. The California Regional Office in San Francisco generally hires 2Ls.
Coal Program - Philadelphia and Chicago
Our office challenges our nation’s reliance on aging coal-fired power plants, and to speed the transition to clean energy resources. Our docket includes litigation and legal advocacy in three primary areas. First, we work to require the promulgation of stringent environmental standards to reduce pollution from coal plants, and to defend those standards from industry lawsuits. Second, we bring permitting and enforcement actions to ensure that our nation’s environmental standards are faithfully implemented, and that coal plants comply with those standards. Third, 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.
Florida - Tallahassee and Miami
With approximately 700 springs, more than 1,260 miles of coastline (more than any other state in the continental United States), over 7,000 lakes and tens of thousands of miles of rivers and streams, water is the lifeblood of Florida. In 2014 alone, over 97 million people visited Florida to enjoy its beaches, fishing, attractions, and natural areas. But its beauty has also invited its exploitation and pollution by industry and development. That’s why for the last 25 years, Earthjustice has fought to protect Florida’s waters and wild places for all people to enjoy in federal, state and administrative courts. The Florida Office fights for public ownership and access to Florida’s waters, defends the public’s right to enjoy Florida’s beautiful places, stands with communities threatened by pollution, protects the Everglades, preserves wild lands and species, works to clean up our waterways and hold polluters accountable, and aims to move Florida to a clean energy future.
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.
Mid-Pacific - Honolulu
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 - New York
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 - Bozeman
The Northern Rockies Office 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 - Seattle
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.
Oceans Program - Seattle and San Francisco
The Earthjustice Oceans Program has used the power of law for fourteen years to end overfishing and protect ocean ecosystems, to safeguard iconic marine wildlife, and to build resilience to the impacts of climate change in marine habitats. The Oceans Program is staffed by six attorneys and a litigation assistant, working on both coasts, in three Earthjustice offices. We partner with conservation groups, fishing communities, and international organizations to play a key role in enforcing domestic laws and engaging in intergovernmental processes in order to compel better stewardship of the oceans.
Rocky Mountain - Denver
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.
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.
Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, inclusion, 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.
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.