09/07/2022 - EELP News

NRDC Fellowship for HLS Student or Recent Graduate – Now Closed

US-NY-New York | US-IL-Chicago | US-CA-Santa Monica | US-DC-Washington | US-CA-San Francisco


The Beagle/HLS Fellowship at the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a position with NRDC’s Litigation Team open to Harvard Law School (HLS) students and recent alumni. The Beagle Fellowship was created by a generous gift to HLS by the Beagle Foundation, which was established by the late Joy Covey ’89. The Beagle/HLS Fellow will serve as part of a cohort of 6-8 other Litigation Team fellows. Information about the Litigation Team’s Fellowships is available here.

NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. NRDC uses 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 helped write some of America’s bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many implementing regulations. Today, NRDC’s team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from offices in Bozeman; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, DC; and Beijing.

Position Summary

NRDC is seeking a Beagle/HLS Fellow to work with the Litigation Team in our Chicago, New York, Santa Monica, Washington, D.C., or San Francisco offices. Preference will be given to candidates who wish to work in New York, Chicago, or Santa Monica. The term for this fellowship is Fall 2023 through Fall 2025, with the possibility of extension through Fall 2026.

The Beagle/HLS Fellowship is open to graduating Harvard Law School students or recent alumni (up to three years out of law school). Applicants must be available to start work in Fall 2023. 

The Fellow will join NRDC’s Litigation Team, a group of approximately 40 lawyers, litigation assistants and operations staff. We work across a broad range of environmental and public health issues, in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including Black, indigenous, and people of color, and low-income and rural communities).

In recent years, the Litigation Team has filed lawsuits resisting the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle environmental protections, including cases defending national monuments, challenging the suspension of clean water safeguards, opposing offshore drilling and seismic exploration, and protecting energy efficiency standards. We also have a growing docket of environmental enforcement cases against government and private party polluters. This has recently included cases to protect the people of Flint, Michigan, and Newark, New Jersey from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.


The Beagle/HLS Fellow’s responsibilities may include:

  • Collaborating with a team of lawyers and litigation assistants on legal research and factual investigations.
  • Writing briefs, motions, and memoranda.
  • Presenting oral arguments and participating in status conferences and other hearings.
  • Engaging in discovery and conducting record and document review.
  • Preparing for and taking depositions.
  • Contributing to institutional initiatives such as projects advancing diversity, equity and inclusion; intern hiring and coordination; and organizing Continuing Legal Education (CLE) session.


In assessing candidates, we look for:

  • Admission to the Bar of the jurisdiction in which they intend to practice, or willingness to complete the requirements for admission to that Bar.
  • 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.
  • Strong work ethic.
  • Growth mindset.
  • Ability to maintain composure and sense of humor under deadline pressure.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, or social justice (including environmental, economic, social, or food justice).
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse 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. For this position, the salary range is $83,500 to $99,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer. The Fellow’s salary will be treated as eligible for HLS’s loan repayment program.  

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do its part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, NRDC asks that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. NRDC considers a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination; those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit www.nrdc.org/careers and upload your résumé, cover letter, law school transcript, writing sample, and a personal essay (no more than 500 words). Please include a statement in your cover letter indicating which NRDC office(s) you would prefer working in, and which office you would consider. We also request two letters of recommendation, preferably including one from an HLS faculty member, and the name of a third reference. Please include the names of your recommenders and reference in your cover letter. Please send the letters themselves directly to the HLS Environmental Law Program, addressed to May Huang.

The application deadline is October 14, 2022. Applications will be reviewed by NRDC and an HLS Committee. First-round interviews will be conducted in October/November 2022. Applicants will be notified about the outcome of the selection process by December 2022.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.