Tomorrow’s Advocates Summer Clerkship Program

The Tomorrow’s Advocates program enables select Lewis & Clark law students to clerk for 10 weeks during the summer months as externs or paid interns. The program provides substantial benefits to students, Earthrise, and its clients:

  • Students working with Earthrise during the summer gain significant experience in public interest environmental litigation and advocacy though concentrated training and mentoring, client interaction, and intensive legal research and drafting.
  • Without full-time summer clerks, Earthrise would not be able to offer the excellent year-round legal representation our clients expect. 
  • The environmental community benefits from increasing the pool of law school graduates with substantial real-world experience and training. Earthrise students and externs are tomorrow’s advocates for our natural heritage. Many Earthrise alumni now lead the charge in working to preserve and protect the environment as attorneys in public interest, government, and private practice.

For summer of 2021 clerkships please check back late this year for the application process.

There are a few different ways to enroll or be hired as a summer clerk with Earthrise, but the work and responsibilities will be the same. You can be hired by Earthrise as a paid intern. A student can also combine a paid internship with a paid 2-4 week internship funded by a PILP stipend. Earthrise will encourage all successful internship applicants to also seek PILP funding. Students can also apply to be a paid extern that while additionally receiving academic credit. Earthrise will pay all its summer clerks $15 per hour. Students should indicate in their application whether they prefer an internship, or an externship that also includes academic credit. All applying students should indicate whether they are work-study eligible.

Earthrise’s summer clerks’ responsibilities include assisting Earthrise clinical professors in all aspects of public interest environmental litigation from legal research, drafting pleadings and motions, and will have the potential for court appearances. Earthrise is looking for applicants with strong research and writing skills and a demonstrated interest in public interest environmental law. Summer clerks will be expected to work a minimum of ten weeks, forty hours per week. Work schedules will be flexible, allowing for vacations and long weekends. Earthrise now has two staff attorneys who are not based in Portland: one based in the Massachusetts and one based in San Francisco and it may be possible for one extern or intern also to be based in the Northeast and one in California.

Each application should include a cover letter indicating your preference for an externship or internship and explaining your interest in working at Earthrise. For purposes of evaluating conflicts, please also complete the Earthrise conflicts form. Along with your cover letter and completed conflicts form your application must also include your current resume, a transcript (unofficial is fine), and maximum 10-page writing sample.

If possible please combine these documents into one PDF file. Do not send hard copies to Earthrise. Please e-mail Tom with any questions. Interested 2Ls should submit their applications electronically to Tom Buchele, Earthrise Managing Attorney at Tom will acknowledge his receipt of all applications via e-mail. Current 1Ls will be able to apply during an upcoming application process in January.

Becoming an Earthrise summer extern requires an additional step in the application process. Students first must apply directly to Earthrise. After Earthrise accepts their applications, students seeking an externship will then apply for their externships through the Career Services Office. Earthrise will assist those accepted students with the Career Services externship application process, but before applying to Earthrise students interested in externships should review Lewis & Clark’s general externship requirements to be sure they qualify. See


Updates and experiences from our summer clerks: