San Diego Coastkeeper’s legal and policy interns/externs play an invaluable role in fulfilling the organization’s mission. They contribute to Coastkeeper’s advocacy work and expand our capacity to protect and restore fishable, swimmable, and drinkable waters across San Diego County.

Legal and policy interns/externs work under supervision of our staff attorney and executive director/managing attorney, and are given significant responsibility to solve pollution problems through a variety of channels including reviewing proposed projects for impacts on our waters, investigating existing sources of pollution, initiating and supporting litigation efforts, collaborating with regulators and polluters, empowering community members to take action, and advocating for policy solutions pertinent to regional water supply and pollution issues.


Applicants must be currently enrolled in law school, but limited exceptions may be made for graduate students of environmental policy or a related field, post-bar fellows, or experienced environmental consultants. A passion for environmental issues is strongly preferred. Environmental Law coursework (eg. water, administrative, agency, etc.) strongly preferred.


All interns are asked to make either a one-semester, full-time (30-40 hour/week) commitment or a two-semester, part-time (approximately 10-20 hours/week) commitment, either during the Spring of 2L year and Fall of 3L year or during the full 3L year. A limited number of full-time summer internships are also available for those who meet eligibility requirements.

To Apply:

Eligible candidates are encouraged to send their resume, cover letter, and school transcript to Staff Attorney Patrick McDonough, who considers applications on a rolling basis.

Coastkeeper coordinates with interns/externs and participating law and graduate schools to provide course credit and/or financial compensation. Coastkeeper does not offer stipends directly to interns/externs.