Litigation Team Spring Intern

16 days ago


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

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Job Description


NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. 


Position Summary:


NRDC is seeking three legal interns to work with the Litigation Team for the spring 2023 semester in our Washington, D.C., San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL offices (one intern per office). The position associated with the San Francisco office will be fully remote; applicants need not be based in California but, if selected, will be asked to work during standard U.S. time zones. The positions associated with the Washington, D.C. and Chicago offices may be a mix of in-person and remote, depending on NRDC’s COVID-19 policies at that time (see additional details below).


The Litigation Team is a group of approximately 40 lawyers, litigation assistants and other operations staff who pursue litigation across a broad range of environmental and public health issues, in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including Black, indigenous, and people of color, and low-income and rural communities). Over the past five years, we have litigated cases against the federal government to prevent climate pollution, challenge agency approvals of toxic chemicals and pesticides, resist the suspension of clean water safeguards, oppose offshore drilling and seismic exploration for oil and gas, defend national monuments, and protect energy efficiency standards, among other matters. We also bring enforcement cases against corporate and governmental entities whose violations harm human health and the environment—including recent cases to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.   


The legal interns selected for this position play an active role on the frontlines to protect our planet and the communities that depend on it. Our interns do concrete work in support of our active litigation, including substantive writing and research, and collaborate with NRDC Litigation attorneys.


Legal interns will earn a stipend that is equivalent to $28/hour which will be paid bi-weekly throughout the internship. We will also help with applications or other materials that are needed to secure academic credit (e.g., preparation of workplans and evaluations, meetings with academic advisors). 


The internship will begin at the start of the intern’s spring semester, depending on their school’s schedule, and will end before exams. Start and end dates and other scheduling details are negotiable, but we look for a minimum time commitment of two days a week over the course of an academic term.  Full-time interns are welcome. 


The most common intern assignments are legal memos, sometimes coupled with informal oral presentations to case teams. Interns may also, depending on assignment availability and interest, contribute to the drafting of other litigation documents such as briefs and complaints. Interns are also invited to participate in litigation planning and strategy meetings.


You should be in your second or third year of a J.D. program. In assessing candidates for the internship, we look for: 

  • Strong legal writing and analytical skills; 
  • Strong oral communication skills; 
  • Experience effectively working on a team; 
  • Creativity and resourcefulness; 
  • Commitment to public service, equity, or justice; 
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people across different social identities and backgrounds; 
  • Record of academic and/or professional accomplishment; and
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. 


We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


NRDC’s offices closed in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. As of September 2022, staff have the option of working in person, continuing to work remotely, or a hybrid of both. Under current NRDC remote-work policies—which may change in the future—the interns associated with the Washington, D.C. and Chicago, IL offices will be given the same flexibility to work in person, remotely, or on a hybrid model. The position associated with the San Francisco office will be fully remote.


As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws. 

To apply, please visit and upload your resume, cover letter, copy of law school transcript, a list of at least two references, and a legal writing sample through our online portal. In your cover letter, which you may address to the hiring manager, please indicate which office you are applying to (Washington, D.C., Chicago, or remote). If you are applying to multiple offices, please rank them in order of preference. You will be asked to answer two short Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) questions at the end of the application. Due to the high volume of applications, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting.

This posting will be open until December 15, 2022. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with preference given to applications submitted before December 1.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.


For further information about NRDC, please visit

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

View Company Profile