1L Legal Intern, Clean Energy

With world attention on both the environment and the economy, Environmental Defense Fund (EDF) is where policymakers and business leaders turn for win-win solutions. By focusing on strong science, uncommon partnerships and market-based approaches, we tackle urgent threats with practical solutions. We are one of the world’s largest environmental organizations, with more than two million members and a staff of approximately 630 scientists, economists, policy experts, and other professionals around the world. We operate in 22 geographies with unique projects running across four programs. You will be part of a vibrant workplace that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, where innovation and results are a way of life.

This intern will contribute to policy and legal initiatives in the New York City Office under the auspices of EDF’s Clean Energy Program. The intern will perform research and analysis on topics of critical importance, and communicate findings effectively. Electric utilities are poised to invest up to $2 trillion in infrastructure over the next two decades to modernize our aging, inefficient energy infrastructure, creating a once-in-a-century opportunity to revolutionize how we generate, distribute and use electricity. Environmental Defense Fund’s Clean Energy experts are working with state public utility commissions, utilities, policymakers and other key stakeholders to seize this opportunity to modernize our antiquated electricity grid and spur investments in and break down the regulatory and financial barriers to broad-scale adoption of renewable energy, energy efficiency and other innovative ways to generate and use energy.

These approaches can answer the need for power, spur economic development, reduce our carbon footprint and help America gain a global leadership position in the multi-trillion dollar clean energy economy.

The intern’s primary focus is expected to be clean energy initiatives in the state of New York. Policy and legal initiatives of importance during the relevant time frame may include, for example, proceedings at the New York State Public Service Commission, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, or involving New York State Energy Research and development Authority or other New York State regulatory agencies, or negotiations in various fora, relating to utility company business models and regulatory structures, market innovations, state-level greenhouse gas regulation approaches, and incentive structures for clean energy projects to be undertaken by utility or non-utility parties. In addition, the intern may perform research and analysis relevant to the promulgation of innovative clean energy finance programs through legislation or regulation. 

EDF lawyers work collaboratively with colleagues in other offices and other lawyers in the New York office. As such, this intern may also have opportunities to support Clean Energy work in other states and/or work with lawyers with different areas of focus, including attorneys in the Natural Gas program, the U.S. Climate and Air Program, and the Ecosystems Program.

Previous interns have researched, written, and presented legal and policy documents to support federal court litigation, administrative litigation, national and state regulatory proceedings, and various policy venues. For example, research activities have supported: development of legislation to make penalties for oil pollution available for coastal restoration; federal district court litigation over cap-and-trade programs, low carbon fuel standards, and electric transmission planning and wholesale electric markets; recommendations to be made to the Army Corps of Engineers and the EPA to expedite the construction of diversion projects needed for coastal restoration; and FERC proposals pertaining to electric transmission system and wholesale market design.





  • Law students who will have completed their first year of law school are preferred.
  • Excellent research, analytical, writing and advocacy skills with the ability to think strategically and work on fast-paced, dynamic issues.
  • Knowledge of environmental, political, and current affairs
  • Proficient in Outlook, Excel, Word, and Powerpoint.




2018 Summer Internship (10 weeks)





Full-time (35 hours/week)





This is a paid internship, either in whole or in part by EDF, with compensation competitive with leading non-governmental organizations. Students who do not receive external funding will be paid by EDF. Students who receive only partial external funding will receive supplemental funding from EDF.

Students are also encouraged to seek academic credit through their college/university and EDF will ensure that any and all paperwork needed to secure academic credit is completed.



Application Materials


Please complete our online application and upload your résumé, three references, transcripts, legal writing sample, and a cover letter. In your letter please describe your interests in environmental law and policy work, relevant completed course work, whether or not you are able to work for class credit, and if so, how much, and note any work-study or grant money you will be able to provide.

Applications are considered immediately and on a rolling basis.

Environmental Defense Fund is an equal opportunity employer where an applicant's qualifications are considered without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, genetic information, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other basis prohibited by law.