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Law Clerks, The Office of the General Counsel

The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS), the nation’s largest animal advocacy organization, is seeking law students for legal clerkships in the organization’s Office of the General Counsel (OGC).

Two Law Clerk positions are available within OGC:

  • One Law Clerk’s principal (but not sole) focus will on legal projects for the Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, HSUS’ habitat protection affiliate. The remainder of the Law Clerk’s time will be spent on legal projects for HSUS broadly.
  • One Law Clerk will spend the entirety of his or her time on legal projects for HSUS and its other affiliates.

About the Office of the General Counsel:

As HSUS’ in-house legal department, OGC is responsible for both providing legal advice to HSUS and its affiliates on a wide range of routine legal matters encountered by the organization (including contracts, real estate/property, employment law, intellectual property, litigation, trusts and estates, lobbying and political activity, and tax law) and proactively identifying and managing risks to the organization.

Law Clerk Responsibilities:

Working closely with the attorneys in OGC, Law Clerks will have the opportunity to gain valuable exposure to the practical side of practicing law in an in-house environment, use skills to address real-world issues facing a large non-profit organization, learn about and engage with a wide variety of legal subject areas, refine legal research and writing skills, strengthen effective communication and critical thinking skills, and develop organizational and time-management skills.

The nature of the workload will vary depending on organizational needs at the time of the clerkship, but Law Clerks may be asked to do one or more of the following:

  • Conduct legal research across a wide variety of legal subject areas to support OGC attorneys;
  • Assist OGC attorneys in drafting and/or reviewing contracts, letters, conservation easements, or other transactional documents;
  • Assist OGC attorneys with ongoing commercial litigation, including collecting and/or reviewing discovery documents, assessing litigation strategy, coordinating with outside counsel, and/or preparing materials for trial; and/or
  • Participate in meetings with other OGC attorneys, internal clients, and outside counsel.

Qualifications:

Candidates must be at least a rising 2L law student working toward a Juris Doctor degree at a U.S. law school as of the date they start the clerkship.

Candidates must have exceptional legal research, writing, and critical thinking skills and a strong interest in non-profit operations, transactional work, litigation, and legal research. Interest in or experience with animal protection and/or habitat conservation issues are a plus, as is experience in an in-house environment. Candidates should also have strong interpersonal communication skills, the ability to problem-solve and think creatively, and a sense of humor.

A full list of qualifications can be found in the expanded position description [PDF].

Time Commitment:

  • Summer Clerkships: For legal clerkships taking place over the summer, priority will be given to candidates who can commit to working 40 hours a week for at least 10 weeks.
  • Fall/Spring Clerkships: For legal clerkships taking place during the school year, priority will be given to candidates who can commit to working 10-15 hours per week (at least one full work day plus one or more partial days) for at least 10 weeks. Work schedule is flexible based on school commitments.

When to Apply:

  • Summer Clerkships: For legal clerkships taking place over the summer, applications are accepted beginning December 1st of the prior year.
  • Fall/Spring Clerkships: For legal clerkships taking place during the school year, applications are accepted year-round on a rolling basis.

How to Apply:

  • Submit a cover letter, résumé, law school transcript, and a short writing sample (no more than 7 pages, double-spaced) via the HSUS online application system
  • In your cover letter, please indicate during which session(s) you'd be interested in working (i.e., fall, summer, spring). Cover letters without session information will not be considered. If you have a preference for working primarily with Humane Society Wildlife Land Trust, please also note it in your cover letter.

This clerkship is unpaid, however, course credit can be arranged (law clerk is responsible for arranging credit through their law school). Prior to starting work, Law Clerks must pass a criminal background check, sign a confidentiality agreement, and sign a waiver and release of liability. The position is located in our Washington, D.C., office.

Fill out an application now »
Note: You'll be asked to submit a cover letter, résumé, law school transcript, and a short writing sample (no more than 7 pages, double-spaced) with the application.

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