Legal Fellow

Location: Headquarters, Washington, DC or Denver, CO
Supervisor: Legal Fellow


The legal fellowship is a 1-2 year position based in Defenders’ Washington, D.C. National Headquarters office, or its Denver, CO office. The position is intended for a highly qualified individual committed to wildlife and natural resource conservation. Primary emphasis is on providing legal research, writing, and litigation support for cases involving federal wildlife and natural resources laws to conserve biological diversity, and the advancement of Defenders’ conservation policies. 


  • Perrform legal research, draft memoranda and pleadings, review and comment on administrative agency actions, and complete other work as assigned by supervisor;

  • Assist in cases brought under the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Marine Mammal Protection Act, Clean Water Act, National Forest Management Act, Refuge Improvement Act, Administrative Procedure Act, Freedom of Information Act and other federal statutes

  • Participate in the development and advancement of Defenders’ conservation policy goals

  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


  • Education: Juris Doctor degree, preferably with a bar membership in at least one state.

  • Experience with federal natural resources, public lands, and wildlife conservation laws.

  •  Strong legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills

  • Litigation experience

  • Demonstrated commitment and interest in public-interest advocacy, environmental protection and natural resources conservation

  • Other relevant experience with legislative procedures, grassroots organizing, communications, editing, or development.


  • While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to use a computer and communicate with others while doing so.



  • General office working conditions, the noise level in the work environment is usually quiet.



  • The fellowship is for one year with the possibility of an extension to two years.


Interested applicants please reference Legal Fellow position in your subject line and submit a letter of interest along with your resume to us via e-mail at:

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, religion, national origin, sex, age, disability, or any other characteristic protected by law, in all personnel actions.

Defenders of Wildlife is a national, non-profit membership organization dedicated to the protection of all native wild animals and plants in their natural communities. Our employees work in an environment that is inclusive and honors each of our unique perspectives and backgrounds. We believe that the conservation of biological diversity is best advanced by the contributions of people of diverse backgrounds, experiences, beliefs and cultures.  We strive toward a collective goal of including all people in the conservation of our Nation’s wildlife and wild places.