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 paid externs or paid interns. The program provides substantial benefits to students, Earthrise, and our 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 of litigation documents filed in court.
  • 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.

Earthrise typically accepts applications for the summer clerkship program in late fall of each school year. 

There are two different ways to be hired as a summer clerk with Earthrise, but the work and responsibilities will be the same either way. You can apply to be a paid intern. A student can also combine a paid internship with a PILP stipend to support part of that time. Earthrise will encourage all successful internship applicants to also seek PILP funding. Students can also apply to be a paid extern; this position has the same responsibilities and compensation as the intern position, but students will additionally receive academic credit for their summer work. Earthrise will pay all of its summer clerks $18 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 federal work-study eligible.

Earthrise’s summer clerks’ responsibilities include assisting Earthrise attorneys in all aspects of public interest environmental litigation from legal research, to drafting pleadings and motions, to engaging in settlement and client conferences, and potentially even participating in 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. 

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.

Please combine all of these documents into one PDF file. Do not send hard copies to Earthrise. Interested 2Ls should submit their applications electronically to Lia Comerford (comerfordl[at]lclark[dot]edu). Please e-mail Earthrise at earthrise[at]lclark[dot]edu with any questions. 

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

To read about the experience of two of our recent summer clerks click here and here.