Summer 2024 Legal Intern

National Resources Defense Council
1152 15th St NW #300
Washington, D.C., DC 20005
United States
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 Beijing; Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New Delhi; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; and Washington, D.C.


Position Summary

NRDC is seeking to hire a cohort of Summer Legal Interns to work on cases and projects with attorneys on our Litigation Team and within core issue areas (Human Health, Equity & Justice, Climate & Energy, and Wildlife).  Intern positions are available in our New York, D.C., Chicago, Santa Monica, and San Francisco offices.   


This posting is specifically for:

Full-time law students in their 2L year and

part-time law students who have completed at least one year of coursework and who will not be graduating prior to summer 2024.

You can find more about Summer Legal Internship Program here


There will be a separate posting for 1L positions later this fall, details below.


NRDC’s summer legal interns support a broad range of our legal and policy advocacy. In past summers, intern projects have included researching and preparing legal memos in support of litigation and rulemaking proceedings; interviewing NRDC members and preparing standing declarations; helping draft and review portions of pleadings and briefs; helping prepare comments to submit to administrative agencies or legislative bodies; and helping craft proposed legislation to address environmental and public health problems. Our interns play an active role on the frontlines to protect our planet and the communities that depend upon it.  


This internship is designed for current law school students. Prior experience in environmental law or with environmental issues is not required.  When assessing candidates for the summer internship, we look for:   


  • Strong legal writing, analytical, and oral communication skills;   
  • Experience effectively working on a team;   
  • Creativity and resourcefulness;   
  • Commitment to public service, equity, or justice;   
  • Growth mindset and openness to feedback; 
  • 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.   


A successful candidate need not satisfy all of these criteria. In particular, because a key purpose of our summer legal intern program is to help our interns learn and develop new legal skills, we welcome applicants who have room to grow as legal writers, researchers, and communicators. 


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. Learn more about the steps we are taking to live up to these values here.


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 encourages successful applicants to secure funding from scholarships or their law schools, but such funding is not a factor in selecting interns. NRDC will supplement outside funding to ensure interns receive $10,000 for the 10-week internship.


The incumbent will not qualify as an employee, fellow, volunteer, or independent contractor of NRDC, nor will the incumbent be guaranteed employment at the end of the internship term. 


Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCer's flexibility, and we encourage them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues.  


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. NRDC treats all vaccination-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws. 


1152 15th St NW #300
Washington, D.C. DC 20005
United States