NRDC Litigation Team Fellowships

March 04, 2021
Litigation fellows have worked on cases involving fossil fuel pipelines, lead contamination, the regulation of toxic chemicals, and many other issues.

Craig McCaa/Bureau of Land Management

Each year, NRDC’s Litigation Team hires a cohort of lawyers in the first few years of their legal careers to join our team as Litigation Fellows. Litigation Fellows may come to NRDC upon graduating from law school or may have up to three years of postgraduation experience. As integral members of the Litigation Team, Litigation Fellows represent NRDC and partner organizations in a wide variety of civil litigation to protect public health and the environment. Litigation Fellows may work on issues ranging from clean air and water to endangered species protection to community health. Fellows have worked on cases involving lead contamination in drinking water, the regulation of harmful pesticides, fossil fuel pipelines, and many other issues.

Litigation Fellows join our team for a two-year term, with a possible third-year extension. Throughout that time, they work closely with more senior attorneys on our team to develop a wide range of litigation skills. A typical fellowship experience may include conducting legal research and factual investigations; writing briefs, motions, and memoranda; presenting oral arguments and participating in status conferences and other court hearings; preparing for and taking depositions; communicating with opposing counsel, clients, and partner organizations; engaging in discovery; and conducting record and document review. We strive to give each fellow exposure to a broad range of hands-on litigation work, providing them with a solid foundation of skills and knowledge that will serve them well throughout their legal careers.

We are committed to providing excellent training and mentorship, and to supporting both current and past fellows in their professional development at NRDC and beyond. Fellows typically go on to careers in national and local environmental nonprofit organizations, state and federal justice departments and governmental agencies, and academia.

Litigation Fellows are affiliated with one of our five main U.S. offices: Washington, D.C., New York, Chicago, San Francisco, or Santa Monica, California. Our general Litigation Fellowships are open to recent graduates of any accredited law school. In addition, each year we invite applications to our Howard-NRDC Litigation Fellowship (open to graduates of Howard University School of Law) and to our Beagle Fellowship (open to graduates of Harvard Law School).

If you are a third-year law school student or recent law school graduate with a commitment to public service and justice and an interest in building litigation skills, we would welcome your application for a Litigation Fellowship. Applications typically open each fall for fellowships beginning in fall of the following year. Check NRDC’s jobs page for openings.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet’s most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.