Litigation Fellow

Natural Resources Defense Council San Francisco , CA 94118

Posted 7 days ago


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.

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking three attorneys to serve two-year fellowships with NRDC's Litigation Team in our offices in San Francisco, Chicago, and New York.


The Litigation Fellows will join NRDC's Litigation Team and represent NRDC and coalition partners in complex civil litigation to protect public health and the environment. The Litigation Team is a group of approximately thirty attorneys and six paralegals/litigation assistants who work in and collaborate across several NRDC offices.

The Team pursues litigation across a broad range of environmental, public health, and environmental justice issues. For example, the Team has brought lawsuits resisting the Trump Administration's efforts to dismantle environmental protections, including cases defending the National Monuments and challenging the suspension of the Clean Water Rule. In recent years, the Team has also brought cases to safeguard the people of Flint, Michigan and Newark, New Jersey from continued exposure to lead in drinking water; remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River; and abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma.

The Litigation Fellow will work with other members of the Litigation Team and under the supervision of senior attorneys to develop and pursue litigation on behalf of NRDC and its strategic partners. This litigation may include, for example, ongoing challenges to the Trump Administration's rollback of environmental and public health advances; working in collaboration with and on behalf of environmental justice communities to address the disproportionate burdens placed on vulnerable populations; and cases to protect marine mammals from harmful ocean noise, to uphold federal carbon pollution standards for fossil-fueled power plants, and to inform consumers about and limit the presence of dangerous chemicals in food and water.


The fellowship is designed for recent law school graduates. In assessing candidates, we look for:

  • Exceptional legal writing and analytical skills

  • Strong oral communication skills

  • Enthusiasm for teamwork

  • Openness to working with people from different backgrounds

  • Demonstrated commitment to public service or social justice work

  • Record of academic or professional accomplishment

We favor candidates who have significant hands-on litigation experience (for example, clinical or judicial clerkship experience). We also welcome opportunities to enhance the diversity of NRDC's staff.

Successful candidates must be either already admitted to the bar of the jurisdiction in which they wish to work, or willing to complete the requirements for admission to that bar (including taking a bar exam).

To apply, please submit a resume, cover letter, transcript, and a legal writing sample. Please indicate in your cover letter which NRDC office locations your would like to join - San Francisco, Chicago, or New York.

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

To apply, please visit and upload your application through our online portal. 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.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, please reach out to Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

For further information about NRDC, please visit

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