Legal Fellow, Transportation

Put your passion and skills to work for the planet. Climate change is the most urgent issue of our time, and we need people like you to help us build a vital Earth — for everyone.


We’re Environmental Defense Fund, a fast-paced nonprofit with a growing staff of more than 850 people in nearly 30 countries. We deliver game-changing solutions that cut climate pollution and strengthen people’s ability to thrive despite the effects climate change is already having. We work wherever we can have the most impact, from local communities to top companies to governments worldwide, and even in space.


Our culture, values and commitment to diversity make EDF an exciting and meaningful place to work. Every job here makes a difference. Won’t you join us?

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 provide essential contributions 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 and regulation of health-harming pollutants under the Clean Air Act, legal and technical comments and public testimony on major Clean Air Act rulemakings, and legal and policy analysis to support 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 regulatory policy advocacy and litigation focused on securing and defending Clean Air Act protections to reduce climate- and health-harming pollution, particularly from the transportation sector; restoring and strengthening the role of foundational science and economics in federal agency actions; and securing action to advance environmental justice. 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 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, particularly Clean Air Act regulation of pollution from the transportation sector.
  • Contribute to litigation filings in state and federal courts and administrative comments in state and federal venues, particularly with respect to the transportation sector.
  • Assess the impacts of recent court decisions on U.S. Clean Air team priorities.
  • Evaluate the health and environmental implications of pending rulemakings and legislation.
  • Draft public-facing documents such as fact sheets and blog posts about legal and policy 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 related to the use of the Clean Air Act to reduce pollution in overburdened communities.


We seek recent law school graduates and recent law clerks interested in working on cutting-edge climate and clean air issues. Other qualifications include:

  • Licensed to practice law or actively seeking admission to the Bar of any state or DC.
  • A Juris Doctorate (J.D.) from an accredited Law School.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law and to advocacy for climate and public health protections.
  • Interest or experience in administrative law, federal regulatory processes, and federal clean air law.
  • Interest or experience in reducing pollution from the power sector and major industrial sectors.
  • Interest or experience in the intersection between law and science, particularly with respect to the role of health and climate science in federal regulations.
  • Ability to collect, analyze, and interpret legal data and prepare reports of findings.
  • Excellent legal research, analytical, writing, and advocacy skills.
  • Ability to establish and maintain strong working relationships with internal and external allies.
  • 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 backgrounds and experience.
  • Ability to multi-task, prioritize, and meet deadlines.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrates self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.


Boulder, CO, Washington, DC, or U.S. remote



The term for the Legal Fellow position is for two years.


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.

Hiring Range

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

The pay range for this role is 84,000 - 84,000 USD which takes into account factors such as candidate experience, skills, training, internal team equity and local norms.

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.