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Spring 2022 Legal Externship / Volunteer Opportunity – Drinking Water

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Dec 23, 2021

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Earthjustice’s Northeast Regional office is accepting applications for part- or full-time legal externs and volunteers for Spring 2022 to work on issues related to safe drinking water. We are seeking current law students who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment and, preferably, are eligible to receive academic credit for the externship. The successful candidate will work remotely.


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, supporters, and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Access to safe and affordable drinking water is a matter of serious concern for the health and well-being of people across the country, and in particular, communities of color and low-wealth communities. Our country is experiencing many drinking water crises at the same time, which speaks to the need for both acute action on individual crises as well as the need for broader regulatory reforms. We are currently exploring more opportunities to ensure access to safe and affordable drinking water for all.


Earthjustice works with communities and other partners throughout the country to advocate for access to safe and affordable drinking water. Earthjustice’s recent drinking water work has included: filing a lawsuit and other legal advocacy concerning the Trump Administration’s revisions to the Lead and Copper Rule of the Safe Drinking Water Act; state advocacy to set limits for drinking water on per and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS), require monitoring of PFAS in industrial discharges, and limit use of PFAS-containing firefighting foam and gear; litigation seeking to allow persons who drank PFAS-contaminated water to obtain paid-for medical monitoring for correlated medical effects; coauthoring comments to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) advocating for steps to be taken during inspection to protect federal housing residents from unsafe water; working in various coalitions advocating for affordable and accessible drinking water, including prohibiting water shut-offs for failure to pay bills during Covid; and advocacy for increased funding and equitable distribution of funds for water infrastructure in federal infrastructure bills.




Under the supervision of an attorney, the extern/volunteer will work in the development and prosecution of litigation and other advocacy. The successful candidate will participate in a variety of tasks, such as assisting in case investigation, including factual and legal research, and possibly preparation of memoranda, briefs, and other legal documents for administrative and judicial proceedings.



  • Currently enrolled in law school.
  • Commitment of at least 12 hours per week for 10-12 weeks for volunteers and 10-16 weeks for legal externs.
  • Excellent writing, research, analytical and organizational skills.
  • Familiarity with legal research tools, including Westlaw.
  • Strong work ethic, initiative, and ability to think creatively.
  • Ability to work collegially with others and independently.
  • Significant knowledge of environmental and administrative law is a plus.
  • Demonstrated interest in environmental protection and environmental justice preferred.



Legal externs are unpaid and must receive academic credit or fulfill a graduation requirement for their work with Earthjustice. Volunteers are not compensated with pay or academic credit.


To Apply:


Interested candidates should submit the following materials at

  • One-page cover letter that addresses:Why you want to work with Earthjustice on safe drinking water issues,
    Whether you are able to receive academic credit for your work with Earthjustice or are only able to volunteer,
    The number of hours, or a reasonable estimate, you are available to work per week,
    Any information about yourself that is not apparent or fully explained in your resume, and
    An indication of any applicable deadlines or requirements that are relevant to your submission or ability to accept an offer.
  • Resume
  • Unofficial law school transcript
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal memorandum less than ten pages that primarily reflects your work
  • List of references, including at least one law professor or legal employer

Incomplete applications will not be considered. Applications will be accepted until January 5, 2022.


Please note that this job posting for a legal externship / volunteer opportunity and does NOT cover summer positions; there is a separate application process for applicants interested in summer clerkships with Earthjustice.


Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies. Earthjustice only considers applications submitted for current openings via Jobvite. Unsolicited resumes or resumes for posted positions that are not submitted via Jobvite will not be reviewed or retained.


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.

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