US Department of Justice/ENRD/EES


PICS Organization Name
US Dept. of Justice/ENRD/EES

Washington, District of Columbia

Organization Description
The Environmental Enforcement Section is one of the largest litigating Sections in the
Department and includes nearly one‐half of the Division's lawyers. The Section is responsible
for bringing civil judicial actions under most federal laws enacted to protect public health and
the environment from the adverse effects of pollution, such as the Clean Air Act, Clean Water
Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Oil Pollution Act, RCRA and the Superfund law (CERCLA). The
breadth of the Section's practice is extensive and challenging. It includes cases of national
scope, such as cases against multiple members of an identified industry, to obtain broad
compliance with the environmental laws. Through its enforcement of the Superfund law, the
Section seeks to compel responsible parties either to clean up hazardous waste sites or to
reimburse the United States for the cost of cleanup, thereby ensuring that they, and not the
public, bear the burden of paying for cleanup. The Superfund law is also a basis of the Section's
actions to recover damages for injury to natural resources that are under the trusteeship of
federal agencies.

For more information about the division see

Internship Description
Under the "Undergraduate" Program, the interns are usually assigned to supervisory paralegals, in some sections the intern is assigned directly to an attorney. It is the responsibility of that
paralegal/attorney to assign the work. Sometimes, other attorneys approach the intern directly
with assignments too. It could include:
working on trial exhibits;
 putting trial notebooks together;
 redacting information;
 preparing privilege logs;
 researching, inserting or extracting information from databases;
 internet research;
 minor legal research;
 participating in mock trials;
 attending brown bags;
 proofreading documents;
 reconciling records; and
 filing, copying, faxing, and the like.

Weekly Stipend # of Weeks Required Dates Start Time End Time Housing Provided? Public Transportation? Certificate Requirement? Can be Remote?
$500/$450 if remote 10 Flexible between 5/10/21 - 8/27/21 9:00 am 5:00 pm No Yes No Unsure

Internship Qualifications

  • Some environmental interest
  • Good writing and research skills.
  • Pre-law NOT necessary

**Writing sample required: 1-3 pages, can be an excerpt from a larger document

Additional Info
Many local colleges rent out dorm rooms in the summer months. Check American University and George Washington University.

The first step is all potential interns must answer the following questions before we can send out the paperwork:

  1. Full Name (including middle)
  2. Date of Birth
  3. Place of Birth (City, State, Country)
  4. SSN
  5. Reliable Mailing Address
  6. Reliable e‐mail address
  7. Reliable phone number

The second step is a security background check. The screening will specifically inquire into an applicant’s police record, payment of taxes, issues of indebtedness, and drug use, specifically within the last year. There are a number of things that have resulted in recent applicants’ security clearance being delayed or denied. Here are the top four: 

•Drug Use. Certainly admitted illegal drug use – even in states where marijuana is legal – can be problematic for securing a federal government position, even one that’s a volunteer position. 
•Failure to pay taxes. 
•Defaulting on student loans. 
•Residency Requirement. There have been several recent candidates who have spent considerable time living abroad. (E.g., travel, study aboard, work abroad, visiting family). Candidates must have lived in the US for 36 of the last 60 months (non-consecutive is fine). There are very narrow exceptions (e.g., US military or diplomatic service). 

Note: Students must be a US citizen. If you are a dual citizen, be prepared to fill out additional paperwork regarding the dual citizenship. 

Former Interns
Christopher Gliwa '21

Evaluation Excerpt

I gained a much greater appreciation for the environment. I had done a criminal justice internship before, and hadn’t really thought about the intersection between the environment and law prior to seeing this internship advertised. I think the intersection is very intriguing, one that is increasingly relevant, challenging, and interdisciplinary. -- Maria Jerez '19

Gavin was the best supervisor an intern could ask for. He always made sure that I had enough work to do, that the work I was doing was interesting, and that I was making the most of my time in DC. As the intern, I reached out to not only Gavin for assignments that I was interested in taking up but the attorneys themselves --Christopher Gliwa '21