Each year, several students take advantage of the College of Law's highly-respected Clinical Externship Program, which includes many extern opportunities in the fields of Environmental and Land Use Law.
Environmental Externship Opportunties
Students are assigned to serve as an extern law clerk for an administrative law judge who primarily handles environmental cases at the Division of Administrative Hearings. Duties include legal research, drafting memoranda, and preparing orders. Students have an opportunity to improve their research, writing and analytical skills, and to gain an understanding of the jurisdiction and procedures of the Division of Administrative Hearings. Students gain exposure to substantive environmental law.
Earthjustice Legal Defense Fund is an independent, nonprofit, environmental law firm with nine regional offices across the U.S. The office provides free legal services to citizen groups and environmental organizations in cases involving forests, public lands, wildlife and habitat, communities and health, clean water, coasts and wetlands, clean air, trade and the environment. Students will assist attorneys with investigation of facts by conducting interviews, doing on-site observations, requesting and reviewing government records, and conducting research at libraries and on the internet. They will assist with ongoing litigation by drafting pleadings, motions, memoranda, briefs, discovery requests, stipulations, final judgments and orders. Students will also complete legal research on assigned topics, and submit oral and written findings to supervising attorneys.
Students work under the supervision of one of the Deputy General Counsels of DEP. Students handle cases that involve representing the Department in administrative hearings. Students gain experience in legal research, drafting of pleadings and motions, preparation of expert witnesses, depositions and settlement negotiations.
Students externing at the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission are assigned to work in the office of the General Counsel. Students primarily conduct legal research and draft memoranda. As available, students also may assist in judicial and administrative litigation, participate in agency rule making, attend commission meetings, draft agency legislation, and draft internal policies and procedures. Students have an opportunity to develop skills in fact gathering and field investigation, identifying and applying law to facts, counseling a government agency, and drafting memoranda. Students also have an opportunity to become more knowledgeable in the substantive areas of the law regulating wildlife in the state of Florida.
(Washington, D.C., New York, San Francisco, Seattle)
Students are assigned to work in the Animal Protection Litigation Section in one of five core litigation groups: Farm Animals, Companion Animals and Animal Cruelty, Wildlife, Legislation, and International Law & Trade. Students also work with HSUS’ large network of pro bono attorneys. Externs conduct research and write memoranda of law on a variety of legal issues related to the protection of animals. They also assist with policy development by drafting comments on proposed legislation, and with litigation of cases.
(Seattle, WA, Washington, D.C.)
The Environmental Enforcement Section (EES) is responsible for representing the United States in federal civil enforcement of all major environmental statutes, including CERCLA, RCRA, Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. Students assist Justice trial attorneys by conducting research and drafting memoranda, discovery, motions and briefs. Students may participate in conference calls and strategy planning sessions with counsel and technical experts and attend depositions, negotiations or court hearings, if held in the Washington, D.C., area. This externship is available in the fall, spring and summer. Students are required to work 40 hours per week for 13 weeks.
The Office of Regional Counsel is the chief legal advisor to the United States Environmental Protection Agency, the agency with primary responsibility for implementing the nation’s environmental laws. Students will be assigned to one of nine legal offices and will conduct research and write memoranda of law on a variety of environmental legal issues. Students may also assist with policy development by drafting comments on proposed legislation, and with litigation of cases. Offices of Regional Counsel are located in Atlanta (Region 4); Boston (Region 1); Chicago (Region 5); Dallas (Region 6); Denver (Region 8); New York City (Region 2); Philadelphia (Region 3); San Francisco (Region 9); and Seattle (Region 10).