About the Fellowship
In partnership with grassroots legal empowerment advocates, Namati empowers communities to address environmental justice in Maryland, Washington, DC, and the larger Chesapeake region. Legal empowerment advocates are activists and organizers who demystify law, assist people in exercising their rights, and infuse law into community action. Our legal empowerment advocates include Rhonda Hamilton, who has led her neighborhood in Buzzard Point of DC in fights against pollution and gentrification, and Terrel Askew, a young organizer in Baltimore who works with communities to protect air quality and housing rights.
We are searching for a one-year law and policy fellow to assist our ongoing U.S. environmental justice work in two main areas: 1) supporting our casework through legal and policy research and, 2) working with case evidence and data to identify systemic deficiencies in environmental governance.
The Fellow will support the team in the following ways:
- Conduct case-level legal and policy research to support community advocates
- Work with community advocates to understand regulations; support them in making complex legal information accessible to their communities
- Work with community advocates and Namati’s program staff to collect and organize grassroots case evidence
- Analyze grassroots case evidence and data; identify reform opportunities and regulatory gaps; develop grounded recommendations for policy change
Here’s what you might have tackled in the last week –
- Worked with program staff and a legal empowerment advocate to identify legal hooks for challenging air pollution arising from open coal piles in Baltimore, including researching environmental law as well as health and zoning / land use laws
- Prepared accessible materials regarding legal pathways to EJ remedies for discussion with community members
- Worked with a legal empowerment advocate to collect case level data; for example, input from residents and historical record of complaints and any responses
- Drafted a policy paper describing advocates’ and communities’ observations of poor dust and particulate matter regulation and initial reform suggestions, which will be shared with members of a regional EJ coalition developing policy reform priorities
- Passion for community-based environmental justice work: You have a passion for addressing the human rights and social justice dimensions of environmental problems. You have outstanding communication skills and experience engaging in a respectful and meaningful manner with diverse audiences.
- Aptitude for investigation and analysis: You have a demonstrated track record of skilled research and writing. You can analyze and integrate diverse information from varied sources to create evidence-based policy positions.
- Skilled with communication: Your written and verbal communications demonstrate both clarity of thought, analysis and sensitivity to audience and context. Importantly, you can communicate complex information in a way that is accessible to non-expert audiences.
- Familiar with environmental regulation: You have an understanding of law and regulation on environment, and you are familiar with the institutions that regulate these areas. Even better if you have a regional knowledge of the issues and regulations impacting residents in places like Maryland, Virginia, Delaware, and Washington DC.
- Collaborative and service-oriented: You greet everyone you encounter with a collaborative spirit, kindness, and empathy. You are known as a team-player who brings an “all hands on deck” mindset to all projects — you’re happy to contribute however you can to advance Namati’s mission.
- An eye for detail: You are able to multitask using sound judgment while remaining detail-oriented. You’re extremely thorough and will follow through on complicated, multi-step processes. You work quickly and efficiently and can produce excellent, on-point work product in short timeframes. You’re known for producing high quality content on deadline.
- Growth orientation: You’re always seeking to better yourself and your work, and you will push yourself to the peak of performance to help fulfill our mission. In service of that growth, you welcome and delight in feedback from supervisors, peers, and anyone else
Nice to have
- Data orientation: You are comfortable working with various types of case evidence and data. You are familiar with CRM-type software such as Salesforce.
This position is open to any location in the United States. Due to COVID-19, Namati remains a remote-first organization for the foreseeable future and until further notice.
Compensation and fellowship length
This is a part or full-time, year-long fellowship opportunity. We will consider a shorter fellowship length (minimum 4 months) if a candidate is able to work at a full-time capacity. We are flexible with the start date.
Please note at this time we are only able to accept applications from individuals whose fellowship will be paid for through their schooling (e.g. experiential learning for academic credit) or independent fellowship funding (e.g., scholarships, university provided fellowship funding), and we’re unable to make significant changes to the scope of this fellowship based on individual funding requirements.
As appropriate, we’re happy to work with you and your institution so you can receive academic credit or financial support for this fellowship. Simultaneously, we recognize that interested interns/fellows may approach us during the process of actively applying for external sources of funding; due to the high volume of interest in our opportunities we look for our finalists to demonstrate that they can be resourceful and creative in securing funding and will not make excessive requests of our teams for support.
Please complete our online application form. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. No phone calls, please. Namati is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
Please note we strongly prefer for your application materials (resume and cover letter) to be uploaded in one PDF.