Sutherland Environmental scholarship available to law students

Two year grant of up to $12,000 annually


Shavonne Saroyan, Earthjustice 510-550-6700

Today Earthjustice called for applicants for a scholarship fund available to new lawyers who have graduated from law school within three years of applying for this fellowship, have significant outstanding student loans, are currently employed by a 501 C (3) or (4) organization or have accepted an offer of employment from a 501 C (3) or (4) organization. Socio-economically disadvantaged persons with demonstrated financial needs are strongly preferred. The fellowship is a two-year grant of up to $12,000 annually.

Rick Sutherland was a central figure in the creation of the Sierra Club Legal Defense Fund, now Earthjustice. Earthjustice is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to protecting the magnificent places, natural resources, and wildlife of this earth and to defending the right of all people to a healthy environment. We bring about far-reaching change by enforcing and strengthening environmental laws on behalf of hundreds of organizations and communities.

To honor Rick’s memory, some staff and friends of Earthjustice created the Rick Sutherland Fellowship Fund shortly after his death in 1991. The stated purpose of the Fund is to “enable socio-economically disadvantaged lawyers with otherwise insufficient financial means to engage in public interest litigation that would benefit the environment through employment with a 501 C (3) or (4) organization”.

If you or anyone in your organization is aware of a lawyer who might qualify for the Rick Sutherland Fellowship, please encourage the person to follow the application process described below. Applications need to be submitted by November 30, 2003 to:

Shavonne Saroyan, Assistant to the President


426 17th Street, 6th Floor

Oakland, California 94612

Fellowships will be announced by the end of January each year.


Application Requirements

Although a formal application form is not required, your application must contain the following information and documentation:

A. A cover letter of no more than two single-spaced pages containing the following information:

1. A brief biography describing your life path, prior jobs and pertinent achievements, the inspiration for your work on environmental issues, and the challenges you faced and overcame in achieving an education and employment with an environmental group.

2. A description of your career goals, together with a statement of how these goals will be advanced by your current employment and can be reconciled with your student loan obligations.

3. A statement as to why you consider yourself socio-economically disadvantaged. This should include your current salary, other financial resources available to you; and your financial and familial obligations. Do not devote much, if any, of your space in this section to your outstanding student loans, as these will be covered in an attachment (see below). Although part of the purpose of the Fellowship is to assist with burdensome educational loans, a heavy loan burden is not in itself sufficient to qualify for a Sutherland Fellowship.

B. Attachments containing the following documentation:

1. A current resume.

2. Current statements from your lenders that show the number and amounts of your student loans, together with current balances and payment schedules.

3. A cover page to this lender documentation with a summary of the loans that will show, in columns, the initial amount of each student loan, the periodic payments required and the current balance, with the total amounts at the foot of each column. Please prepare separate schedules for law school loans and other student loans.

Additional Resources

About Earthjustice

Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. 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 are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.