Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

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Spring Legal Externs

Spring Legal Externs

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Job ID 
# of Openings 
Job Locations 
US-CA-Santa Monica
Posted Date 
Climate and Clean Air Program [304000]

More information about this job


Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action group, combining the power of more than two million members and online activists with the expertise of nearly 500 scientists, lawyers, policy advocates, and other professionals across the globe ensure the rights of all people to the air, the water, and the wild. 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; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff – a force for nature - work out of offices in New York, Washington DC, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.


NRDC is seeking 3 legal externs to work with the Environmental Justice, Marine Mammals, Water and Air teams in our Santa Monica office. NRDC’s spring legal externs may participate in writing briefs, drafting complaints, preparing legal analyses, obtaining affidavits, investigating violations of environmental laws, developing policy advocacy campaigns, and drafting white papers and comments for submission to administrative agencies. NRDC hires passionate students who possess the intelligence, skill, self-confidence, and maturity to take on substantial responsibility. Our externs play an active role on the frontlines of the environmental movement. An NRDC extern will typically work on a variety of projects and amass experience that he or she could not obtain anywhere else. This is an unpaid externship to take place over the course of the spring academic term.


  • Research legal, factual and policy issues relevant to NRDC’s environmental work in Los Angeles
  • Draft, proofread, and edit documents (e.g., research memoranda)
  • Generally assist the Santa Monica attorneys with various projects

Contribute minimum 20 hours/week over the course of the spring academic term



  • Enrollment in law school;
  • Must receive school credit in exchange for externship work;
  • Outstanding academic record;
  • Local to the Santa Monica office;
  • Ability to work in a fast-paced environment on multiple demanding tasks;
  • Ability to work both on a team and independently, prioritize multiple projects, and meet deadlines;
  • Exceptional research, writing and communication skills;
  • Strong interest in environmental issues in the Los Angeles region; and
  • Enthusiasm for NRDC’s mission

 NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.


To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. 


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For further information about NRDC, please visit