Environmental Law Clinic and Internships

As a non-profit law center applying limited resources against federal, state, and corporate entities, WELC makes a conscious commitment to train the next generation of environmental attorneys. Without excellent legal representation, the conservation community’s ability to achieve long-term success and permanent solutions would be compromised. WELC’s commitment to mentoring and training law students is exemplified by the environmental law clinic that we host with the University of Oregon Law School and the internship program we provide for 2L and 3L law students from law schools across the nation.

WELC's Environmental Law Clinic

Since 1976, Western Environmental Law Center, through its formal relationship with the University of Oregon Law School, has provided law students with the practical knowledge and hands-on experiential learning and training necessary for a successful career in public interest environmental law. As the university’s environmental law clinic, we give students an opportunity to work on challenging legal issues requiring extensive research and writing and directly involve law students in meaningful, hands-on litigation and related efforts in support of public interest challenges to a myriad of environmental issues.

Students work under the close supervision of a lead staff attorney and meaningfully contribute to investigations and claims brought under federal statutes and state laws. In addition to their involvement and training in legal strategies, students participate in administrative processes that advance environmental protections outside of the courtroom - teaching students practical advocacy and negotiation, and that litigation is but a means to an end, and not the end itself.

In our role as the environmental law clinic, we have trained over 500 students, many of whom have gone on to make substantial contributions to the field of environmental law. 

WELC's Internship Program

The Western Environmental Law Center has a legal internship program open to 2L and 3L law students from any law school. We look for bright and motivated individuals committed to public interest environmental law. Interns assist attorneys with case development and strategy, conduct legal research, and draft pleadings, briefs, and other legal documents. Interns are supervised by a staff attorney in the office location where they are hired. The internships are unfunded positions. We provide assistance to selected applicants seeking outside funding or law school credit and in finding free or inexpensive housing for the internship duration. We offer a flexible work schedule to allow for outdoor recreation and travel.

The summer 2017 internship application process has been closed.  Please check our job opportunities page in October 2017 for summer 2018 internship opportunities.