Food law and policy is an innovative and emerging field. As a result, there are numerous opportunities in government, non-profit organizations, and private law firms where interested individuals can experience food law and policy in action. There are also a growing number of university, internship, and fellowship programs that offer opportunities to experience food policy in every area relating to food.
If you are a law student, emerging young professional, or simply want to learn more about what food law entails, use these resources from across the nation (and the world) to help you find your next food law job, volunteer position, or internship. To stay up to date on all things Food Law Student Network related, Click Here to receive our newsletters.
For a general introduction to the range of career opportunities within food law and policy, check out the Harvard Food Law and Policy Clinic Career Guide
Current Food Law and Policy Career Opportunities:
Current Opportunities as of November 16, 2020
Attorney Advisor at the United States Department of Agriculture
The incumbent serves as an attorney providing advice, research, analysis and interpretation of he incumbent serves as an attorney providing legal advice, research, analysis and interpretation of federal, state and local laws, as well as oral and written opinions, memoranda, pleadings, briefs and legal support of all USDA programs and litigation, and performs other legal services as assigned.
- Provide Legal Advice and Counsel to Agencies of the USDA
- Serve as liaison between agencies of the USDA and the Department of Justice in litigation concerning USDA programs
- Represent agencies of the USDA in adjudication before administrative law judges
- Conduct legal research
- Draft and review legal documents, including briefs, motions, rulemaking documents, legal memoranda, and agency documents
Applications are due by November 20, 2020. The position is located in Washington, DC. To learn more and apply, please go here.
Food and Water Watch Staff Attorney
Food and Water Watch is seeking a staff attorney to work primarily on their factory farm ban campaign. This position will have a high degree of contact with co-counsel; a moderate degree of contact with coalition partners; and a low degree of contact with elected officials. Candidate should have 1-3 years of experience as a practicing attorney on environmental issues, with litigation background, and preferably on climate and energy, water and/or food and agricultural issues. This position is located in Washington, D.C., but there may be an opportunity to work remotely. For more information visit their website, here.
Food & Beverage, Agricultural M&A Associate at Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP seeks an exceptional junior- or mid-level associate attorney to support and work with the leaders of its nationally-recognized food & beverage and agricultural industry business transaction practices based out of beautiful Portland, Oregon. The forward-thinking and mission-based groups represent the interests of large agricultural clients, prominent wineries, and nationally-known, leading, emerging, and mature companies in significant transactions. Candidates for this role should bring a foundation of experience in mergers and acquisitions as well as real estate experience and industry focus. For more information and to apply click here.
Food Law Associate for Keller and Heckman LLP
Keller and Heckman LLP is seeking a talented junior-level associate attorney with up to 3 years of experience to join its growing Food and Drug regulatory practice in its Washington, D.C. Office. Work will include advising clients on food, food additive, food labeling, food packaging, and food safety matters, establishing appropriate regulatory status for various ingredients, and other FDA and USDA regulatory matters. In addition to FDA and USDA experience, experience with Agency rulemaking proceedings and familiarity with matters involving CBP, FTC, or TTB are desirable. Strong academic credentials; excellent analytical, research, writing, and interpersonal skills; attention to detail; and the ability to assume immediate responsibility are required. Due to the technical nature of the practice, an undergraduate degree or some experience in a scientific field (biology, chemistry, mathematics, or engineering) will be helpful but is not required. A desire to learn and an ability to manage multiple client priorities and take direction are critical. Successful associates will be given significant client responsibility early on, including direct client contact. The position requires collaboration across all firm offices on challenging and interesting work involving cutting-edge regulatory and health and safety issues while working in a collegial, team-based atmosphere. To apply, send your resume, cover letter, transcript, and writing sample to Jennifer Ireland, Human Resources and Recruitment Manager, Keller and Heckman LLP, 1001 G Street, NW, Suite 500 West, Washington, D.C. 20001 or to firstname.lastname@example.org.
INTERNSHIP AND FELLOWSHIP OPPORTUNITIES
Summer Honors Internship at the Center for Agriculture and Food Systems at Vermont Law School
The Center for Agriculture and Food Systems (CAFS) at Vermont Law School is seeking law student applicants for their Summer Honors Internship program. Interns will receive a $5,000 stipend to work full-time with CAFS from June 1 to August 6, 2021 in South Royalton, Vermont. Please note that the position may be remote if the campus remains closed due to COVID-19, but a decision will be made by April 1.
Interns may work on projects related to farmland access and equity; food labeling and regulation of novel food products; legal barriers facing food hubs; laws and regulations that protect the health and safety of farmworkers; legal resources for farmers markets; and biodiversity and agriculture. Tasks are dependent on project needs and may include legal research, drafting law and policy documents, conducting original research in the form of interviews and surveys, drafting case studies, and providing general support.
Qualifications: A background in food and agriculture law and policy, public health policy, environmental law and policy, and/or land use policy is preferred; strong research and writing skills are required. Proficiency in Microsoft Office (Outlook, Word, Excel) is required for the position; other skills (such as graphic design, web development, or GIS) are a bonus.
To apply, please submit in PDF form a cover letter, resume, list of three references, academic writing sample of no more than 5 pages, and unofficial academic transcript to Claire Child at email@example.com, using the subject line “CAFS summer honors internship application.” The application deadline is January 3, 2021.
Spring 2021 Food Project Law Clerk at The Public Justice Food Project
Public Justice, a non-profit legal advocacy organization that pursues high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses, seeks to hire a law student for an intern/extern position (“Law Clerk”) in their Food Project for the Spring Semester 2021. The Food Project at Public Justice combines litigation with education and advocacy to reform the harmful practices employed by industrial animal agriculture and support a more sustainable and humane food production system. The position will be remote and the law clerk will work with attorneys in both the Oakland and Washington, D.C. offices, as well as remote attorneys throughout the country. The Law Clerk will research and develop new cases in conjunction with Food Project attorneys, law fellows, and cooperating counsel. They will also provide assistance to Food Project attorneys in ongoing litigation.
The Food Project at Public Justice seeks a student who can secure credit and/or funding from their schools and can commit to 16-20 hours a week for the Spring Semester 2021. Applications are due on or before December 1, 2020.
- Completed first year of law school.
- Excellent analytical, legal research, and writing skills.
- Excellent communication and public speaking skills.
- Self-motivation and proven ability to work as part of a team.
- Strong work ethic, initiative, and sound, yet creative judgment.
- Sensitivity to the needs and concerns of and the ability to work with individuals and
- groups from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
- A strong desire to build a movement to achieve a more just food system.
- Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that
- encourages collaboration.
To apply, interested candidates should submit a:
- Cover letter that conveys why you are drawn to Public Justice’s mission and what makes you a good fit for the Food Project.
- Law school transcript (unofficial or “grade sheet” accepted).
- Contact information for two to three references.
- Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that is either unedited or only lightly edited by someone other than you. Please include a cover sheet explaining the extent of editing by someone else.
Please submit both files to Food Project Associate Attorney Kellan Smith at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information, please visit their website at https://food.publicjustice.net/.
Research Fellow at the National Agricultural Law Center
The National Agricultural Law Center (NALC), a unit of the University of Arkansas System Division of Agriculture, is seeking to fill several Research Fellowship positions. Positions are currently available for the spring and summer of 2021. The positions will focus on conducting legal research and writing projects that meaningfully assist the NALC and its partners in serving state, regional, and national stakeholders in furtherance of its mission as the nation’s leading source of objective agricultural and food law research and information. Specific areas of research include but are not limited to:
- Environmental regulation of agriculture;
- Food safety and food labeling;
- Agricultural finance and credit; and
- Other relevant issues such as agricultural data and technology, land use, farm programs local and regional food systems and agricultural labor.
In addition to this announcement, the Center is also seeking inaugural applicants specifically for the Scott E. Fancher Agricultural Law Fellowship. For more details on that Fellowship, please visit https://bit.ly/2WqXuWU.
Successful applicants for either fellowship will have completed at least their first year of law school and have demonstrated skills and experience in legal research and writing. Applications must include at least one letter of reference that speaks to the applicant’s research and writing skills. Previous experience or background in agriculture is preferred, but not required. A GPA of 3.0 or higher is preferred, but not required. Applicants must be motivated and capable of reliably implementing work projects in a distance working arrangement. This position will require a commitment of at least ten hours a week, with flexibility given for exams and other academic or holiday events.
Interested individuals should submit a current resume, three references (including one focused on research and writing), an unofficial law school transcript and a writing sample (10 pages or less) to Senior Staff Attorney Elizabeth Rumley at email@example.com. Applications are due no later than December 1, 2020.
To learn more about the National Agricultural Law Center, visit its website at www.nationalaglawcenter.org. You may also contact Senior Staff Attorney Elizabeth Rumley at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Summer 2021 Law Clerkship with Earth Justice
Earthjustice is seeking summer law clerks who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Earthjustice’s work is currently divided into three major areas:
- The Wild focuses on cases that protect endangered species, national forests, national parks, other public lands, water resources, and the oceans.
- Healthy Communities focuses on cases that protect public health, prevent air and water pollution, and curb exposures to toxic chemicals, particularly in disproportionately impacted communities. Recently, our healthy communities work has also begun to promote sustainable food and agriculture and the rights of farm workers.
- Climate and Energy focuses on cases that encourage clean energy and energy efficiency while challenging the reliance on coal, oil and other dirty fuels.
Earthjustice has 15 regional offices which are accepting applications for summer law clerks. To learn more and apply, go here.
Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellowship through the Congressional Hunger Center
The Emerson Fellowship is a program of the Congressional Hunger Center, a bipartisan nonprofit organization whose mission is to develop, inspire, and connect leaders in the movement to end hunger, and to advocate for public policies that create a food-secure world. During the 11-month fellowship, Bill Emerson National Hunger Fellows develop a deep understanding of effective solutions to hunger and poverty, and their own roles in achieving Zero Hunger in the United States. Following orientation and field training in Washington, D.C., Emerson Fellows spend five months with community-based organizations throughout the United States. In mid-February fellows return to Washington for a second placement with organizations and government agencies focused on national anti-hunger and anti-poverty policy. Throughout the fellowship, fellows hone essential skills and form a strong professional cohort through in-person trainings, retreats, and professional development sessions.
Applications to join the 2021-2022 class of Emerson Hunger Fellows are accepted until January 11, 2021. To learn more and apply, go here.
2L Law Clerk With Lehrman Beverage Law
The Lehrman Beverage Law Firm in Oakton, VA is seeking a 2L law clerk interesting in beverage law. The law clerk will research state laws on beer, wine, and spirits to support the work of 2-3 alcohol and beverage law attorneys. Applicants should have great attention to detail and excellent writing. There is potential for the position to develop into more hours and longer term. Applicants must have completed at least one year of law school. Not a suitable position for anyone with less than 6 months or more than 2.5 years of law school.
Alcohol beverages are one of the most regulated products in the US. The legal landscape is complex and practitioners must balance federal, state, and sometimes local regulations for their clients. Lehrman Beverage Law has thousands of food and beverage clients around the world, and their clients range from top names in the industry to start-ups. Application material include a recent transcript, relevant writing sample, and a cover letter addressing the following questions: 1) Do you have an interest or special connection to alcohol beverage law issues? Please explain. 2) What can you do with computers beyond the basics? 3) Why will this part-time opportunity fit your schedule, short-term and long-term goals?
To learn more and apply, go here.
Socially Responsible Agricultural Project Internship
The Socially Responsible Agricultural Project offers internships for law students to gain experience in environmental/agricultural community advocacy and policy work. This work has a particular focus on addressing rural community impacts and other problems arising from industrial livestock production facilities, commonly referred to as concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs) or factory farms. Students may gain experience in a wide range of areas, including legal research and writing; evaluating and assisting in compiling factual information for potential citizen pollution complaints and environmental permitting matters; drafting briefs, issue fact sheets, and regulatory guides for public educational and policy outreach efforts, as well as obtaining and examining government documents and regulatory agency records, among other things. Students are expected to work remotely and independently, but with direction and guidance from organization attorneys. Internships are unpaid; however, supervisors can work with professors to accommodate students who wish to develop projects that they can obtain class credit for. Other internships may also be available for undergraduate and graduate students, depending on areas of interests and organizational needs. For more information contact Danielle Diamond at email@example.com or Julie Sanchez at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Post-Grad Legal Fellowship with Earth Justice
Over the span of their fellowship, Earth Justice legal fellows will work closely with experienced Earthjustice attorneys, policy and communications staff, and clients to develop and implement litigation and advocacy strategies, and may participate in the full range of tasks, such as factual investigation, legal research, discovery, briefing, witness preparation, and oral advocacy. Earth Justice offers many links for applicants to learn more about the litigation dockets of each of their offices as well as programs and organizations that are interested in sponsoring a legal fellow. Go to their website to learn more.
2021 Summer Associate, Davis Wright Tremaine LLP
Davis Wright Tremaine LLP is seeking applicants for its 2021 summer associate program in its Seattle, Washington, and Portland, Oregon offices. Applicants should prepare a cover letter indicating their connection to the Pacific Northwest, a resume, complete undergraduate transcripts (unofficial copies are acceptable), a writing sample unedited by a third party (5-10 pages), and law school transcripts (unofficial copy acceptable). To apply for the Seattle position follow this link, and for the Portland position follow this link.
Center for Science in the Public Interest Internship Program
CSPI, located in Washington, DC, offers internships for a small number of qualified students in undergraduate, graduate, law, and medical schools each summer and during the school year. CSPI also considers postgraduates. Applications are considered on a rolling basis until all positions have been filled. The 10-week internships are unpaid and can be full-time or part-time. The specific dates of an internship are flexible and depend on our needs and the applicant’s schedule. CSPI offers a collegial work environment and flexible schedule to accommodate your academic responsibilities.
If your school offers academic credit for internships, CSPI will work with you to meet your school’s requirements. To apply, email your cover letter (which should indicate the issues you are interested in, your future plans, and dates of availability), a resume, and a one to three page writing sample to email@example.com (this is the preferred method). Please specify the name of the internship to which you are applying in the subject line. More information on the program is available here.
If you know of an internship or career opportunity in food law and policy, please let us know by sending an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.