Work With Us
The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) provides legal assistance and education to members of the scientific community, and climate scientists in particular. We defend researchers and other experts who share their knowledge, inform the public, and advocate to address climate change and other pressing environmental problems.
CSLDF is currently seeking applications for a Staff Attorney and a 2023 Legal Extern. See details below.
Description: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund (CSLDF) protects the scientific endeavor by preserving and advancing the legal protections for science and scientists, and safeguarding scientific inquiry from inappropriate interference. We defend researchers and other experts who share their knowledge, inform the public, and advocate to address climate change and other pressing environmental problems.
The Staff Attorney will take on a number of key responsibilities including working with scientists; leading scientist education efforts; working with stakeholders; and drafting legal writing, articles, and other content.
Main Duties & Responsibilities:
- Advise climate and environmental scientists about legal rights and options. This may include directly representing the scientist and/or working with pro bono or institutional counsel to arrange a defense.
- Organize and present webinars and educational events for scientists, attorney CLEs, and other educational programing.
- Draft educational content for scientists and lawyers.
- Draft pieces of legal writing such as regulatory comments, responses to open records requests, and whistleblower complaints.
- Write general interest pieces such as blog posts & op-eds.
- Collaborate with key stakeholders such as advocacy groups, law professors, pro bono law firms, scientists, institutional general counsels, and industry partners.
- Research and develop legal strategies to defend scientists and scientific endeavors.
- Coordinate with Executive Director, Development Director, and other CSLDF team members on various overlapping projects from time to time.
Skills & Abilities:
- Strong verbal, writing, analytical, and organizational skills; ability to meet deadlines; work well individually and in partnership environment.
- Minimum of 1-3 years demonstrated post-law school litigation experience. Experience with administrative law, employment law, open records laws, First Amendment issues, institutional scientific integrity policies, and/or working with expert witnesses is a plus.
We are based in New York City with an office near Columbia/Barnard in historic Morningside Heights. This position may be remote or hybrid, but will require occasional travel to conferences and events.
Salary range is $70,000 to $80,000 per year depending on experience.
Benefits include generous paid time off and flexible pre-tax benefits (including 401(k) plan). Paid health, dental, and life insurance benefits also provided.
You can expect to be part of a team that will support you to learn and gain insights into the front lines of defending climate scientists. We are a small, impact-driven organization – with a flexible and kind working culture. Please let us know what flexibility looks like to you.
To express interest: Please email a resume / CV and cover letter to email@example.com and include Staff Attorney Application in the subject line.
2023 Legal Externship
Who Can Participate: 3Ls with superb research and writing skills.
Description: The Climate Science Legal Defense Fund is a non-profit organization based in New York City. Established in 2011, our mission is to protect the scientific endeavor. We represent scientists—with a particular focus on climate and environmental scientists—who are targeted, silenced, harassed, or otherwise attacked because of the work they do. In addition, we perform significant educational outreach to scientists to help them understand their legal rights and responsibilities, and we proactively work to help ensure the enactment of strong legal protections for science and to promote science-based policy—at both the federal and state level.
Working closely with CSLDF attorneys, the law student will conduct legal research and writing. Projects may include drafting legal memoranda, sections of briefs and motions, policy position papers and reports, and educational materials on legal issues for a scientific audience. The student may potentially also participate in client and witness interviews.
This is an excellent opportunity to hone your legal research and writing skills, and to learn about the intersection of law, science, and policy.
Current matriculation in an ABA-accredited law school, preferably in an environmental law program, is required. We will place preference on students who have demonstrated superb legal research and writing skills through, for example, participation in a law review journal.
This position can be fully remote, or the law student can use a workspace in our office at 475 Riverside Drive in Manhattan. We have a flexible, friendly work environment. Please let us know what flexibility looks like to you.
Time Commitment: 8-20 hours/week or as otherwise agreed upon by CSLDF and the law student prior to their hiring.
New York Bar Pro Bono: This work is likely to be considered “qualifying pro bono work” for purposes of the New York State Board of Law Examiners’ mandatory 50-hour pro bono requirement.
To express interest: Please email a resume / CV, short legal writing sample (5 pages maximum), and cover letter detailing your interest in CSLDF and this position to Rachael Lyle at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thank you for considering CSLDF.