Legal Externship, International Program

International Program San Francisco, California

Earthjustice’s International Program is now accepting applications for full- or part-time legal externs for the winter/spring academic term. Applicants should indicate on their cover letter if they need a decision by a certain date.

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.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving significant, lasting environmental protections. We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Miami and Washington, DC.

This position is designed for current law students who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment who are seeking academic credit for the winter/spring academic term. Applicants are expected to work on a variety of litigation and legal advocacy projects for a minimum of 20 hours per week.

Earthjustice’s International Program was founded on the belief that people everywhere have the right to a healthy, sustainable environment.  We recognize that the impacts of climate change fall disproportionately on vulnerable communities, and International Program staff work with organizations and communities around the world to defend the rights of local communities affected by environmental harm, protect the environment, combat climate change, and facilitate an equitable transition to clean energy.  We work to establish, strengthen, and enforce national and international legal protections for the environment and public health using innovative strategies and strong community partnerships to develop and implement domestic and international approaches to stop some of the world’s most damaging fossil fuel projects, and to facilitate the increased deployment of clean energy.


Legal externs work under the direct supervision of attorneys in the development and implementation of legal strategies to combat some of the most pressing threats to the environment around the world.  Under the supervision of an attorney, legal externs’ primary responsibilities are to conduct legal and policy research, and draft legal documents.  Depending on our docket, externs might:

  • Draft submissions to US or foreign courts or international tribunals,
  • Draft petitions to international environmental or human rights bodies,
  • Write memos or briefs in support of litigation in US or foreign domestic courts,
  • Research issues related to US, foreign domestic, and international environmental and human rights law, and/or
  • Develop public outreach materials, such as press releases and blog posts. 


  • Currently enrolled in law school.
  • Excellent research, analytic and writing skills.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Initiative, creative thinking and the ability to work collegially with others.
  • Commitment of at least 20 hours a week.

Although not required, the ideal candidate will have:

  • A demonstrated commitment to or interest in international and/or environmental issues, social justice, or environmental justice.
  • Experience working in cross-cultural settings.
  • Coursework or job-related experience in international or international environmental law

To Apply

Interested applicants are requested to submit the following materials:

  • Resume.
  • Cover letter. The best cover letters are one page, address why the applicant wants to work for the International Program, and provide information about the applicant that is not apparent or fully explained in the resume.
  • Recent writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum of no more than ten pages, that has not been edited by another person.
  • Unofficial transcript. If your transcript does not include the classes you are registered for or intend to take, please provide a list.
  • List of three references.

Incomplete applications will not be considered. If you’re having technical difficulties submitting your application, please contact

Applications are accepted and offers are made on a rolling basis, so please submit as soon as possible. We will typically choose externs 1 month prior to the start of the applicable academic term. Applicants should indicate on their cover letter if they need a decision by a certain date.


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, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco:  Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.