Fellowship: Conservation Law Center/Indiana University School of Law, Conservation Law Clinic, 2022 Ralston Conservation Law Fellow (Deadline: Ongoing, Bloomington, IN)

The Conservation Law Center operates the Indiana University Maurer School of Law’s Conservation Law Clinic. It is seeking applications for the inaugural Nancy C. Ralston Conservation Law Fellowship. The position is open now for a recent graduate, but may be held open for a promising student expecting to graduate in 2022.  I serve on the CLC board and am happy to answer queries.

This position will be used to help advance CLC’s mission to protect important natural habitats, freshwater ecosystems, and sensitive species. CLC is committed to equal opportunity and inclusion for groups that are historically under-represented at professional levels within the field of conservation, including women and people of color, who are strongly encouraged to apply.

To be qualified, a candidate should either be a recent law school graduate (within 5 years) or current law student expecting to graduate by spring 2022. Strong candidates will have excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills, and demonstrated commitment to conservation and environmental causes. We value applicants who have a broad range of interests and experience, along with a desire to make a career in the field of conservation.

Please see the attached announcement for details and application requirements.  We heartily encourage sharing this information to your social networks and anyone you feel might be interested.

Should you have questions about the Conservation Law Center, our Clinic, or the Fellowship, please contact our Director of Advancement, Andrea Lutz, directly at andlutz@iu.edu or 812.856.0819.

Nancy C. Ralston Conservation Law Fellowship
Job Announcement July 2021

The Conservation Law Center seeks applications for the inaugural Nancy C. Ralston
Conservation Law Fellowship. This is a two-year appointment starting in summer 2022. For the right candidate, an earlier start date will be considered.

To be qualified, a candidate should either be a recent law school graduate (within 5 years) or current law student expecting to graduate by spring 2022. Candidates must be admitted to, or willing to apply for, admission to a state bar of their choosing. Strong candidates will have excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills, and demonstrated commitment to
conservation and environmental causes. We value applicants who have a broad range of
interests and experience, along with a desire to make a career in the field of conservation.
Conservation Law Center is committed to equal opportunity for applicants from groups that are historically under-represented at professional levels within the field of conservation, including women and people of color, who are strongly encouraged to apply for the Fellowship.

The Conservation Law Center is a nonprofit public interest law firm with a staff of five full-time professionals. We are lawyers, advocates, and educators who care deeply about the natural world and people’s relationship to it. We work to protect and improve the health, diversity, beauty, and resilience of the planet and defend our shared natural heritage. The Center
provides legal support to other conservation nonprofits and works with clients on a wide range of transactional, policy, and litigation matters pertaining to regional, national, and international conservation issues. The Center has particular interest and expertise in several topics, including natural habitat protection, conservation easements, the Public Trust doctrine, endangered species protection, and the protection of freshwater ecosystems especially in the Great Lakes region. While we focus on land, water, and species, climate change is a factor in nearly all of the issues we address. Conservation Law Center was founded in 2005 by attorney W. William Weeks, former EVP and COO of The Nature Conservancy, who currently serves as the Center’s board chair.

The Center also operates the Conservation Law Clinic in partnership with the Maurer School of Law at Indiana University. In that capacity, the Center works with student interns on its active projects, advising clients, and researching legal and policy solutions on conservation issues. The Center is the only law clinic in the country dedicated solely to conservation issues.

The Ralston Fellow’s work will cover a broad spectrum of responsibilities including litigation-related research, land protection transactions, advising conservation clients, policy analysis, and outreach. Other aspects regarding the operation of the Center, including working with students in the Conservation Law Clinic, will also be expected. Fellows can expect to develop their skills as attorneys, improve their abilities as environmental advocates, and leave the Center with valuable experience in a highly competitive field. Conservation Law Center places a premium on the relationships we build with our clients, partners, and students, and the Ralston Fellow will be asked to participate actively in fostering a supportive, positive culture.

Salary and Benefits:
Conservation Law Center offers a competitive salary and a benefits package for employees and their families that includes health, dental, vision, as well as a retirement match. Expected salary range is $48,000-$55,000.

We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive
consideration for employment without regard to age, ethnicity, color, race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, genetic information, marital status, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.

Nancy C. Ralston is a native Hoosier and passionate conservationist, and was a pioneer for women in the male-dominated space of academia. In the fall of 1961, Nancy earned her PhD from Indiana University. Twenty-five years later she retired as Professor of Psychology, School of Arts and Sciences, Chair of the Department of Psychological Foundations, School of Education, and member of the University of Cincinnati Graduate Faculty. After her retirement, she moved to a cabin in the woods outside of Bloomington, Indiana, where she spends her time gardening, writing, and learning from nature with her wonderdog Bonnie.

Law Clinic Director: Columbia University Law School, Environmental Law Clinic, Director (Deadline: August 20, 2021, NY)

Columbia Law School is reopening its search for a new director for our Environmental Law Clinic to succeed Ed Lloyd, who is retiring.  Applications should be submitted through the link below by August 20.  We hope that applicants will briefly describe their vision for the clinic; we are open to all ideas, though there is particular interest in environmental justice. The official announcement is below. Thanks.

Columbia Law School invites applicants for clinical faculty positions, across areas of practice and teaching experience. We continue to be interested in candidates who will help us build the next generation of clinics at CLS and welcome candidates to fill existing gaps in our curriculum and candidates who bring new ideas for clinical teaching. One area of interest is environmental law and environmental justice. Another area of interest is business law, which may include transactional, real estate, or tax law. Another area of interest is clinics that represent individuals in litigation matters.

We wish to hire faculty committed to providing a powerful individual and collective learning experience where students serve as the primary providers of legal services, under close faculty supervision. Creative and thoughtful teaching that focuses on student development, law reform and advancement of the profession are also central. Diversity – of life experience, perspectives and approaches to lawyering – is essential and a very high priority. We look forward to welcoming new colleagues who will help us build our program.

Clinical faculty positions at Columbia Law School are non-tenure track positions that are or are expected to lead to a long term, renewable contract. Although some clinical faculty engage in scholarly writing, there is no separate scholarship requirement, either at the time of hiring or during their time at CLS. Columbia University is an Equal Opportunity Employer/Disability/Veteran.

We intend to move quickly this hiring season, and while we will accept applications on a rolling basis, we encourage candidates to submit materials by August 20th. To express your interest, please submit a C.V. and 1-2 page description of the clinic you hope to teach at Columbia Law School to this link: https://apply.interfolio.com/91213. Any questions can be sent to committee chair Prof. Colleen Shanahan at clinicalappointments@law.columbia.edu.

Fellowship: Yale University Law School, Law, Ethics, and Animals Program, Senior Litigation Fellow in Climate Change and Animal Agriculture (Deadline: ASAP/Ongoing)

The Law, Ethics, and Animals Program at Yale Law School invites applicants for a Senior Litigation Fellow to help lead a new initiative within the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environment Law & Policy Lab that examines the likelihood and potential impact of climate change litigation against industrial animal agriculture firms. This is an unusual opportunity to lead a high-impact and cutting-edge research initiative. The Senior Litigation Fellow will receive a two-year appointment and will begin in the fall of 2021.

The full job listing, including information about how to apply, can be found here and is pasted below. Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. If you know folks who might be interested, we would be very grateful for your help spreading the word!

Climate Change and Animal Agriculture Senior Litigation Fellow and Project Manager

The Law, Ethics, and Animals Program (LEAP) at Yale Law School is hiring a Senior Litigation Fellow to help lead a new project within the Climate, Animal, Food, and Environment Law & Policy Lab (CAFE Lab) that examines the likelihood and potential impact of climate change litigation against industrial animal agriculture firms. The position will last two years and will begin as early as September 2021. This is a rare and unusual opportunity to lead a high-impact and cutting-edge research initiative at a preeminent university.

The primary responsibility of the Senior Fellow will be to lead and oversee research, publications, and events for the climate change and animal agriculture litigation project. With guidance and engagement from LEAP faculty and with support from student research assistants, the Senior Fellow will be responsible for producing a background report on the animal agriculture industry, its contributions to climate change, and its exposure to climate change litigation; organizing an expert workshop in summer 2022; and pursuing projects, research, and publications during academic year 2022-2023 that build upon the report and workshop.

The ideal candidate will have the following qualifications:

  • –  Graduation with a distinguished academic record from law school;
  • –  Substantial experience in animal law, environmental law, or other relevant areas of practice;
  • –  Record of scholarship, policy briefs, legal briefs, or other relevant publications;
  • –  Comfort interpreting scientific literature and technical concepts;
  • –  Strong interpersonal skills and enthusiasm for teamwork;
  • –  Capacity to work hard, efficiently, and independently; and
  • –  Commitment to public service or social justice work.

The Senior Fellow will receive a competitive salary stipend commensurate with experience level plus Yale University benefits. Although the position is funded for two years, we would be willing to accept a shorter tenure for exceptional candidates who require it to arrange a leave of absence from their permanent employer.

Application materials should be sent to douglas.kysar@yale.edu and include the following:

  • cover letter describing the candidate’s qualifications and including a statement of the applicant’s interests and experience;
  • resume;
  • law school transcript;
  • sample of recent scholarly, policy, or advocacy writing; and
  • contact information for two to three references.

We strongly encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the legal profession and the animal and environmental protection movements.

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Please direct any questions about the position or the application process to douglas.kysar@yale.edu.

Yale University considers applicants for employment without regard to, and does not discriminate on the basis of, an individual’s sex, race, color, religion, age, disability, status as a veteran, or national or ethnic origin; nor does Yale discriminate on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity or expression. Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 protects people from sex discrimination in educational programs and activities at institutions that receive federal financial assistance. Questions regarding Title IX may be referred to the University’s Title IX Coordinator, at TitleIX@yale.edu, or to the U.S. Department of Education, Office for Civil Rights, 8th Floor, Five Post Office Square, Boston MA 02109-3921. Telephone: 617.289.0111, Fax: 617.289.0150, TDD: 800.877.8339, or Email: ocr.boston@ed.gov.

Tenure-Track Energy/Oil & Gas Law Faculty Position: University of North Dakota Law School (Deadline: Ongoing)

The University of North Dakota School of Law is currently hiring for several tenure-track faculty positions, including a position focusing on energy law as well as oil and gas law.  The link to UND’s hiring page, which includes the UND School of Law’s faculty posting:

Fellowship: University of Houston Law Center EENR Center, Post-graduate Research Scholar re Carbon Capture (Deadline: ASAP/September)

A fellowship notice from my emails:

UHLC’s EENR Center will be hiring a post graduate research scholar to coordinate legal research in carbon capture and management.  There are now multiple proposals for at scale carbon sequestration programs, particularly for the industrial corridor along the Gulf Coast.  The Center for Carbon Management at UH is supplying funding to EENR for up to 4 years for a person to coordinate research on legal and policy impacts surrounding carbon management.  The position will be supervised by EENR’s co-drectors: Gina Warren, Tracy Hester, and Victor Flatt/

All applicants must apply through the University’s hiring portal, which has more specific information:

Job Description – Research Scholar – Environment, Energy & Natural Resources (FAC001858) (taleo.net)

We will begin reviewing applications immediately and would like to hire by September.

Fellowship: UC Berkeley Center for Law, Energy & Environment, Water Policy Fellow (Deadline: July 2, 2021)

UC Berkeley’s Center for Law, Energy & Environment seeks a water policy
fellow to start August 15, 2021. See here for more information:

Applications due by July 2, 2021

United States Must Prepare for Impending Climate Refugee Crisis

Climate change has and will continue to force people all over the world to leave their homes.  Climate stressors such as rising sea levels, flooding and changing rainfall patterns are increasingly making different areas of the world inhabitable. The World Bank predicts that Sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America could have more than 140 million people displaced by 2050.  Many of the people currently being displaced are migrating within their own countries; however, as more people are forced to leave their homes, there will be far more international movement.  

The United States is not immune from the effects of climate refugees.  After Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico, tens of thousands of Puerto Ricans were forced to flee the island, most of which came to the U.S. mainland. The United States cannot pretend this problem is not imminent. However, the United States has done little to prepare for the influx of asylum-seekers.

Under current United States law, the definition of a refugee is extremely limited.  In order to be a refugee, one must be “unable or unwilling to return to […] that country because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” This definition of refugee completely ignores the growing levels of displacement due to environmental factors.  The term “persecution” only applies to those who are forced to leave their country due to violence by other people; and does not include the possibility of their homes becoming inhabitable because of the climate conditions.

The U.S. must be a leader in preparing the world for handling the large numbers of people who will be forced to find a new home.  The first step in that process is changing how we define the term “refugee” in U.S. law to include those who cannot return to their countries of origin due to the impacts of climate change. If we do not make this change, we will have an increase in illegal immigration and, more importantly, we will be contributing to the devastation that faces people who are already forced to leave everything behind.

Nikki Dow





Groundwater Rise: An International Problem that California Must Solve

The devastating effects of climate change are numerous, diverse, and often disrupt our best-laid plans.  One novel issue which is only now starting to get attention is groundwater rise.  When we think of sea-level rise, we often think about the ocean encroaching our coastal shores and flooding our beaches – but we forget about the waterways in the ground beneath our feet. Groundwater fills the holes and fractures in underground materials like water fills a sponge. It can be deep in the earth, or shallow and near the surface.  Along coasts, underground saltwater floats directly beneath the freshwater.  When underground saltwater rises with the rising seas, it is expected to push the groundwater up and sometimes even out of the ground.  In addition to flooding basements and impacting plumbing, this rise can also crumble roads and create extended earthquake liquefaction zones. In 2012, Hawaiian scientists discovered the earliest first-hand evidence of the phenomena already in action.

Global climate change is expected to cause at least an average one foot rise in sea levels by the end of the century, with a three foot rise in California, but it may end up being much more. A survey in one Bay Area city found local groundwater to currently be an average of six feet below the surface near the Bay edge, and often as close to the surface as only one to two feet below. Even a small rise in sea levels can have devastating effects with already shallow groundwater. The effects become even more problematic if the groundwater is contaminated by chemicals.  For those who live or work near the shore and in polluted areas, sleeping monsters are about to awake.

Potential Impacts of Sea-Level Rise (SLR) and Flooding in the San Francisco Bay Area: https://lao.ca.gov/reports/2019/4121/Fig2.png
California LAO: Preparing for Rising Seas: How the State Can Help Support Local Coastal Adaptation Efforts

When chemicals pollute soil and groundwater, the contamination may be mitigated by procedures to contain the toxins and reduce the risk to humans nearby. However, these containment procedures generally factor in the current depth of the groundwater at that time and there is usually no follow up later to assess if the mitigation is still sufficient (such as if physical circumstances changed in the area).  More than 945 EPA Superfund sites are at risk due to global climate change generally, and 330 EPA Superfund sites were found to be at risk of flooding due to only five feet of sea level rise. The California LAO recently stated, “floodwaters could penetrate both surface-level and underground tanks and force out toxic liquids, or liberate waste from pits or piles.” Though, this analysis does not even consider vapor intrusion risks as the groundwater rises closer the surface.

The issue of contaminated groundwater rise has been overlooked by city planners and decision-makers for decades, but we cannot wait any longer.  Many coastal cities across the world will be impacted by this issue.  California has an impressive history of environmental innovation and pioneering novel solutions to address global climate change. This issue should be no different — not only because the world needs a solution, but because this issue will be disastrous for Californians if we cannot get ahead of it at home.

– Ashley Gjovik

Ashley is an advocate for human rights, including healthy environments. She is currently a law student at Santa Clara University studying international public interest law and policy. 

Position: The Nature Conservancy, Senior Strategic Policy Advisor – Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Justice (Arlington, VA/Negotiable; Deadline: rolling)

This interesting opportunity was shared with me.

A link to a posting on Linkedin.com for this position. Here is also a copy of the actual position description and related info.