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Center for International Environmental Law

The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) is a nonprofit organization working to use international law and institutions to protect the environment, promote human health, and ensure a just and sustainable society. It provides a wide range of services including legal counsel, policy research, analysis, advocacy, education, training, and capacity building.

The goals of the Center for International Environmental Law are:

  • to solve environmental problems and promote sustainable societies through the use of law; 
  • to incorporate fundamental principles of ecology and justice into international law; 
  • to strengthen national environmental law systems and support public interest movements around the world; and 
  • to educate and train public-interest-minded environmental lawyers.

Nature of the Extern's Work and Supervision
Responsibilities of fellows and interns include researching and writing about areas of international law and policy; assisting with policy analysis and advocacy; attending meetings and conferences; assisting with the production of CIEL publications; and otherwise working closely with CIEL staff on various projects.

The Geneva office focuses on issues in relation with chemicals, nanotechnology as well as convergence between human rights and the environment, and covering related issues such as their relation with climate change and trade issues. Students will carry out legal research, supervised by the attorneys, and will generally be expected to be responsible for the production of at least one substantive policy, legal or analytical brief. Students are expected to attend meetings with and on behalf of attorneys, and to provide short written reports on the meetings. CIEL also generally has dispute settlement cases ongoing in either human rights courts, arbitral proceedings, or panels at the WTO; all interns and fellows are expected to contribute to research, writing, production, and delivery of briefs produced by CIEL.

While they will generally work with a single attorney, students are expected to be available for a broad range of work covered by the office. The extern will work closely with CIEL staff in the Geneva office, as well as those based in the DC headquarters of the organization.

Important Information for Students
CIEL requires the extern to have an excellent grasp of reading and writing English. French and/or Spanish are helpful but not required. Externs should be prepared to submit a writing sample (minimum of two pages), preferably not a legal memo or brief from a legal writing course.

To learn more about CIEL, please visit their website.

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