Intern & externship opportunities

Internship opportunities

Interns can expect to do a variety of legal research and writing on issues for litigation purposes or for other environmental advocacy efforts. Depending on the project area, research may involve federal and state environmental statutes and regulations, including procedural and evidentiary issues. In addition to doing research, interns are immersed in case and project management, and encouraged to partake in educational out-of-office opportunities. For example, interns may join meetings on environmental policy with government officials and leaders of other environmental groups, watch court hearings, attend depositions, or participate in public hearings. We hold periodic seminars to introduce our summer interns to a wide range of environmental issues and projects, and host other special events and outings, including a summer hike or canoe trip.

Learn how staffer Jean Zhuang went from intern to attorney.

I grew up with the forest as my home. It is close to heart, and something I want to continue to protect through work like I did this summer.

Hallie Lipsey, SELC Intern 2018

About SELC

At our core, we are place-based, rooted in our region, and connected with the communities and clients we serve. We believe in an equitable and inclusive workplace that reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of our region and allows diverse perspectives to come to the forefront. We approach our work with the highest level of integrity, holding ourselves to high standards with an emphasis on honesty, accountability, and thoughtfulness. We value collaboration and camaraderie, realizing we are strongest when we work together and knowing that everyone has a critical role to play. We strive for impact through a strategic, bold, pragmatic, and ambitious outlook that is dedicated to achieving powerful results. We believe in these values and in the power of SELC. We hope you consider joining us. Learn more at

Application Process  

SELC’s Summer Legal Internships are offered to second-year law students for the Summer after their 2L school year. We hire for Summer Interns annually during our regular Intern & Associate hiring cycle from approximately mid-July into the Fall as needed, until all positions are filled. The number of openings varies each year, and we have internship opportunities in each of our offices, except for Washington, D.C. and Richmond, VA.

To learn more about the Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship position, which has a focus on environmental justice work, click here. The Key Summer Intern Fellowship is intended for first-year law students and is hired during a separate process from approximately December to March each year.

Questions? Contact [email protected] with any internship-related inquiries.

Externship opportunities

SELC believes that learning from actual experience is an important component of legal education. In addition to our summer internship program, we strongly urge second- and third-year law students to take advantage of our semester-long externship programs. Once a student has been accepted into this program, we will work with the faculty of the sponsoring law school to plan the program and ensure that all requirements for credit are met. While extern schedules can be flexible, typically we ask that students spend at least 15 hours (or 2 days) per week with us. With the exceptions of Richmond, VA and Washington, D.C., we are able to host legal externs in any of our offices. Our Washington, D.C. office can occasionally host in-semester externs, but please note those opportunities are more specifically focused on legislative affairs and policy work.

Application Process

SELC typically offers externships through programs with local law schools. To apply for an externship, please contact your law school to determine the appropriate application process and timeline. However, if your law school does not already have an externship relationship with SELC, you may send your cover letter, resume, writing sample, transcript or grade report (with date of birth and social security number redacted) and a reference list only to the office(s) you are interested in by emailing [email protected].

Externship applications are evaluated on a rolling basis.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering an inclusive workplace environment. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this commitment. We still have much progress to make, but our goal is to create and maintain a staff that, at every level, reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of the communities where we work and the clients that we serve. Persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.