Tribal Partnerships Law Clerkship, Summer 2020

Law Clerks - Nationwide


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 those who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.  Our headquarters are in San Francisco with fourteen offices across the U.S.

The Tribal Partnerships Program aims to make Earthjustice a better resource for our tribal and Indigenous clients and to elevate their voices. The Program focuses on litigation, advocacy, and outreach strategies throughout all of Earthjustice to reach this goal. 

The Tribal Partnerships summer clerk will work with attorneys in the Tribal Partnerships Program to conduct legal research, produce legal writing, and help develop outreach and partnership strategies.  This position can be based either in our Rocky Mountain Office in Denver, Colorado or the Northwest Office in Seattle, Washington. 

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.

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.

Although the position is based in either our Rocky Mountain Office or the Northwest Office, the Tribal Partnerships summer clerk will work on a variety of regional and national issues.

Responsibilities

Earthjustice’s work is currently divided into three major areas:

  • Lands, Wildlife, and Oceans focuses on cases that protect endangered species, national forests, national parks, other public lands, water resources, and the oceans.
  • Healthy Communities focuses on cases that protect public health, in particular clean air and water, toxic chemicals, and mercury. Recently, this work has also focused on food and agriculture, and the rights of farm workers.
  • Climate and Energy focuses on cases that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency while challenging the reliance on coal, oil and other dirty fuels.

Summer law clerks work with attorneys on case development and litigation. Under the supervision of an attorney, a law clerk’s primary responsibilities are to perform legal and factual research, and to develop case strategy and legal theories. Law clerks may also have the opportunity to assist attorneys with preparing briefs and motions, to meet with clients and experts, to participate in moots of oral arguments, and to attend court proceedings and conferences with opposing counsel. In addition to involvement in ongoing litigation, the summer program includes seminars with attorneys from across the organization on current environmental issues.

The Earthjustice Summer Clerkship position includes a weekly stipend of $1,040 a week, with the average clerkship lasting 10 weeks (approximately $10,400 total). The total stipend amount will be dependent on the extent of a clerk’s ability to secure outside funding. Earthjustice will pay $1,040 a week less the total amount received from other sources. We strongly encourage candidates to pursue outside funding, but the ability to secure outside funding will not be considered as part of the hiring decision.

To Apply

Law students who have a minimum of ten weeks to commit in the summer are eligible to apply.  Interested applicants should submit their:

  • Cover letter. The best cover letters are one page and 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
  • Recent writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum of no more than ten pages that primarily reflects your work.
  • Unofficial transcript
  • List of three references

Incomplete applications will not be considered. 

If you’re having technical difficulties submitting your application, please reach out to jobs@earthjustice.org

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.