Job Title / Location: Summer Law Clerk / Helena, Montana or Eugene, Oregon
Time of Work: Full-time; 1.0 FTE (max 40 hours per week)
Classifications: Temporary; Non-Exempt; Hourly
Employment Term: May 2024 to August 2024 with start/end dates agreed upon following offer acceptance 

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a leading nonprofit public interest environmental law firm with a 30-year legacy of success using the power of the law to safeguard the public lands, wildlife, and communities of the Western U.S. in the face of a changing climate. We envision a thriving, resilient western U.S., abundant with protected public lands and wildlife, powered by renewable energy, defended by communities rooted in an ethic of conservation, and committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. We achieve this vision with steady, strategic, and bold legal advocacy that turns the wheels of power at all levels of government. 

We are accepting applications from law students who will have completed their second year of law school (2L) by summer 2024 for summer 2024 law clerk positions in these WELC office locations: Helena, Montana and Eugene, Oregon. We are looking for bright and motivated individuals committed to public interest environmental law and to WELC’s mission and advocacy. These are temporary, full-time, non-exempt, hourly positions with a compensation rate of $25.00 per hour. Benefits are not included. These temporary positions will begin May 2024 and last for a period of 10 weeks at 40 hours per week.  

Under the supervision of a staff attorney in the office in which they are hired, the selected summer law clerks will work with WELC attorneys in all aspects of case development. This work may include developing litigation strategies; conducting legal research; attending client meetings and court appearances; and drafting pleadings, briefs, memoranda, and other legal documents. We prefer that the summer law clerk work in-person at the office location for which they are hired for at least a portion of the 10-week clerkship but will also consider applicants interested in remote participation. For in-person participation, WELC will provide a housing stipend of up to $200 per month to offset the expense of temporary housing as well as a travel expense reimbursement for the cost of a plane ticket or for up to $500 per direction if driving.  

Essential Skills and Qualifications: 

  • Completion of two years of law school at commencement of internship, or LLM student; 
  • Outstanding research and writing skills; 
  • A demonstrated interest in public interest environmental law; 
  • Law school coursework or experience in administrative law and environmental law strongly preferred.

Position Summary and General Responsibilities: 

A Summer Law Clerk for WELC works closely with their supervising attorney, in coordination with the Executive Director and Program Directors, to implement the organization’s goals and objectives.  

As a Summer Law Clerk, you will have the opportunity to:  

  • Work with WELC attorneys in all aspects of case development currently underway. This work may include developing litigation strategies; conducting legal research; attending client and coalition meetings and court appearances; and drafting pleadings, briefs, memoranda, and other legal documents;  
  • Participate with WELC attorneys, where appropriate, in organization-wide discussions of potential and on-going advocacy; and 
  • Attend in-house and external trainings and seminars related to emerging legal and policy issues.

In addition to work assignments, clerks are responsible for daily timekeeping and bi-weekly reporting of hours worked in accordance with WELC’s timekeeping policies and procedures, and will be expected to comply with WELC’s personnel policies. 

Project Assignments: 

We typically assign each clerk one case or project on which they participate in underlying case strategy decisions throughout the summer to understand the implications and relevance of that case to broader program and organizational goals, legal, and policy issues. We have found that such work provides our clerks with a realistic, practical, and hands-on experience that reflects the type of work our staff attorneys do over the long term. In addition, clerks are given more discrete legal research and writing assignments to provide attorneys with necessary assistance and to broaden the clerk’s exposure to a variety of legal issues. Clerks also have the opportunity to participate in meetings, conference/video calls, and court appearances along with attorneys.  

Work assignments will be chosen based both on our needs and the clerk’s interests. At the beginning of the clerkship, supervising attorneys will meet with incoming clerks to discuss the office’s overall caseload and to identify what assignments may be of greatest interest to the clerk. Specific work assignments will be determined by the supervising attorney and will be managed to ensure projects can generally be completed without the need for overtime.  

How to apply:

We strongly encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ candidates to apply. Lived experience is of equal importance as the above-listed qualifications. To apply, please email the following in a single PDF attachment : 

  1. Cover letter;  
  2. resume;  
  3. unofficial transcript;  
  4. short writing sample of 3-5 pages; and  
  5. a list of three references.

Please indicate the following in your cover letter:  

  1. The WELC office location to which you are applying (if you wish to apply for both locations, please specify your order of preference);  
  2. your anticipated dates of availability for the summer position; and  
  3. whether you would be interested in an in-person, remote, or hybrid experience. 

Applications will be accepted beginning September 1, 2023, and will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions have been filled. Applications received by Monday, October 2, 2023 will be given first consideration. Incomplete applications will not be considered. Interviews will be conducted by phone or video conference.

If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview, or another portion of the selection process, please contact Kelly Scoble at  

WELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Our programs and employment are open to all. We value diversity and do not permit any discrimination against applicants, employees, or volunteers on the basis of race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, genetic information, or disability, or any other status protected by applicable law or statute in any of our policies or programs.

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