Center for Sustainable Economy, a Pacific Northwest environmental economics non-profit, seeks a team of 3 legal externs from environmental law programs to help defend US forests from threats associated with climate change and industrial forest practices. Each legal extern will be compensated with a stipend of $2500.

The externships will be supported under the auspices of our Wild and Working Forests program (WWF), described below. Students will work under the close supervision of our staff attorney and meaningfully contribute to investigations and claims brought under federal statutes and state laws. In addition to their involvement and training in legal strategies, students will participate in various administrative rule making and planning processes that advance environmental protections outside the courtroom – teaching students practical advocacy and negotiation. Specific tasks may include:


  • Monitoring, commenting on, and challenging harmful logging proposals that are driving climate change and undermining climate resiliency.
  • Participating in administrative rule making or policy processes affecting US forestlands.
  • Monitoring, commenting on, and challenging fraudulent corporate filings governed by federal trade and securities laws and regulations.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the validity of forest carbon offset projects prepared under protocols adopted by California’s Air Resources Board.
  • Helping to draft and vet legislative proposals at the federal, state, and local levels.
  • Providing paralegal and technical support to litigation.

To apply:

Send resume, writing sample, and cover letter describing why you are interested in the externship, how it fits within your professional goals and objectives, and your qualifications to info@sustainable-economy.orgwith ‘Externship program’ in the subject line.

About CSE:

Center for Sustainable Economy straddles the divide between a think tank and a do tank. We conduct peer-reviewed research on the full range of sustainable development challenges humanity faces, including climate change, deforestation, extinction, inequality and poverty. We develop innovative solutions such as new measures of progress and new policies to expedite the transition to renewable energy. We are also vocal advocates for change, using legislative and administrative processes, the courts, and grassroots mobilization to achieve our goals.

About CSE’s Wild and Working Forests Program:

Throughout the United States, wild forest ecosystems – those that exhibit little or no human disturbance – make a vital contribution to economic wellbeing by providing a host of goods and services that sustain both rural and urban communities. They produce clean drinking water and water for irrigation. They absorb carbon emissions, build soil, support wild pollinators that bolster agricultural productivity, control flooding, produce a variety of wood products, provide sites and scenery for recreation and tourism, and provide essential habitat for wildlife, fish, and plants valued as food, medicines, and genetic reservoirs. Ecosystem services from wild forests are irreplaceable. Tragically, throughout the US, they are being lost as more and more wild forest is converted into industrial tree plantations that provide few of these ecosystem service benefits.

On federal, state, and local public lands, CSE believes the overriding management emphasis should be protecting and restoring wild forests for these ecosystem services since these lands make up only 20% of the forestland base in the country yet bear nearly the entire burden of supporting uses like outdoor recreation and water supply. On private lands, we believe that state forest practices statutes and rules should create the enabling conditions for sustainably managed forests that are put to work earning landowners multiple revenue streams from wood products and non-timber goods and services but in a manner that protects public trust resources including soil productivity, water, wildlife, fish and a stable climate. But decades of damage will need to be undone to make this possible and thus there is an urgent need for landscape-scale forest restoration programs.

Center for Sustainable Economy
1980 Willamette Falls Drive
Suite 120-126
West Linn, OR 97068
(503) 657-7336

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