NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet’s wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Beijing; Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New Delhi; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; and Washington, D.C. 

NRDC is seeking three Fall 2024 Litigation Interns to work with the Litigation Team associated with our Chicago, San Francisco/Santa Monica, and Washington, D.C. offices. 

Position Summary 

The Litigation Team is a group of approximately 40 lawyers, litigation assistants and other operations staff who pursue litigation across a broad range of environmental and public health issues, in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including Black, indigenous, and people of color, and low-income and rural communities). Over the past five years, we have litigated cases against the federal government to prevent climate pollution, challenge agency approvals of toxic chemicals and pesticides, resist the suspension of clean water safeguards, oppose offshore drilling and seismic exploration for oil and gas, defend national monuments, and protect energy efficiency standards, among other matters. We also bring enforcement cases against corporate and governmental entities whose violations harm human health and the environment—including to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois. 

Legal interns play an active role on the frontlines to protect our planet and the communities that depend on it. Our interns do concrete work in support of our litigation, including substantive writing and research, and collaborate with NRDC Litigation attorneys. 

The internship typically lasts about 10 weeks, beginning at the start of the intern’s fall semester and ending before exams. Start and end dates and other scheduling details are negotiable, but we look for a minimum time commitment of two days (14 hours) a week over the course of an academic term. This posting will be open until April 15, 2024.

Interns will have the option to work in person, remotely, or a hybrid of both. 

This is a paid position, unless the student is seeking academic credit and their school requires the internship to be unpaid. 

You can find more information about our Semester-Based Litigation Internship Program here


The most common intern assignments are legal memos, sometimes coupled with informal oral presentations to case teams. Interns may also, depending on assignment availability and interest, contribute to the drafting of other litigation documents such as briefs and complaints. Interns are also invited to participate in litigation planning and strategy meetings. 


This internship is designed for current law school students in their second or third year of a J.D. program or in an LLM program. In assessing candidates, we look for: 

  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values;
  • Strong legal writing, analytical, and oral communication skills;
  • Experience effectively working on a team;
  • Creativity and resourcefulness;
  • Commitment to public service, equity, or justice;
  • Demonstrated ability to work with people across different social identities and backgrounds; and
  • Record of academic and/or professional accomplishment.

A successful candidate need not satisfy all of these criteria. In particular, because a key purpose of our semester legal intern program is to help our interns learn and develop new legal skills, we welcome applicants who have room to grow as legal writers, researchers, and communicators. 

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse 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 are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

The incumbent will not qualify as an employee, fellow, volunteer, or independent contractor of NRDC, nor will the incumbent be guaranteed employment at the end of the internship term.

Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCers flexibility, and we encourage them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues. We call this purposeful presence.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination. Those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions. NRDC treats all vaccination-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit and upload your résumé, cover letter, law school transcript, list of at least two references, and a short legal writing sample. In your cover letter, please indicate which office you are applying to, or if you would like to be fully remote. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with preference given to applications submitted before April 1. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs. 

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit