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Environmental Litigation & Advocacy Internship

This opportunity is available to law school students only, no undergraduate applicants will be accepted.


Coastkeeper hosts a variety of competitive legal internships and externships to train the next generation of environmental lawyers. Our legal department represents Orange County Coastkeeper and its affiliate program, Inland Empire Waterkeeper.  

Through our semester-long opportunities, law students will gain hands-on experience in Clean Water Act litigation, oral advocacy in front of environmental regulatory agencies such as the California Coastal Commission and Regional Water Quality Control Boards, and environmental justice issues related to water quality and accessibility. Once accepted into our program, legal interns will assist our team in performing daily responsibilities, which may include drafting briefs, motions, and comment letters, conducting legal research, reviewing compliance documents in connection with case investigations, or preparing testimony for administrative hearings. We often collaborate with other local and national NGOs, which can provide students with great networking opportunities.

Our environmental litigation and advocacy opportunities show students how intellectually and personally rewarding a career in the public interest sector can be. We offer year-round flexible internships and externships and accept applications on a rolling basis. We work closely with each student’s law school to ensure eligibility for school credit or public interest funding.  We ask for a 12-hour weekly minimum commitment.


Applicants should have completed their first full year of law school and have an interest in environmental law and advocacy with excellent research and writing skills. The most competitive applicants will have a demonstrated interest in environmental issues and a strong desire to pursue a career in environmental law. Only current law students are accepted at this time, and positions are unpaid volunteer opportunities.

Participating Schools

  • Chapman Law School
  • Cornell Law School
  • Lewis & Clark Law School
  • Whittier Law School
  • University of California, Los Angeles School of Law
  • Loyola Law School
  • University of California, Irvine School of Law
  • University of Arkansas School of Law
  • Tulane University Law School
  • USC School of Law
  • and more!

How to Apply

To apply for a position, please email your resume and cover letter to our legal team at Cover letters must include the following information: 

  • Why you are interested in environmental law and advocacy
  • Why you are specifically interested in the work we do at Coastkeeper and our associated programs
  • The semester for which you are applying and your number of available hours per week (12-hour minimum)
  • Your preference for remote or in-person work

We accept applications on a rolling basis until positions are filled.