Founders' Legacy Fellowship
In 2016, Earthrise celebrated the 20th anniversary of the clinic. Our founders, Dan Rohlf and Craig Johnston, hope to leave a legacy of environmental advocacy that will continue for the next 20 years. Started in 2013, Earthrise’s fellowship program has grown and now includes two full-time fellows. Over their two years with Earthrise, legal fellows are treated as first year associates—developing their own cases while simultaneously working with senior attorneys to gain valuable experience at the beginning of their careers. This fellowship helps ensure that recent law school graduates have the opportunity to get a jumpstart on their careers as environmental advocates. While it is encouraged, students need not have taken the Earthrise clinic or summer clerkship.
This is a temporary, two-year fellowship with no option for extension. The ideal applicant is a smart, enthusiastic, hard-working person with a positive attitude and a desire to have a career in the public interest environmental legal field.
Current Founders’ Legacy Fellows
Legal Fellow 2018-2020
My time at Earthrise as a clinic student was the highlight of my law school experience and when I was offered the chance to continue working with Earthrise as the Founders’ Legacy Fellow I jumped at the opportunity.
The Founders’ Legacy Fellowship provides me and other fellows with substantive legal work right out of the gate, which is a rare opportunity for new attorneys. The Fellowship also allows me to continue learning, as I work with some of the best environmental legal advocates. The other attorneys at Earthrise are great teachers and mentors who specialize in a variety of environmental laws.
Coming from the Midwest, I chose Lewis & Clark Law School for its expertise in environmental law and for all of the practical experiences that students are provided. I know that working with Earthrise as a clinic student prepared me for my legal future more than any other experience in law school.
I hope to return to the Midwest to continue my career in public interest environmental law, and I know that during my time as a fellow I will gain the skills and experience necessary to work towards that goal.
Past Founders’ Legacy Fellows
Legal Fellow 2017-2019
I first became involved with Earthrise during my third year of law school as a clinical student. Earthrise was one of my best experiences in law school, because it combines the dedication to student learning common in my academic classes with the real world work of a large environmental law firm. I was instantly impressed with the Earthrise staff who are not only dedicated clinical professors, but also some of the most experienced environmental litigators across virtually every subject area of natural resources protection and pollution prevention. I was also thrilled to be part of the legal victories Earthrise achieves regularly, being able to see the effort I put in make a meaningful, on-the-ground difference.
I jumped at the chance to continue on with Earthrise as a Fellow following my graduation. The fellowship program at Earthrise is a fantastic opportunity to develop litigation skills that are invaluable to a new attorney while also learning the unique specialty of public interest environmental law. I was able to immediately start working on cases and building up a docket of my own, while under the expert mentorship and tutelage I gained so much from in law school. I know my time at Earthrise, as both a student and a Fellow, has prepared me for a career in public interest environmental litigation.
Legal Fellow 2016-2018
As someone looking to forge a career in public interest environmental law, I can’t think of a better first job out of law school than the Earthrise Founders’ Legacy Fellowship.
The opportunity to bolster my legal education with practical environmental law experience in Earthrise’s environmental law clinic is what drew me to Lewis & Clark Law School. My experience working with Earthrise attorneys during law school, both as a clinical student and summer law clerk, served as the keystone of my legal education.
I intend to use my law degree to advocate for wild salmonids and the habitats that support them, and the Founders’ Legacy Fellowship will provide invaluable initial experience toward that goal.
The attorneys at Earthrise are not only expert litigators; they are also excellent teachers and mentors who are genuinely committed to training the next generation of public interest environmental advocates. Earthrise gives its fellows a level of responsibility rarely given to fellows and first-year associates at other firms, which I’m confident will leave me well prepared for the road ahead.
Legal Fellow 2015-2017
I was thrilled when I was offered the Founders’ Legacy Fellowship position. At the time, I had been working with Earthrise for two years as a clinical student and I truly appreciated the opportunity to continue to work with Earthrise.
First and foremost, Earthrise was a fantastic learning opportunity for me both as a student and as a fellow. Every attorney at Earthrise is knowledgeable, experienced, and a joy to work with. Additionally, they’re great teachers.
Entering into a fellowship program like this after graduating law school was invaluable as it provided a great opportunity to gain critical initial experience. Right away I was given significant and substantive responsibilities and encouraged to develop my own docket. I don’t know of many firms that offer that kind of opportunity to new associates.
Finally, the time I spent practicing at Earthrise prepared me well to go out and continue to work in public interest environmental law. It was also instrumental in me landing my current position as a staff attorney in the Endangered Species Program at the Center for Biological Diversity. Every day at work I continue to utilize and develop the litigation skills I learned at Earthrise.
Support the Founders’ Legacy Fellowship Fund
To commemorate our 20th anniversary, we announced the start of our Founders’ Legacy Fellowship Fund. This fund will ensure that recent law school graduates will have the opportunity to get a jumpstart on their careers as environmental advocates. Please support us in this endeavor to pay it forward by making a donation to this fund.