Policy Externship

Climate and Energy Washington, District Of Columbia

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 and supporters 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, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

Earthjustice is accepting applications for a full- or part-time externship position in its Washington, D.C., office during fall or spring semesters. This position is designed for a current undergraduate student who can earn academic credit for 20–40 hours per week of work in our D.C. office on a variety of energy and environmental litigation and policy projects. The position will be based within the Clean Energy program, and will also receive assignments from other litigation areas within the D.C. office, the policy and legislation department, and/or the communications department.

Earthjustice’s Clean Energy Program, which is headquartered in our Washington, D.C. Office, aims to accelerate the transition to 100% clean energy. Earthjustice has a longstanding track record of success with our litigation and advocacy to reduce dependence on dirty fossil fuels and increase reliance on clean energy resources, including energy efficiency, solar, wind, demand response, and storage. Earthjustice’s Washington, D.C. Office also 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, including challenging the Trump Administration’s attempts to roll back and delay environmental regulations; limiting pollution in disproportionately impacted communities; protecting public lands and waters, and moving  toward a clean energy future. The litigation teams in the Washington, D.C. office collaborate closely with the Policy and Legislation Office that is located at a separate location in Washington D.C. For more information about the office’s work, visit: https://earthjustice.org/about/offices/clean-energy (Clean Energy program) http://earthjustice.org/about/offices/dc (D.C. regional efforts)
https://earthjustice.org/about/offices/pal (Policy and Legislation office)


Under the supervision of an attorney, an extern’s primary responsibilities are to:

  • Perform scientific, policy, or other factual research to support policy positions, litigation strategy, and communication and advocacy initiatives
  • Draft policy papers or documents to facilitate media or legislative outreach
  • Prepare charts, graphs, and other visual representations of data and information to support litigation, communication or Hill outreach strategies
  • Support events convened by Earthjustice in Washington D.C., including meetings with community-based groups, visits to Congress by affected stakeholders, demonstrations, conferences, and so on.
  • Observe and serve as a note-taker at court hearings or other litigation events, as relevant.
  • Perform a minimal level of clerical duties

To Apply:

Applications are welcome from current undergraduate students who can earn academic credit for the externship. Earthjustice does not offer compensation, salary, or benefits for externs.

Candidates interested in the Washington, D.C., position should submit their:

  • Cover letter, stating the applicant’s dates of availability and describing the applicant’s status as a current undergraduate student. The cover letter should also make clear that the applicant would be participating in the externship for academic credit at his/her undergraduate institution. The best cover letters are one page, address why the applicant wants to work for Earthjustice, and provide information about the applicant that is not apparent or fully explained in the resume.
  • Resume.
  • Unofficial undergraduate school transcript.
  • Writing sample of no more than 5 pages, drafted exclusively by the applicant.
  • List of 3 professional references.

Application Deadlines:

All applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For a spring externship position, please apply no later than December 1. For a fall externship position, please apply no later than September 1.

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

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.