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Legal Internships in EPA's New York City Office (Region 2)

Office of Regional Counsel (ORC)'s Legal Internship Program

For many years, ORC has had a robust legal internship program, both during the school year and the summer months.

What do interns hired under this program do?

Our interns obtain excellent experience in the review, analysis and discussion of legal issues arising in various environmental matters. Interns work directly with staff attorneys, assisting them with a variety of tasks on their cases. Tasks include legal and corporate research, drafting memoranda and pleadings, indexing and digesting trial and deposition testimony, and interpreting statutory and regulatory provisions. Interns are encouraged to attend settlement conferences, negotiations, administrative and judicial hearings and trials and public meetings, when possible.  Region 2’s summer program includes a range of organized work-related events, such as Continuing Legal Education courses and site visits, as well as various intern-related social outings.  Given the shorter semester work schedule, these events are available during semester internships to a lesser extent.

Who is eligible?

To be eligible for an internship with ORC, applicants must be current law students (or LLM students), rather than law school graduates.

What is the typical length of employment?

Internships typically run 3 calendar months - fall (September through November); spring (February through April); and summer (June through August).  Internships are typically 10-12 weeks.

For the summer and semester internships, we typically hire about 10-12 interns. The interns may work full-time or part-time during the semesters, but are expected to work a minimum of 12 to 15 hours per week. During the summer, we typically only hire applicants who can work a full-time schedule. 

Region 2’s summer internship program is nationally competitive.  Successful applicants are typically second year students with a strong background in the environmental, public interest or technical fields. 

Applicants should also consider applying for a semester position, for which the Region receives fewer resumes.  Strong preference is given to semester applicants who can do a full-time externship.

Are the positions paid? What are the benefits?

Our office is not able to provide financial compensation to its interns, though students are sometimes able to find stipends or grants from outside sources or obtain course credits from their law school. Interns are able to apply for a transit subsidy, currently up to $130 per month, for the cost of public transportation during the internship.  Interns are also eligible to use the fitness center without charge. 

How and when do I apply?

Check your career services office for specific application deadlines. Interviews for spring internships typically begin in late November.  Interviews for fall internships typically start in early July.  Interviews for summer externships start in December of the prior year.  Applicants are encouraged to apply well in advance.

In order to be considered for an internship, an applicant should submit a cover letter and resume, preferably as a single Word or PDF file with the applicants name as the filename, by email to Brian E. Carr, Assistant Regional Counsel/ORC Internship Coordinator, at   Please do not send writing samples, references or transcripts.

Questions regarding ORC's internship program may also be directed to Mr.  Carr.

Brian E. Carr
Assistant Regional Counsel
United States Environmental Protection Agency
Region 2
Office of Regional Counsel
290 Broadway, 17th Floor
New York, NY 10007
212-637-3170 phone
212-637-3104 fax

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EPA Region 2 - Office of Regional Counsel overview:

The Office of Regional Counsel (ORC) provides a full range of legal services to Region, including enforcement of the major federal environmental statutes and counsel to our program clients. ORC has some 75 lawyers and is headed by the Regional Counsel. ORC’s five Branches include:

Air Branch: This Branch is responsible for legal aspects of enforcement of the Federal Clean Air Act. The Branch provides legal advice and support to the Region's air program offices, including the review of new regulations and State delegation efforts.

Water & General Law Branch: This Branch is responsible for legal aspects of enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act, the Marine Protection, Research & Sanctuaries Act and the Safe Drinking Water Act. The Branch provides legal advice and support to the Region's program offices concerning these statutes. In addition, within the WGL Branch, the General Law (GL) Team also handles legal issues related to various EPA financial assistance programs, including such matters as bid protests and assistance appeals; and all legal problems of the Regional Office of a general nature, such as contracting, ethics, personnel, procurement and federal labor relations questions.

Waste & Toxic Substances Branch: This Branch is responsible for legal aspects of enforcement of the federal Solid Waste Disposal Act, as amended by the Resource Conservation & Recovery Act (RCRA), the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA), the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide & Rodenticide Act (FIFRA), and portions of the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA).  The Branch provides legal advice and support to the Region's program offices concerning these statutes, including the review of State delegation efforts and permitting of hazardous and toxic waste management facilities.

New Jersey Superfund Branch: This Branch is responsible for all legal matters arising in New Jersey under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation & Liability Act (CERCLA) and the Emergency Planning and Community Right-to-Know Act (EPCRA). The Branch provides legal advice and support to the Region's Superfund program office, including the initiation of enforcement and cost recovery actions, and the review of agreements for joint Federal/State funding of hazardous waste site cleanups and other contractual agreements.

New York/Caribbean Superfund Branch: This Branch has similar responsibilities with respect to CERCLA (Superfund) and EPCRA activities in New York, Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Additionally, EPA has a robust Criminal Enforcement Program. The Regional Criminal Enforcement Counsels (RCECs) coordinate the legal aspects of the Region's criminal enforcement program in all media. The RCECs serve as the principal advisors to the Regional Counsel, Regional program managers, and the Criminal Investigation Division on legal matters concerned with criminal enforcement activities.

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