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Public Interest Environmental Law Fellow

Washington (Remote Initially) DC

Requisition ID: 1048


Since 1999, the Environmental Law Institute has awarded a prestigious annual fellowship for outstanding recent law school graduates. Past law fellows have gone on to judicial clerkships and attorney positions in environmental advocacy organizations, academia, federal agencies, and law firms. This one-year fellowship will begin in September 2021.

The Public Interest Law Fellow works closely with other ELI attorneys and professionals, including our U.S. and international partners, to advance environmental protection, the rule of law, and environmental justice. The work frequently requires considering how environmental protection is affected by other laws and policies that are related to environment and society — e.g., those governing energy, taxation, land use, human rights, and governance and administration.

Given the Covid-19 public health emergency and ELI’s commitment to prioritizing the health and wellness of its employees, this position will initially be teleworking only. However, once ELI resumes a normal in-office staff presence, this position will be based in our Washington, DC office.



The law fellow is expected to assume substantial responsibility and will work collaboratively with other ELI professional staff in a team approach. Assignments include legal and public policy research, writing, and collaboration across all substantive ELI program areas. More specifically, the Public Interest Law Fellow:

Analyzes existing legal and public policy tools and crafts innovative approaches to advance environmental protection and environmental justice in multiple US and international settings.

Works with ELI staff and other professionals to develop and implement professional projects and programs consistent with ELI’s mission.

Represents the Institute publicly as needed to communicate and foster particular programs and projects.

Assists in facilitating training activities and may be asked to make public presentations.

Coordinates Research Associates and/or Research & Policy Interns on tasks related to specific programs (but does not formally supervise them).



The fellowship hiring process is rigorous and highly competitive. Applicants must have a top academic record and exhibit superior legal research and writing skills. Law review or equivalent experience is preferred; foreign language skills are a plus. The fellowship is awarded to a recent law school graduate (judicial law clerks are invited to apply). The one-year position begins in September of each year.


Required competencies, knowledge, skills, and abilities include:

Broad knowledge of and experience in environmental, energy, or natural resource law and policy

Excellent skills in policy and legal research, analytical writing, and verbal communication

Proficiency with standard office software, including Microsoft Office

Demonstrated ability to: represent ELI publicly in a manner consistent with our mission and values; manage people and projects effectively and efficiently while producing high quality deliverables; collaborate effectively with others; establish and adhere to deadlines; effectively manage multiple projects; and establish priorities with moderate supervision



Domestic and/or international travel may be required on occasion. The location, duration, and frequency of travel varies among work projects.



$50,000 annual salary, with excellent benefits including:

Health/Dental/Vision insurance

Flexible Spending Account

Employer paid life insurance & disability insurance

Long Term Care insurance

Pre-tax transportation benefit

Fitness Incentive

403(b) Retirement Savings Account with employer match

Paid time off



Submit an application package via ELI's online application system.


Note that your submission must contain the following uploaded documents (Word or PDF format), as follows:

a cover letter and resume, combined into a single document;

a law school transcript;

Identification of three professional references; and

a writing sample of approximately ten (but no more than 15) pages.


Applications must be submitted no later than 11:59 pm EST on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. You must use ELI’s online application system; ELI cannot accept applications submitted by email, USPS or other shipping service, or hand delivery. No phone calls, please.



Posted November 17, 2020

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