Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship

The Southern Environmental Law Center is currently accepting applications for our Glynn D. Key Summer Intern Fellowship. For Summer 2024, the Intern Fellowship program has two open positions and is available in these SELC offices: Atlanta, GA, Chapel Hill, NC, or Charlottesville, VA. It is a 10-week internship. This position is intended for first-year law students with a strong interest in or a demonstrated commitment to advancing environmental justice. One of fellows’ primary responsibilities will be to conduct research supporting SELC’s Environmental Justice Initiative, and fellows will be provided the opportunity to take part in a full-year mentorship program.

SELC currently has a hybrid work model that offers employees the flexibility to work at home up to two days per week. The hybrid work policy for Summer Interns will be determined by the individual SELC offices. All interns and employees must reside in our region. 

Overview and Purpose

SELC recognizes that, due to historical patterns of racial and economic injustice, people of color and the impoverished in our region often face greater exposure to, and impact from, environmental harms. To better serve all communities that are facing environmental threats in the states where we work, SELC seeks to embed equity and inclusiveness throughout our organization and the work we do.

As part of this commitment, SELC has created a Glynn Key summer fellowship program to attract talented, committed law students whose life experiences and values contribute to (1) our belief in an equitable and inclusive workplace that allows diverse perspectives to come to the forefront and (2) our goal to alleviate and prevent the disproportionate environmental burden on communities of color and low wealth communities.

Program Details

The program is open to law students during the summer between their 1L and 2L years.  SELC’s Glynn Key summer fellows will work closely with our attorneys on meaningful projects that advance SELC’s mission—to protect the basic right of all people to clean air, clean water, and a livable climate; to preserve our region’s natural treasures and rich biodiversity; and to provide a healthy environment for all.

Projects could include drafting a section of a brief, researching key legal issues, or participating in a team strategy session. Among other assignments, one of fellows’ primary responsibilities will be to conduct research supporting SELC’s Environmental Justice Initiative. We also invite fellows to see our work first-hand by observing public hearings, oral arguments, depositions, client meetings, and meetings with state and federal officials.

The Glynn Key summer fellowship also includes a full-year mentoring program that aims to maximize fellows’ potential in law school and afterwards. SELC will assign a mentor to each fellow as soon as the fellowship is awarded, and the mentorship will continue through the first semester of the fellow’s 2L year. Mentors will be given suggested topics to cover with mentees during each month of the mentoring program to enhance the experience for the mentor and mentee.

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 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. 

Qualifications:

  • 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 helping SELC foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace 
  • We are particularly interested in candidates whose life experiences have shaped a commitment to alleviating and preventing disproportionate environmental burdens on communities of color and lower wealth communities. 

Eligibility:

Glynn Key summer fellows should have a strong interest in or demonstrated commitment to advancing environmental justice and working with communities of color and other vulnerable communities. Top candidates will demonstrate how they have worked or would work to meaningfully involve those same communities in environmental decision-making.  Fellows should also demonstrate a commitment to promoting equity and inclusion within their communities and/or the legal profession. We are particularly interested in candidates whose life experiences have shaped a commitment to alleviating and preventing disproportionate environmental burdens on communities of color and lower wealth communities. The application process is open to all first-year law students enrolled in an ABA-accredited law school, regardless of race, color, religion, citizenship, national origin, gender, age, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, marital status, military service, disability, or any other characteristic or condition protected by applicable law. 

About SELC:

The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of over 200, including more than 100 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, DC.

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 https://www.southernenvironment.org/.

Compensation:

Legal Interns receive $900 per week from SELC for the 10-week summer internship. SELC does not reduce this amount if interns receive additional outside funding.

To Apply:

The application has been closed as of Friday February 2, 2024. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

To apply, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below to be directed to our online application where you can upload your application materials and submit an application. All applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, undergraduate transcript or grade report (with date of birth and social security number redacted), three references, and a statement of interest. Once you have received your first-semester law school grades, please email those to [email protected] (PDF format preferred) to be added to your existing application.

The statement of interest (no more than one page) should describe an experience working or volunteering to amplify the voice and experience of a historically marginalized community and or/to remedy or prevent an environmental injustice. How did you meaningfully involve the historically marginalized community and listen to their suggestions in working toward solutions? You may also elaborate upon your interest in working at the intersection of environmental law and racial justice. If the work included advocacy partnerships, please describe the partners and the community in which you worked or volunteered. You may also share any personal or academic experiences related to environmental justice as a means to describe interest in environmental justice work.

Summary of application requirements:

  1. Submit an online application with the following: Cover Letter, Resume, Writing Sample, Undergraduate transcript, References, and your Glynn Key Fellowship one-page statement of interest.
  2. Once received, email a copy of your first-semester law school grades to [email protected] (PDF format preferred).

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.