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Careers and Internships

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.

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?

Fall internships usually start the day after Labor Day; spring internships start after the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday; and summer internships begin after Memorial Day. Interns are expected to work for a minimum of 10 weeks.

For the summer and semester internships, we typically hire about 14 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.

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 will be able to apply for a transit subsidy for the cost of public transportation during the internship.

How and when do I apply?

Check your career services office for specific application deadlines. Interviews typically conclude about one month before the start date of the internship. Interviews for summer externships start in December of the prior year.

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 a file name that includes the applicant's name (for example, jtsmith-resume.pdf),by email to Brian E. Carr, Assistant Regional Counsel and ORC Internship Coordinator at carr.brian@epa.gov. 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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Structure of the Office of Regional Counsel

ORC has approximately 80 lawyers engaged in a wide variety of counseling, enforcement, and defensive litigation work relating to virtually all major federal environmental laws, including the Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Safe Drinking Water Act, Toxic Substances Control Act, Resource Conservation and Recovery Act, and the federal Superfund law.

ORC is divided into five specialized branches:

The Air 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.

The Water and General Law Branch is responsible for legal aspects of enforcement of the federal Clean Water Act, the Marine Protection, Research and 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.

The Waste and Toxic Substances 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 and 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.

The New Jersey Superfund Branch is responsible for all legal matters arising in New Jersey under the Federal Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA) and 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.

The New York/Caribbean Superfund 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 very active 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.

As EPA Region 2's jurisdiction spans the states of New York and New Jersey, as well as Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands, the workload is quite varied and interesting. View general information regarding EPA Region 2 and some of the key issues we are dealing with.

Questions regarding ORC's current attorney staffing needs may be directed to Paul F. Simon, Deputy Regional Counsel, at simon.paul@epa.gov.

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