The firm offers a three-year fellowship for highly qualified recent law school graduates, public-interest fellows, and judicial clerks. Fellows function as the junior associates of our firm and gain hands-on experience and instruction in environmental, land use, and administrative law by conducting research, writing briefs and memoranda, meeting with clients, attending administrative hearings, and appearing in court once admitted to practice in California.
The firm provides numerous formal and informal opportunities for professional development. Fellows receive formal training in the firm’s substantive practice areas, legal practice skills, and law firm management. Twice each year, we conduct in-depth reviews that provide an opportunity for fellows to discuss the progress of their fellowship and ensure that they are obtaining a broad base of experience. But more importantly, our small firm environment allows extensive informal mentoring. We staff cases leanly, so fellows typically work one on one with senior attorneys and take on significant responsibility early in the fellowship.
Many fellows were law clerks at the firm during law school. Prior work at the firm as a law clerk is helpful, as it allows us to get to know the applicant and his or her legal skills. Nevertheless, it is not a prerequisite for the fellowship. We expect that fellows will have taken the California bar either before joining the firm or within a few months of beginning their fellowships.
The firm has worked successfully with a number of attorneys in our fellowship program to secure agreement from their law schools that their work for the firm qualifies for loan forgiveness. We are committed to working to obtain similar agreements from other law schools.
Attorneys who have completed fellowships at the firm are well placed to advance their legal careers. Recent fellows have gone on to become in-house counsel for state or local environmental agencies or environmental nonprofits, deputy city attorneys, associates in the sustainable energy or land use practice groups of law firms, and law school professors. The firm hires associates exclusively from its fellowship pool.
Applications must be submitted by August 26 for fellowships beginning the following fall. We encourage early applications.