Climate Justice Legal Fellow via Idealist

Iowa Environmental Council

Des Moines, IA, United States 馃嚭馃嚫

Two-year fellowship beginning September 2021

Status:   Full Time/Temporary

Iowa Environmental Council seeks a third-year law student, a new attorney, or an attorney seeking to move into public interest law to work with us to develop a proposal for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship. For more information on the fellowship process, see

Organizational Background:

The Iowa Environmental Council (IEC) is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. Founded in 1995, IEC is the largest and most comprehensive environmental coalition in the state, comprised of diverse organizations and individuals working together to protect and preserve Iowa’s natural resources. Together, we unify Iowans to advocate for clean water & land stewardship, clean energy, and a healthy climate.

  • By amplifying the voices of Iowans and leveraging our collective influence, we advocate for a cleaner, healthier Iowa at the legislature, rule-making agencies and, when necessary, in the courts.
  • Through education, advocacy and coalition building, we raise awareness, generate action and create large-scale change that makes Iowa a better place to live, work and explore.

To learn more about our work, visit:


The Climate Justice Legal Fellow will be responsible for raising the profile of climate justice issues in Iowa through research and advocacy at state and local government levels in Iowa. The work will specifically include researching the disproportionate impacts of climate change on people of color and disadvantaged communities in Iowa and advocating for policies that mitigate these impacts. The Fellow will work to increase diversity of representation on local boards and commissions that make climate policy decisions/strategy and build relationships with leaders and organizations in frontline communities. The Fellow will work with the Energy and Water Program Directors to engage frontline communities in decision-making processes related to climate change impacts and mitigation by sharing advocacy opportunities and appealing to a broad set of values. The Fellow will report to the Staff Attorney.


The Climate Justice Legal Fellow will be responsible for:

  • Performing research to identify specific environmental justice opportunities for legal, legislative, and administrative agency action at the state or local level.
  • Identifying and developing state and local policy changes to reduce disproportionate impacts on people of color and disadvantaged communities.
  • Evaluating projects undergoing environmental review and permitting for disproportionate impacts and advocating for project changes or impact mitigation.
  • Working with IEC program staff to highlight and advocate on issues that have disproportionate impacts on people of color, such as displacement by flooding, impacts of concentrated animal feeding operations, accessible transportation, or utility shut-offs.



  • Equal Justice Works requirements
  • J.D. or LL.M. degree from an Equal Justice Works Member Law School and licensed to practice law in the State of Iowa.
  • You may not have held a full-time (more than 30 hours/week), permanent, public interest lawyer position previously, though applicants coming from bridge/gap fellowships or clerkships are eligible.
  • Experienced private-sector lawyers who have demonstrated a commitment to public interest law and have the relevant skills and initiative to carry out the goals of the project are encouraged to apply.
  • Candidates may not have participated previously in any major fellowship program such as the Skadden Fellowship Program, Echoing Green Fellowship, Soros Justice Fellowship, etc.
  • A passion for IEC鈥檚 mission and climate justice work.
  • Strong organizational skills; ability to manage multiple projects without losing sight of the big picture.
  • Excellent communication skills; ability to write and speak in a clear and compelling fashion.
  • Strong analytical skills.

路      Self-motivation and initiative.

路      An eagerness to work collaboratively in a dynamic team environment.


  • Prior work experience in policy development, advocacy or organizing
  • Existing relationships with community-based organizations
  • Flexible daytime schedule to attend meetings and other events as needed

Compensation: $50,000 for entry-level attorney

Please send resume, cover letter, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to by August 5, 2020.