Organization Description: PEER is a non-profit, national environmental watchdog organization whose mission is to protect public employees who protect the environment by assisting and advocating on behalf of public employees in government pollution control and resource management agencies. Because government scientists, lawyers, regulators, law enforcement officials, engineers, land and wildlife managers, etc. are on the front lines of environmental protection, yet often work in politically-driven agencies where there is little tolerance for dissent, PEER helps environmentally ethical public employees police their agencies, expose and challenge bad decision-making, and work for reform.

Law Clerk

PEER Summer Clerkship Position--Summer 2015

Job Responsibilities: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER) is currently recruiting legal interns for clerkships during the summer of 2015.

When a public employee contacts PEER for help regarding an environmental or ethics violation within their organization, PEER becomes the face of the controversy and protects the public employee’s identity that brought the issue to light. PEER also provides free legal services to public employees who suffer adverse actions as a result of taking a stance to uphold environmental laws and ethics within their organizations.

As a Law Clerk with PEER, you will help support PEER’s legal program by assisting PEER’s General Counsel, Executive Director and Staff Attorney in all aspects of litigation, mainly by performing legal research and writing. PEER is often involved in various legal proceedings at one time. These legal proceedings include, but are not limited to actions based on the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Whistleblower Protection Act, the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), the Endangered Species Act (ESA), the Refuge Improvement Act, as well as constitutional challenges to free speech restrictions, such as gag orders. PEER is also involved in legislative and public education campaigns which often involve significant work by Clerks.

In addition, Law Clerks will assist PEER with investigating and documenting potential environmental laws and ethics violations. Such investigation may involve taking witness affidavits, filing FOIA requests, reviewing documents, conducting internet research, making telephone inquiries, and attending public meetings.

PEER believes that Law Clerks should gain valuable experience from their placements, which will help them prepare for their future careers as attorneys, while enhancing their résumé.

Qualifications: PEER is seeking Law Clerks who have completed their 2L year, have excellent research, writing, and communication skills, and who are excited about being a part of our team and who want to have a challenging and rewarding experience.  Healthy appreciation for the Oxford comma always welcome. 

Additional Details:  The position is 40 hours a week for 8-10 weeks.  While the internship is unpaid, we strive to provide each intern with ample supervision and input, a variety of skill-building tasks, and significant research and writing projects.

How to Apply: To apply for a position, email your resume, cover letter, and writing sample no longer than 5 pages to Laura Dumais, or through regular mail at PEER’s address.  If your writing sample consists of an excerpt of the legal analysis section from a longer work, please include a cover page with a short explanatory paragraph to orient the reader to your analysis.


Semester-Long Legal Externships
Fall or Spring Semesters

Description: Does your law school offer the opportunity to earn credit for a semester of real life, practical experience?  PEER legal externs receive exposure to diverse areas of environmental law and gain experience and skills in whistleblower litigation, administrative legal challenges, environmental advocacy, and media and communications work.

Job Responsibilities: Responsibilities include drafting legal complaints and briefs, Freedom of Information Act requests and appeals, administrative filings and petitions, legal memoranda, and press releases; editing employee-authored reports and exposes; participation in client intake and litigation strategy meetings; and legal and other research. 

Qualifications: PEER is looking for talented, self-starting 1Ls, 2Ls or 3Ls with outstanding writing skills. Experience or a demonstrated interest in environmental issues preferred.

How to Apply: Send a cover letter, resume, and a writing sample no longer than 5 pages in length to Laura Dumais, Staff Counsel, at or through regular mail at the address below.  If your writing sample consists of an excerpt of the legal analysis section from a longer work, please include a cover page with a short explanatory paragraph to orient the reader to your analysis.

When to apply: Applications taken on a rolling basis.

Contact: Laura Dumais, Staff Counsel
2000 P Street, NW Suite 240
Washington, D.C. 20036
(202) 265-7337 (202) 265-4192 (fax)


Interested in volunteering? Please email info[at] for more information or call 202-265-7337.

Are you a lawyer and interested in assisting our legal department? Please call or email info[at] for more information about our work.