Litigation Team Fall 2022 Intern

Organization icon

Natural Resources Defense Council

Location icon

Washington, DC, United States

Clock icon

30+ days ago


The Natural Resources Defense Council (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 staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others works across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

  • Successfully challenging numerous rollbacks of environmental protections by the Trump administration
  • Safeguarding the people of Flint, Michigan, from exposure to lead in drinking water
    • Successfully defending the protection of 128 million acres in the Arctic and Atlantic Oceans from oil and gas leasing

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking three legal interns to work with the Litigation Team for the fall 2022 semester in our Washington, D.C., San Francisco, CA, and Chicago, IL offices (one intern per office). Since March 2020, NRDC’s physical offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Although our offices may fully re-open this fall, we will continue to support interns with remote working arrangements.

The legal intern selected for this position may participate in writing briefs, drafting complaints, preparing legal analyses, obtaining affidavits, and investigating violations of environmental and health laws. Interns are also invited to participate in litigation planning and strategy meetings. Our interns play an active role on the frontlines to protect our planet and the communities that depend on it.

Legal interns have the choice between receiving academic credit or receiving a stipend of $28/hour for their internship. We can help with applications or other materials that are needed to secure the credit (e.g., preparation of workplans and evaluations, meetings with academic advisors).

The internship will begin in late August or beginning of September and will end before exams. Start and end dates and other scheduling details are negotiable, but we look for a minimum time commitment of two days a week in our office over the course of an academic term. Full-time interns are welcome.
Interns may conduct legal and factual research; write legal memoranda; draft affidavits, legal pleadings, or briefs; and participate in litigation planning and strategy discussions.
You should be in your second or third year of a J.D. program, or in an advanced legal degree (such as an L.L.M.) program. In assessing candidates for the internship, we look for:

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

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of 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. 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.

This internship offers EITHER law school credit OR a stipend of $28/hour.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume, cover letter, copy of law school transcript, a list of at least two references, and a legal writing sample through our online portal. In your cover letter, please indicate which office you are applying to (San Francisco, Washington, D.C., or Chicago). If you are applying to multiple offices, please rank them in order of preference. You will be asked to answer two short Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) questions at the end of the application. Due to the high volume of applications, only qualified candidates will be contacted. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

This posting will be open until August 1, 2022. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply soon.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

For further information about NRDC, please visit