Wednesday, January 19, 2011

NRDC Job Announcement - Legal Fellow - Chicago Office

Position Summary:

This is a two-year fellowship that will focus on projects designed to address global warming, improve air and water quality, and promote clean energy through litigation and advocacy in the Midwest. She or he will work primarily on state and federal litigation to encourage the retirement or clean up of existing coal-fired power plants, along with challenging proposed new coal facilities, and advocacy on legislative and regulatory proposals regarding air, water, and climate protection.

Essential Functions:

The fellow will work with NRDC’s lawyers in the Midwest Program and Litigation Team, along with allied organizations, to engage in all phases of litigation, from case development through trial and appeals. The fellow may also engage in some administrative advocacy and policy and legislative analysis. The fellow will also have some responsibility for building and maintaining relationships with advocates at other environmental organizations working on coal, climate, and air and water quality issues.

Skills and Knowledge Requirements:

The successful candidate will have graduated from law school within the past three years and must be licensed to practice law. Exceptional legal writing and analytical skills are required. Relevant litigation experience, such as a federal court clerkship, is a plus, as is a demonstrated commitment to public service or public-interest lawyering.

NRDC offers competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment and is committed to workplace diversity. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. To apply please visit Please include a cover letter, resume, law school transcript, writing sample that demonstrates critical reasoning and legal writing abilities, and a list of references by February 14, 2011. No phone calls or faxes please. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a global non-profit environmental organization with more than 1.3 million members and online activists. They have offices in New York, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and Beijing, China. Their staff of over 350 includes lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy experts who work to protect the environment and public health through advocacy and education.

Hazel M. Johnson Dies: Mother of Environmental Justice

Hazel Johnson
 Chicago South Side environmental activist Hazel M. Johnson, 75, died of complications from congestive heart failure Wednesday, Jan. 12, 2011. Mrs. Johnson a longtime resident of Chicago's Altgeld Gardens public housing development, was spurred into environmental activism after her husband, John, died of lung cancer in 1969.  She fought corporate polluters and rallied residents to protest contamination.

She founded a group called People for Community Recovery and put pressure on the Chicago Housing Authority to remove asbestos from Altgeld Gardens. Mrs. Johnson focused much of her organization's work on educating minority communities about urban environmental hazards. She became known as the mother of the environmental justice movement.

Mrs. Johnson was instrumental in convincing city health officials to test drinking water at Maryland Manor, a Far South Side neighborhood dependent on well water. After tests conducted in 1984 revealed cyanide and toxins in the water, officials installed water and sewer lines.

Her work in Chicago led to the national stage, where she joined a group of activists in urging President Bill Clinton to sign the Environmental Justice order. Ms. Johnson served on the U.S. EPA's first National Environmental Justice Advisory Council (NEJAC), established on September 30, 1993.

Mrs. Johnson was the eldest of four children born in the area of New Orleans now known as "cancer alley." Johnson would spend most of her adult life in the Calumet Region, the industrial area along Lake Michigan's southern tip that is one of the nation's most polluted areas. Mrs. Johnson was preceded in death by her son Michael. In addition to her daughter, Cheryl Johnson, Mrs. Johnson is survived by two other daughters, Yolanda Johnson and Valerie Johnson; sons John Jr., Johnny and Mark; 10 grandchildren; and five great grandchildren.

Services will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, January 22, 2011 in St. Ailbe Catholic Church, 9015 S. Harper Ave., Chicago. (Chicago Tribune, 1/16/2011,