Legal Fellow, U.S. Clean Air

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 that welcomes diverse perspectives, talents and contributions, 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 the Core Values that allow us to experiment courageously in our work while staying true to who we’ve been as an organization for 50 years. Are you a results oriented individual who is passionate about creating environmental solutions that make a lasting difference in the world? Do you respect diverse perspectives, talents and contributions? Do you value innovation and enjoy designing and using a wide range of problem-solving tools? Do you embrace environmental goals with a sense of optimism while taking into account real-world dynamics? If you have integrity and a strong desire to uphold a commitment to science, rigorous analysis, intellectual honesty and ethical action, then EDF is the place for you.

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.


Overall Function

Environmental Defense Fund is seeking a highly qualified and deeply motivated legal fellow to engage in litigation, administrative proceedings, and policy analysis aimed to secure effective greenhouse gas mitigation and cleaner air.  The Legal Fellow works in a high-intensity, fast-paced, multi-disciplinary setting to formulate and implement strategies, laws, and policies.


Key Responsibilities

The Legal Fellow’s responsibilities include undertaking intensive legal research and writing on cutting-edge environmental law questions; preparing comments to advocate for and defend public health and environmental safeguards; participating in litigation to secure and defend key climate and clean air protections; and preparing blogs, white papers, and other public-facing materials advocating for climate and clean air solutions. The Legal Fellow will work in collaboration with other attorneys and policy experts on EDF’s U.S. Clean Air team, as well as other colleagues across the organization.


Current legal fellows have been deeply engaged in D.C. Circuit litigation defending federal standards addressing climate pollution from the power and transportation sectors and toxic air pollution from industrial sources; developing comments on major national and regional policy initiatives on air quality, climate change, and scientific integrity; producing and litigating Freedom of Information Act requests; and analyzing legislative proposals affecting climate and clean air protections.  



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

  • Licensed to practice law or actively seeking admission to a Bar, with background in environmental and administrative law.
  • Excellent legal research skills.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills.
  • Ability to collect, analyze, and apply data and prepare reports of findings.
  • Strong ability to establish and maintain effective 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. Able to prioritize and be flexible.


October 2019 - September 2020



Full-time (35 hours/week)


Application Materials


Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, legal writing sample (of 5,000 words or less), resume, references, and law school transcript.

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.