Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship

The Southern Environmental Law Center is currently accepting applications for the Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship. Fellows will work in one of the following offices: Charlottesville, Va. – Virginia Office; Chapel Hill, N.C.; Birmingham, Al.; Charleston, S.C.; and Nashville, Tn.

This position is intended for second-year law students, and it provides the opportunity to be an integral part of a team working on a full range of issues of particular importance to the South – clean air, clean and adequate water, energy, forests, coasts and communities. It is a 10-week assignment.

The Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship is part of our summer intern program and is intended for applicants with a strong interest in or a demonstrated commitment to advancing environmental justice. Fellows will be provided the opportunity to work on at least one distinct project with an environmental justice component. Applicants to the Glynn D. Key Fellowship are required to submit additional application materials (see below), and will receive an additional financial award upon completion of their fellowship.

In addition to working on at least one environmental justice issue, Fellows can expect to do research and writing on litigation or other environmental advocacy in a substantive area. Depending on the project area, research may include federal and state environmental statutes and regulations, and procedural and evidentiary issues. In addition to research and writing, fellows will also participate in strategy sessions, document review, client meetings, site visits, and other aspects of case or project management.

Fellows may also observe depositions, hearings, meetings on environmental policy with government officials and leaders of other environmental groups. We hold periodic seminars or “lunch and learn” sessions to introduce fellows to a wide range of environmental issues and projects. Other special events and outings, including a summer hike or canoe trip, are regularly held.

About Glynn D. Key:

Glynn D. Key (1964-2014) was a widely admired and respected lawyer who broke through many racial and gender barriers in her life and career.  A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, she attended the University of Virginia as a Jefferson Scholar, and served as the first African-American chair of the Honor Committee, as well as president of the Student Council.  She also received her law degree from UVA, and began her legal career as an associate at Covington & Burling in Washington, DC.

From 1993 to 1996 she served in the first Clinton administration in the Department of the Interior as Special Assistant and Counsel to Interior Secretary Bruce Babbitt.  At Interior, she was the lead negotiator of the $700 million groundbreaking Everglades restoration settlement among environmentalists, local Indian tribes, the farming industry, and the federal and state governments. Glynn then joined the Washington DC firm of Wilmer Hale where she was a partner in the corporate department practicing general corporate and environmental law.  Glynn later became general counsel for General Electric in its Coal Gasification and Water & Process Technologies Division, where she served until her sudden death at the tragically young age of 50.   Despite the demands of a successful professional career, Glynn generously shared her time and expertise in her communities, serving on many boards and councils including her alma mater’s Board of Visitors and Alumni Association (President). 

SELC was fortunate to have Glynn serve on our Board of Trustees from 2000 to 2009.

About SELC: 

With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. For over thirty-three years, SELC has worked on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of its people. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works in Congress and state legislatures to inform environmental laws; in regulatory agencies to implement environmental laws and policies; and in the courts to enforce the law, stop the worst abuses, and set important precedents. The organization works collaboratively with more than 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve common conservation goals. The organization currently has a staff of over 150 individuals, with over 75 attorneys, including some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at

SELC believes that a broad range of ideas, life experiences, and backgrounds enriches our workplace, drives innovative thinking, and attracts highly talented people who seek a work environment that values the unique contributions of individual team members. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this belief. 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. SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to fostering a transparently inclusive workplace environment. We are looking for people to join us in this effort. Persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.

Criteria for Fellowship Consideration:

  • Strong interest in or demonstrated commitment to advancing environmental justice or the intersection of environmental law and racial justice
  • Demonstrated leadership ability
  • Interest in environmental or non-profit career
  • Community service work
  • Academic achievement
  • A genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace
  • We value a demonstrated commitment to working with communities of color and other vulnerable communities


  • Must be a second-year law student attending and in good standing at an American Bar Association accredited law school
  • Must have a strong undergraduate and law school record
  • Must possess excellent writing skills


Legal interns receive $750 per week from SELC for the 10-week summer internship. SELC does not reduce this amount if interns receive additional outside funding.


Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellows will receive a nonrenewable award of $10,000 (less applicable payroll and withholding taxes) for their community service, academic achievement, and demonstrated environmental justice interest or commitment. The $10,000 award is contingent upon accepting and successfully completing the summer fellowship.


To apply, click the ‘Apply Now’ button below to be directed to an online application process where you may upload your application materials. Applicants will be able to apply to the Summer Legal Internship, the Glynn D. Key Intern Fellowship, or both. All applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, law school transcript or grade report (with date of birth and social security number redacted), and three references. 

Applicants to the Glynn D. Key Intern Fellowship must also submit a recommendation from a law professor, employer, volunteer supervisor, or advocacy partner describing the applicant’s strong interest or demonstrated commitment to Environmental Justice, as well as a one-page statement describing an experience working or volunteering to remedy or prevent an environmental injustice. If the work included advocacy partnerships, please describe the partners and the community in which you worked or volunteered.

We encourage students to apply to the Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship by September 1, and we plan to extend these offers by September 15. The application deadline for general internships is October 1, but we will accept and review applications for both opportunities on a rolling basis until all positions are filled.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages applications from persons of all backgrounds.