Climate Risk and Financial Regulations Legal Fellow

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 700 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 where innovation and results are a way of life.


EDF envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We seek talented candidates who share our Core Values of Respect, Results, Innovation, Optimism, and Integrity, and support our Commitment to Diversity.  

EDF offers internships and fellowships for students and recent graduates in a variety of programs and departments throughout the organization. The ultimate goal of our internship and fellowship program is to provide high-quality experiences (including relevant projects and opportunities for networking) that form the foundation for any individual who is serious about pursuing an environmental career.


Program Overview

The U.S. Clean Air team envisions a world in which people from all backgrounds and experiences feel connected to the environmental challenges we face and are engaged in creating durable, equitable solutions. We are dedicated to achieving that vision in our work, helping achieve clean air for all. The U.S. Clean Air team works out of the Washington, D.C., and Boulder, CO offices.


Legal Fellows on the U.S. Clean Air team contribute meaningfully to the team’s work securing clean air and climate protections. We aim to make our Legal Fellows’ experience relevant, challenging, and rewarding. Our Legal Fellows have directly contributed towards landmark cases over the years and have supported activities including: U.S. Supreme Court litigation, D.C. Circuit litigation over greenhouse gas regulation under the Clean Air Act, major international agreements and guidelines regarding trans-boundary pollution control programs in the U.S./Mexico border region, and projects that work towards ensuring protections for low-income and frontline communities from air pollution. Legal Fellows work in a high-intensity, fast-paced, multi-disciplinary setting to formulate and implement strategies, laws, and policies.


Overall Function

The Legal Fellow will primarily work on federal projects and cases aimed at reducing climate-destabilizing emissions and revealing the consequences of climate change across the U.S. economy. The work will include a heavy emphasis on financial sector regulation and electric sector regulation. The Legal Fellow will focus on activity and action before entities including the Department of Labor (DOL), Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), other financial regulators, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Department of Energy (DOE), and state regulatory counterparts. The Legal Fellow will also focus on litigation and advancing legal theory. The Legal Fellow will also engage on environmental justice engagements, with particular focus on addressing the disparate impacts of climate change. As a member of the U.S. Clean Air team, the legal fellow may also be asked to support our other efforts to reduce air pollution from power plants and other major sources through litigation, regulatory advocacy, and legislation.


Key Responsibilities

Tasks may include but are not limited to:

  • Conduct legal and factual research on climate and clean air issues.
  • Contribute to litigation filings and administrative comments.
  • Assess the impacts of recent court decisions on U.S. Clean Air team priorities.
  • Evaluate the health and environmental implications of pending legislation.
  • Draft public-facing documents such as fact sheets and blog posts about legal issues.
  • Represent EDF at public hearings before government agencies.
  • Provide other support to the team’s litigation efforts and regulatory advocacy.
  • Support environmental justice initiatives, particularly those related to addressing the disparate impacts of climate change.
  • Engage in regulatory and administrative proceedings.



We seek recent law school graduates and recent law clerks interested in working on cutting edge regional, national, and international climate and energy issues. Other qualifications include:

  • Licensed to practice law or actively seeking admission to Bar, with background in financial, energy, and administrative law.
  • Familiarity with financial regulators, such as the SEC and DOL.
  • Familiarity with energy and electric regulators and federal entities, such as FERC and DOE.
  • Familiarity with regulatory process and administrative law, financial regulation, and/or energy regulation.
  • Interest and/or experience in common law litigation, including tort law claims related to environmental issues and climate change.
  • Familiarity with Constitutional law, with particular emphasis upon the Supremacy Clause.
  • Interest and/or experience is the intersection between law and science, with particular respect to cliamte change attribution science, climate change science.
  • Interest and/or experience in financial law, particularly at the intersection between finance climate change.
  • Ability to collect, manipulate, analyze, and interpret legal data and prepare reports of findings.
  • Excellent legal research, analytical, writing and advocacy skills.
  • Establishes and maintains strong working relationships with internal and external allies.
  • Results-oriented, self-starter with the ability to think strategically and work on fast-paced, dynamic issues.
  • Ability to work both independently and as a leader or member of teams in a dynamic and creative environment with colleagues and partners of varied background and experience.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Able to prioritize and be flexible.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Computer proficiency, experience with Microsoft Word and PowerPoint.



Washington, D.C., with Remote to start.



The term for the Legal Fellow position is one year, starting immediately.


Application Materials

Interested applicants should attach their cover letter and resume to the EDF application, together with a writing sample, unofficial law school transcript, and list of three references. In your cover letter, please describe your interest in environmental law and policy work, and relevant completed course work and experience to the qualifications.



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.