Volunteer Legal Internships

Hiring Organization Job Title State Date Postedsort ascending
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) Law Student Volunteer, Summer DC 07/31/2015
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) Law Student Volunteer, Summer CA 07/09/2015
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year CA 07/09/2015
Environment and Natural Resources Division (ENRD) Law Student Volunteer, Academic Year DC 05/20/2015
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The Environment and Natural Resources Division litigates in five key areas: pollution, lands and natural resources, wildlife, Indian resources, and land acquisition. Attorneys represent many federal agencies by preparing and arguing civil and criminal enforcement cases, appeals, and by defending challenged federal agency actions arising from well over 100 federal environmental laws. Cases are at the cutting edge of environmental protection. The Division’s work protects our environment for future generations.

We offer opportunities for internships in our offices in Washington, DC; Denver, CO, San Francisco, CA; Sacramento, CA; Boston, MA; and Seattle, WA.  Numbers of positions vary according to location and semester.

ENRD Recruiting Brochure

Projected No. of Volunteers:

50 - Available positions vary according to semester and location.


Assignments will vary. In general, interns assist the Division’s trial lawyers in preparing cases for filing and supporting the litigation effort post-filing, and assist the Division’s appellate lawyers in researching issues on appeal. Responsibilities typically include conducting legal research, drafting motions, discovery, and memoranda of law dealing with a variety of federal environmental and natural resource issues. The Division handles cases covering a broad spectrum of issues including the protection of endangered species and civil and criminal enforcement of federal pollution control laws. An internship provides an outstanding opportunity to work on cutting edge issues of environmental law.

Salary: Volunteer (without compensation) or work-study credit only.

Minimum Weeks Required: Summer – 8 weeks (full summer strongly preferred). School year – complete semester or quarter.

First-year (second-semester), second-year and third-year law students are eligible to apply. Joint degree and LL M students are also eligible to apply, provided they meet the eligibility requirements set forth below. First-year, first-semester law students may apply after December 1st for internships the following summer. The Department follows the National Association of Law Placement guidelines that prohibit employer contact with first-year (first-semester) students regarding summer employment prior to that date. Law students may work in volunteer positions only while attending law school. Law school graduation terminates eligibility, except for graduate law students enrolled at least half time and who are not practicing law. Prefer students with strong academic qualifications, research and writing skills and who have an interest in litigation, environmental law, and/or public interest law. Applicants must be U.S. citizens and successfully complete a security clearance prior to appointment.

To Apply:

Washington, DC: 

Beginning in 2014, ENRD has streamlined its application process for Washington, DC internship applications. Washington, DC internship positions now are advertised through the Symplicity job posting service (available in most law school placement offices) or this website.

Information on Spring, Summer, and Fall volunteer internship opportunities are posted in this space over the course of the year. Questions about this program may be directed to

Fall 2015: The Fall 2015 application period is now closed.


Summer 2016 applications for Washington, DC internships will be accepted from August 1, 2015 – September 6, 2015 (2L) and from December 1st,2015 – January 3rd, 2016 (1L & 2L). During those dates, you may also apply for a Summer 2016 internship in Washington, DC by submitting via email to the following materials:

  • Section application form
  • Cover letter stating hours/days available to work;
  • Resume (which includes your country of citizenship);
  • Writing sample;
  • Copy of your most recent transcript (official or unofficial);
  • Three references with contact information, including telephone and email (letters of recommendation not required); and 
  • Specify Summer 2016 in your application and in the subject line of your application email.

   Summer 2016 positions will be filled on a rolling basis.


 Field Office:

Application Materials. For all Field Office locations (Denver, CO; San Francisco, CA; Sacramento, CA; Boston, MA; Seattle, WA) submit field office internship application materials by:

  • E-mail: (Application via e-mail highly preferred); or
  • Mail addressed to:

    P.O. Box 7611
    Ben Franklin Station
    Washington, D.C. 20044
    ATTN: Jake Castellaw

Applications will be acknowledged by e-mail upon receipt.

Annual Application Deadlines for Field Office Positions:

April 1 for Fall (September-December)
September 1 for Spring (January-April)
January 1 for Summer (May-August)

 Decisions regarding field office internships are made on a rolling basis

The U.S. Department of Justice is an Equal Opportunity/Reasonable Accommodation Employer. Candidates must successfully complete a security clearance prior to appointment.