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Howard-NRDC Legal Fellow

Company: Natural Resources Defense Council
Location: Santa Monica
Posted on: November 16, 2021

Job Description:

Overview The Natural Resources Defense Council (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 staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing. Position Summary: NRDC is seeking a recent graduate of Howard University School of Law to work with the Environmental Justice (EJ) team for a two-year legal fellowship starting in Fall 2022, with the possibility of a third year extension. We will consider applicants who have graduated since 2019, including those graduating in Spring 2022. The Fellow may apply for any of our U.S. offices, but due to the EJ team's partnership-based work, preference will be given to applicants willing to be based in our Santa Monica office. In collaboration with members of the EJ Team, the Howard Environmental Justice Legal Fellow will use a range of legal, policy advocacy, coalition-building, community outreach, and/or communications tools to collaborate with and provide legal support for environmental justice communities, primarily in Southern California. The EJ Team is a group of about 10 attorneys and administrative staff who focus on addressing disproportionate pollution burdens placed on low-income communities of color and promoting community-driven solutions. Examples of specific projects and focus areas could include, but are not limited to, (1) advancing political and litigation strategies to improve air quality and public health outcomes for communities impacted by diesel pollution from the freight industry; (2) engaging in legal and policy advocacy to prevent and address green gentrification or displacement; (3) advancing local land use and zoning policies that combat the concentration of environmental burdens in EJ communities; (4) leveraging legal support, funding and other resources to communities struggling with flooding, sewage and drinking water issues due to failing water infrastructure; and/or (5) providing legal support to advocates fighting detention facilities. Since March 2020, NRDC's physical offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until circumstances allow us to fully re-open our offices, we will continue to support staff with remote working arrangements. Responsibilities Successful candidates will demonstrate a strong commitment to environmental justice and the ability to contribute effectively as a member of a team. Specific responsibilities include: * Developing relationships with communities and working with them to identify opportunities to partner or collaborate, and engaging actively in existing coalitions and partnerships; * Screening and developing potential new litigation, including conducting factual investigations and legal and policy research; * Providing legal and policy research and strategic advice around environmental justice issues to members of the team and to partners; * Communicating with clients and partner organizations; * Collaborating as part of a team of attorneys, policy advocates, and scientists to support environmental justice goals; * Representing NRDC at hearings, conferences, coalition meetings, and venues with decisionmakers; * Advocating for the adoption or passage of critical legislation, city ordinances, and government regulations; * Writing briefs, motions, and memoranda; * Supervising and delegating projects to interns and volunteers, when appropriate; and * Other duties as assigned. Qualifications This Fellowship is designed for recent graduates of Howard University School of Law. In assessing candidates, we look for: * Juris Doctorate from Howard University School of Law within the past three years (since 2019 or anticipated in Spring 2022); * Admission to the Bar of the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice, or willingness to complete the requirements for admission to that Bar; * Experience working with coalitions of community members and community-based organizations; * Strong legal writing and analytical skills; * Strong oral and written communication skills; * Experience working effectively with a team; * Demonstrated competency in working with people with different social identities than their own (including race, gender, sexual identity or orientation, age, class, and disability); * Creativity and resourcefulness; * Demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, or social justice (including environmental, economic, social, or food justice); * Commitment to NRDC's values and mission; and * Knowledge of environmental, civil rights, and administrative law is a plus. Term: Fall 2022 through Fall 2024, with the possibility of extension through Fall 2025. To apply through our online portal, please select "apply for this job online," create a profile or log into your existing account and upload your resume. Then, use the "additional documents" prompts to upload a short cover letter, writing sample that does not reflect editing by others, and a list of three references. In your cover letter, please tell us how you found out about this posting. This posting will be open until January 15. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis starting November 15, so we encourage applicants to apply soon. 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 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. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Salary minimum is $83,500; salary midpoint is $90,000. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer. If you have technical questions or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422. If you have a question about the position, please contact us at For further information about NRDC, please visit

Keywords: Natural Resources Defense Council, Santa Monica , Howard-NRDC Legal Fellow, Legal , Santa Monica, California

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