Legal Fellow, Climate and Energy

Environmental Defense Fund (, a leading international nonprofit organization, creates transformational solutions to the most serious environmental problems. EDF links science, economics, law and innovative private-sector partnerships. Connect with us on EDF Voices, Twitter and Facebook.


Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a highly qualified and deeply motivated legal fellow to work on the organization’s climate and energy team under the Clean Energy and Legal & Regulatory programs. The Legal Fellow will work on projects and cases aimed at reducing climate-destabilizing pollution and other health-harming airbone contaminants from the electricity sector. The work will include a heavy emphasis on federal litigation and administrative proceedings under the Federal Power Act. The Legal Fellow will work in a high‐intensity, fast‐paced, multi‐disciplinary setting to formulate and implement strategies, laws, and policies.

Overall Function

The Legal Fellow will work on federal projects and cases aimed at reducing climate-destabilizing and other health-harming pollution from the electricity sector. The work will include advocating and defending leading state action and entail a heavy emphasis on federal litigation centered on the interaction between state air, climate, and energy programs and federally regulated wholesale markets. The Legal Fellow will also focus on federal energy and regulatory actions, including before and involving the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Independent System Operators (ISO) and Regional Transmission Organizations (RTO). The Legal Fellow will work in a high‐intensity, fast‐paced, multi‐disciplinary setting to formulate , implement and defend strategies, laws, and policies.


Key Responsibilities

The work includes intensive legal research on cutting‐edge energy, environmental, constitutional and administrative law questions; cutting edge litigation in federal district court and the U.S. Court of Appeals; and  the development of comments and expert submissions to advocate for and support the development of effective clean energy standards.

The Legal Fellow will focus on reseach, writing, and presentation of legal and policy documents for federal court litigation, administrative litigation, national and state regulatory proceedings, and various policy venues. The Legal Fellow will engage deeply in legal and regulatory efforts around the Federal Power Act, electric grid operations and management, wholesale electricity markets, and state air, climate, and energy laws and policies.


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 environmental, energy, and administrative law.
  • Fimiliarity with the Federal Power Act, FERC, and/or ISOs and RTOs.
  • Interest and experience in federal litigation centered on state air, climate, and energy laws and policies and federal energy laws and regulations.
  • Fimiliarity with Constitional law, with particular emphasis upon the dormant Commerce Clause and Supremacy Clause.
  • Ability to collect, 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.


One year


Full-time (35 hours/week)

Application Materials

Interested applicants should e‐mail their cover letter, legal writing sample (of 5,000 words or less), resume, references, and law school transcripts to Talia Atheras.

Due to the volume of employment applications and queries received, EDF is unable to respond to each application individually. Applicants will be contacted directly if selected as a candidate.


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.

Hiring Range

We offer a strong total rewards package encompassing competitive salary, robust benefits, and professional development opportunities consistent with a modern global organization.