Environmental Law Fellowship -- Summer 2016

View of Wind FarmThe Environmental Law Section of the California State Bar has created an Environmental Law Fellowship program to provide opportunities for law students to work in governmental and public-interest environmental law organizations in order to develop their interests and skills in the field of environmental law. 

The program provides opportunities for law students to spend 8 to 10 weeks over the summer practicing environmental, energy, land use, and/or natural resources law at a participating government agency or public interest organization.  Each participant receives a $5,000 stipend for participating in the program.  The Section assists students with placement at the governmental agency or public interest organization and matches the Fellows with mentors who practice in the field.  The Section may also coordinate gatherings and provides opportunities for Fellows to meet other Section members and attorneys who practice in environment, energy, land use, and resources law fields.

Ocean view with craneThe Fellowship is available to students enrolled in public or private law schools interested in practicing environmental law in California.  Preference is given to first- and second-year students; however, third-year students who are not taking the Bar exam during the summer will also be considered.  Students must be members of the State Bar Environmental Law Section in order to be eligible for the program.  The State Bar allows law students up to three free one-year Section memberships, and students who are not already members will be required to join the Environmental Law Section if they are selected for a Fellowship.

The Fellowship is also designed to help foster diversity within the Environmental Law Section by encouraging law students from backgrounds that may have presented obstacles to accessing the legal profession to become involved in environmental law.  Such backgrounds could include family financial hardship while growing up, being the first in one’s family to go to college, pursuing one’s education as a single parent, geographical circumstances such as coming from a rural or inner-city background that limited social interaction with lawyers, or other circumstances that could have limited a student’s ability to access networks and connections within the legal profession.  The Section will consider such information, as described in the applicant’s personal statement, as part of the selection criteria. Other selection criteria include interest in environmental issues, personal and leadership qualities, and academic record.

View of vineyardThe number of fellowships available will depend on the level of sponsorship participation. The Section will coordinate student placements at agencies and organizations interested in participating in the program. In making placements, the Section expects to build off of its experiences as a former participant in the American Bar Association’s summer fellowship program.  That program placed students at various California agencies and organizations, including the Bay Area Air Quality Management District, the South Coast Air Quality Management District, the California Attorney General’s Office, the California District Circuit Prosecutor’s Project, the Center for Biological Diversity, and Communities for a Better Environment.  Specific placements for the 2015 Environmental Law Fellowship Program will be made on a case-by-case basis and may or may not include these and similar entities.

The Fellowship:

  • An 8-10 week internship as an Environmental Law Fellow for a participating government agency or a publicinterest organization in the field of environmental, energy, land use, or resources law, with a $5,000 stipend.
  • Assignment of a mentor from the State Bar of California Environmental Law Section.
  • Participation in State Bar of California and local Environmental Law Section events as may becomeavailable.

Selection Criteria:

  • Interest in environmental issues.
  • Leadership qualities and ability.
  • Academic record.
  • Personal background that may have presented obstacles to accessing the legal profession (e.g., familyfinancial hardship while growing up, being the first in one's family to go to college, pursuing one'seducation as a single parent, geographical circumstances that limited social interaction with lawyers such ascoming from a rural or inner-city background, or other circumstances that could have limited a student'sability to access networks and connections within the legal profession).

Eligibility Criteria:

  • View of Half DomeOpen to all law students enrolled in public or private law schools interested in practicing environmental lawin California.
  • Law students must be members of the State Bar Environmental Law Section in order to participate in theProgram. The State Bar allows law students up to three free one-year Section memberships; students whoare not already members will be required to join the Environmental Law Section if they are selected for aFellowship.

Application Package:

  • A completed application form. See 2016 Fellowship Application Form.
  • A resume.
  • An undergraduate transcript.
  • A law school transcript (except for first year law students).
  • A personal statement (not to exceed 2 pages) describing the how the applicant meets the selection criteria.
  • Two references, including one from a law school professor.

Two references, including one from a law school professor.

Instructions:

Please send a completed application package, including the application form and additional required materials, to The State Bar of California, c/o Stephanie Carman, 180 Howard Street, San Francisco, CA 94105.

Deadline:

A complete application package must be received by November 2, 2015.

For Additional Information Contact:

Stephanie Carman, Section Coordinator, The State Bar of California, 180Howard Street, San Francisco, CA, 94105-1639, Phone: (415) 538-2468, stephanie.carman@calbar.ca.gov.