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Fall Legal Extern

Santa Monica, CA
Full Time
Job #: 2019-4275

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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action 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 a safe and healthy environment for all living things. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.

NRDC is seeking a legal extern to work with the Environmental Justice team in our Santa Monica office. The externship may be part-time or full-time with a start date of September 1 until December 2019.

NRDC seeks candidates who are eligible for academic credit, or outside funding such as law school work-study or postgraduate fellowship funding, to support their externship work. NRDC will work with successful candidates to complete any paperwork necessary to help secure available credit or funding.

The legal extern will work under the supervision of Environmental Justice team attorneys in case development, litigation prep, and policy development. The litigation and policy objectives will include working in collaboration with and on behalf of environmental justice communities to address the disproportionate burdens placed on low-income communities of color, with a focus on air quality and public health in the LA region. The extern will be given tasks that will help them develop their ability to conduct legal research, review documents, distill and disseminate information to other attorneys and non-legal frontline partners, and draft sections of legal documents. Their work-product will be reviewed to provide them with concrete and constructive feedback

The externship is designed for current law students or recent law school graduates. In assessing candidates, we will look for:
  • Exceptional legal writing and analytical skills;
  • Strong oral communication skills;
  • Enthusiasm for teamwork;
  • Creativity and resourcefulness;
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, social justice, and/or environmental justice;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people across different social identities and backgrounds; and
  • Record of academic and/or professional accomplishment.

Candidates should be comfortable with legal research. Candidates must be committed to environmental justice and/or social justice work, principles, and values, and must be excited to work alongside NRDC’s coalition partners and understand NRDC’s role within these coalitions. Experience working with frontline communities and/or low-income communities of color is a plus.

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