Externship Category: Environmental Law
|Externship Site||Practice Area||Details|
|Environmental Protection Agency |
Students will work at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), Environmental Accountability Division under the supervision of Senior Associate Regional Counsels and other staff attorneys. EPA is authorized to implement several environmental statutes including the National Environmental Policy Act, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Safe Drinking Water Act, the Superfund and other statutes regulating toxics, pesticides, oil spills and ocean dumping. In addition to taking enforcement actions pursuant to these statues, EPA oversees delegated state programs, issues permits and works closely with other federal agencies.
Extern's assignments may include assisting with the development of civil and administrative cases, legal research, preparation of memoranda, reviewing pleadings including complaints, answers and motions, attending settlement negotiations and other meetings, and attending hearings.
Preferences: Third-year students, but second-year students strongly encouraged to apply.
|Federal Highway Administration, Southeastern Legal Office |
The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) carries out the Federal highway programs in partnership with the State and local agencies to meet the nation’s transportation needs. Southern Legal Services, a field office of FHWA’s Office of Chief Counsel, provides advice and legal representation to fourteen division offices throughout the Southeast on a wide range of issues including environmental matters, employment law, requests for reasonable accommodations, Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, Federal Tort claims, ethics questions, federal land transfers and programmatic applications of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA).
The Agency’s environmental work revolves primarily around issues related to the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and Section 4(f) of the Department of Transportation Act. The office’s litigation case load varies but almost always includes 1) environmental lawsuits in U.S. District Courts throughout the Fourth, Fifth, Sixth, Eighth, Tenth, and Eleventh Circuits; and 2) employment suits constituting either Title VII discrimination or retaliation claims before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or appeals to the U.S. Merit Systems Protection Board.
Typical intern assignments range from researching, analyzing and providing recommendations regarding discrete legal issues to drafting dispositive pretrial motions. Interns participate in meetings with clients, conferences with opposing counsel, mediation and settlement discussions, and conferences with the Assistant U.S. Attorneys assigned to the Agency’s environmental cases. The resulting experience provides exposure to a broad range of legal issues and a better understanding of the work performed by FHWA attorneys. Student preference for either environmental or employment law is considered in assigning projects, but the office case load at the time of the externship ultimately determines the range of available assignments.
|Georgia Watch |
Founded in 2002, Georgia Watch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit, non-partisan organization working to ensure that Georgians are educated and protected on matters that impact their wallets and quality of life. Through advocacy, outreach and education, Georgia Watch works to make Georgia a model for consumer protection. Georgia Watch safeguards consumer protections in the area of personal finance, ensure access to safe, quality, affordable healthcare, protect the right to trial by jury, promote access to the courts, and encourage fair utility rates and renewable energy options for consumers. Georgia Watch collaborates with government agencies, community-based organizations, professional associations, policymakers, legislators, academic partners, advocacy groups, and other stakeholders.
Externs will work across the program areas to accomplish work in all policy areas: consumer financial protection, access to civil justice, consumer energy, and healthcare access. Externs will assist with legal and other research associated with writing policy reports and briefs, contribute to external communications, including blog posts and press releases, draft consumer education materials, attend meetings with community partners, and perform other related tasks as assigned.
GreenLaw is dedicated to preventing air and water pollution that endangers human health and degrades Georgia's natural resources. GreenLaw achieves these goals by providing free high-quality legal and technical assistance to environmental organizations and community groups throughout Georgia. By providing these critical services, GreenLaw succeeds in compelling government and industry to take the steps necessary to protect Georgia's citizens and the environment. In all its work, GreenLaw champions the belief that every Georgian, young and old, rich and poor, has the right to breathe clean air, drink clean water, live in healthy communities, and enjoy our state's natural beauty.
Students will work at GreenLaw under the supervision of the Executive Director or one of the staff attorneys, depending on the student's interest area. GreenLaw has three program areas: Clean Air, Clean Water, and Environmental Justice. More information about GreenLaw can be found at www.green-law.org
Extern's assignments may include assisting with preparation and attending trials, hearings and oral arguments, legal research, preparation of memorandums, drafting pleadings and briefs, factual investigation, document review, and attending settlement negotiations, public hearings and other meetings.
A writing sample and three references must accompany resume.
|Office of the Attorney General, State of Georgia |
Along with research projects, externs will be encouraged to actively participate in matters being handled by the division to which they are assigned; including opportunities to participate in client meetings, mediation sessions, depositions and court proceedings.
Students will be assigned a mentor who will insure that the student receives training in the practical application of the law, will provide and document frequent feedback about their job performance, and will provide insight into the professional obligations of being an attorney.
The Divisions/Sections/Units available to externs are as follows:
Regulated Industries and Professions Division
This Division includes the following Sections: State Licensing Boards, Consumer Interests and Environmental and Natural Resources. Interns will work for a diverse collection of client agencies, including professional licensing boards, the Department of Agriculture, the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Division, the Public Service Commission, the Department of Insurance and others. Work in the division consists of working directly with clients and providing advice and representation in litigation. The litigation work in the division is primarily administrative in nature, but includes judicial reviews, proceedings for injunctive relief and other non-jury judicial proceedings. Interns may have the opportunity to attend investigative interviews; research legal issues and prepare memoranda of advice; prepare pleadings and briefs at the trial and appellate levels; assist attorneys in case preparation; attend strategy conferences and other meetings with clients; attend board meetings; and, attend administrative hearings and court proceedings.
Commercial Transactions and Litigation Division
This Division includes the following Sections: Business and Finance, Real Property, Construction, Transportation and Authorities and Tax. Interns will be given substantive work in a wide range of areas, some of which have been the subject of media coverage because of their significance. Interns may have the opportunity to help the assigned attorney prepare for and attend discovery proceedings such as depositions, draft pleadings or briefs and observe proceedings in state and federal trial courts, attend hearings at the Office of State Administrative Hearings and arguments before the Georgia appellate courts. Since there is such a variety of matters handled in the division, students may be attending a routine garnishment hearing one day and a Georgia Supreme Court argument on a multi-million dollar tax dispute the next. In addition to litigation, the division offers the unique opportunity to be exposed to transactional practice, which may include contract drafting or review and the opportunity to be exposed to cutting-edge financing issues such as public private initiatives. Interns will gain an understanding of how the State acquires real property and be exposed to other real property management issues. Students may accompany attorneys as they attend meetings with client agencies and work on advice in response to agency requests. Interns will be exposed to Georgia laws and statutory interpretation principles and gain an understanding of the unique constraints placed upon governmental agencies by the Georgia Constitution, such as the prohibitions against pledging the states credit or the granting of gratuities and will become familiar with governmental defenses such as sovereign immunity.
Criminal Justice Division
This Division includes the following Sections: Healthcare Fraud, Public Safety, Post-Conviction Litigation and Capital Litigation. Interns assist in preparing pleadings in federal and state court in habeas corpus cases, direct appeal briefs in murder cases and civil litigation with respect to public safety/law enforcement clients as it arises. Interns also do research for cases or issues as they arise - whether in relation to legislation or litigation or general client advice. Interns also have the opportunity to attend board meetings and client meetings as well as various types of court proceedings.
General Litigation Division
This Division includes the following Sections: Civil Rights, Tort, and Workers' Compensation. In an active civil litigation practice, interns will draft discovery, motions, briefs and other pleadings in state and federal court as well as before the State Board of Workers' Compensation. Students will assist the attorneys in preparing for depositions, hearings, mediations and trials. Interns may also attend hearings, trials and appellate arguments.
Government Services and Employment Division
This Division includes the following Sections: Education, Elections, Local Government and Judiciary, Labor and Employment and Human Resources. Because the Government Operations Division offers a wide range of different substantive work, from administrative hearings to federal litigation to client advice and appellate litigation, interns are exposed to all of these areas as a part of their experience. Interns work with active, practicing attorneys in readying cases for hearings; preparing and answering discovery; drafting briefs, motions and other pleadings; researching and writing client advice letters or opinions of the Attorney General; and attending witness interviews, board meeting, discovery proceedings, hearings, trials and appellate arguments.
Special Prosecutions Section
This Section is primarily responsible for investigating and prosecuting government corruption cases. Interns in the Special Prosecutions Section are allowed to work under Georgia's third-year prosecutor practice rules. Accordingly, interns are assigned case files to review, prepare indictments, and present to grand juries. Interns may also make court appearances from time to time.
Georgia Medicaid Fraud Control Unit
The MFCU investigates and prosecutes health care providers and conspirators who commit fraud and abuse of the Georgia Medicaid program. The Unit has criminal teams, which initiate criminal prosecutions based on health care fraud and abuse, and civil teams, which investigate and prosecute civil qui tam whistleblower cases filed all over the country. MFCU prosecutions are often complex and involve a combination of witness interviews and depositions, data analysis, and information gathering with state and federal partners. Interns will experience a wide variety of criminal and civil prosecutorial activities, including grand jury appearances and presentation of criminal indictments, drafting of civil complaints, review of medical records, legal briefing and analysis of the Georgia Medicaid Fraud False Claims Act, and settlement negotiations in multi-million dollar cases. Law students looking to gain experience in healthcare law, criminal practice, or civil procedure need look no further!
Consumer Protection Unit
The “CPU” of the Georgia Attorney General’s Office enforces the Fair Business Practices Act, as well as many of our State's other consumer protection laws. Under the Attorney General’s authority, we actively work to protect consumers and legitimate businesses from unfair or deceptive acts and practices in the marketplace. Externs will work closely with the Staff Attorneys in all aspects of the work of CPU’s Legal Division. Legal research and writing (briefs, memoranda), drafting legal documents (Subpoenas, Investigative Demands, Notices of Contemplated Legal Action), drafting settlement agreements, and consumer contact are just some of the daily tasks and responsibilities. There’s no typical day, and while our interns work hard, they’re never bored. Not only will you gain solid, real-world working experience, you’ll be a much more informed consumer at the conclusion of your externship with us!
Solicitor General's Office
The Solicitor General's Office oversees appellate litigation for the Office of the Attorney General and collaborates on all phases of significant litigation with other attorneys in the Department. Work in the Solicitor General's Office frequently involves constitutional issues, statutory interpretation, and other complex civil litigation. Interns will work with the Solicitor General and Deputy Solicitors General to perform legal research; draft research memos; draft motions, briefs, and other pleadings; and prepare for court hearings and oral arguments. Interns may also have the opportunity to attend court hearings.
|Southern Environmental Law Center |
Externs can expect to do research and writing on issues for litigation or for 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 doing research, clerks also participate in strategy sessions and other aspects of case or project management. Externs may also be involved in meetings on environmental policy with government officials and leaders of other environmental groups. We hold periodic seminars to introduce the clerks to a wide range of environmental issues and projects. Other special events and outings, including a summer hike or canoe trip, are regularly held.
At the time of application, include three references and your GPA on your resume and include a one-page summary that briefly explains your interest in the placement as it relates to your professional development goals and highlights relevant coursework and/or experience.
|U.S. Department of the Interior - Office of the Regional Solicitor |
The Department of the Interior is the nation’s principal natural resources management agency. It also has significant responsibilities in American Indian affairs. The Southeast Regional Solicitor’s Office in Atlanta provides legal counsel to Interior agencies and offices in the states located in the southeastern U. S., the U. S. Virgin Islands, and the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, including in the areas of public land use, Indian treaty and other rights, resource protection policies and park concession contracts, grants and other agreements, Endangered Species Act, water law, oil and gas resources on the Outer Continental Shelf, coal surface mining regulation, matters pertaining to the U. S. territories, procurement, agreements, administrative law, employment law, ethics, intellectual property, FOIA and Privacy Act, water law, NEPA, Clean Water Act, natural resource damages, CERCLA, OPA, and torts. The office also works closely with the Department of Justice and U. S. Attorneys’ offices on litigation involving the Department.
The Regional Solicitor’s Office is located in the Richard B. Russell Federal Building and U. S Courthouse in downtown Atlanta. Externs will be assigned work in the various areas of the regional office’s practice and can expect to draft discovery documents, motions, answers and other pleadings, draft legal memoranda, decisions and opinions, attend meetings with client agencies and agency officials on legal matters pending in the office, attend hearings (administrative and judicial), and attend and participate in witness preparation, negotiations and mediations.
Externs will also be assigned administrative litigation and will be expected to handle all phases of the litigation, including briefing witnesses, pre-hearing conferences and hearings. Externs will work directly with attorneys and their work will be supervised by senior attorneys in the office.
Preferences: Second or third-year students are encouraged to apply
Students must submit a writing sample, transcript, and resume at the time of application.