The Environmental Law Institute invites applications for the Jim Rubin International Fellowship.

The Fellowship Program empowers rising environmental lawyers from developing countries to tackle complex environmental problems. It reduces financial barriers, provides mentorship, and fosters leadership and creativity so fellows can conduct research that engages and informs the public and policymakers. The Fellowship is based in Washington, D.C.

Fellows will have the opportunity to conduct legal research, analysis, writing, and editing on a focused project and explore a wide variety of ongoing and short-term research projects at ELI. Fellows will be fully integrated into ELI’s research and policy team, and as such will be expected to work on-site in ELI’s office.

Two or three fellowships will be available for 2024 for a duration of up to three months. Fellowships will consist of:

  • Mentorship from ELI’s senior staff;
  • Opportunities to participate in educational workshops, seminars, and conferences offered by ELI;
  • High-level networking opportunities; and
  • A desk at ELI’s office in Washington, D.C.

Each Fellow is eligible for a one-time travel and accommodation stipend (up to $7,500).


ELI, a non-profit organization based in Washington, D.C., is a leading center of environmental research, policy analysis, technical assistance, and training. Founded at the beginning of the modern environmental era five decades ago, ELI has played a pivotal role in the evolution of environmental law. Today, ELI is an internationally recognized independent research and education organization whose interdisciplinary staff of lawyers and scientists works to develop creative solutions to critical problems in environmental law, policy, and management worldwide. Support for the Institute’s research and training programs comes from a mix of private foundations, government agencies, and international organizations.


Completion of a legal degree (LLB, JD, SJD, or LLM equivalent) prior to start of fellowship.

  • Preference will be given to candidates from developing countries.
  • Ability to communicate in English in a professional environment.
  • Legally authorized to travel to and volunteer in the United States for the entire duration of the fellowship. For information on authorization requirements, visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website ( Please note that ELI is unable to sponsor visas for fellowship applicants.

Successful applicants will be environmental lawyers in the early stages of their career who show promise as leaders. They embody Jim Rubin’s dedication to environmental protection law and policy, community engagement, and access to justice. They will be committed to research excellence and possess the ability to bring clarity to complex issues.

Candidates should be:

  • Early in their career, preferably within five years of graduating with their legal degree.
  • Interested in building thought- and practical leadership skills.
  • Show promise and a commitment to excellence.
  • Possess superior research, writing, and interpersonal communication skills.
  • Have a strong desire to gain knowledge of the environmental field.
  • Be focused, independent, reliable, and meticulous.


Fellowship applications for Spring 2024 are now open and the application deadline is February 15, 2024. The fellowship duration, as well as start/end dates, are flexible. Submit an application package via ELI’s online application system. Simply visit to get started. Note that your submission must contain the following uploaded documents (Word or PDF format), as follows:

  •  Cover letter (2-3 pages). The cover letter should address:
    • What you hope to get out of the Fellowship and how will it help you advance your career;
    • Why you want to be a Fellow at ELI;
    • Ideas for research projects – either particular areas of research/issues you’d like to work on while at ELI or (an) ongoing ELI project(s) you’d like to contribute to; and
    • Preferred dates (Spring 2024).
  • Resume.
  • Analytical writing sample (3-5 pages). The writing sample may be an excerpt from a longer work.
  • Three references.

Please note that to ensure the health and safety of the ELI workforce, any fellowship offer from ELI is contingent on candidates providing proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.  ELI management will consider requests for religious or medical exceptions, consistent with applicable law.


ELI is an equal opportunity employer firmly committed to achieving an inclusive, diverse workforce that values every individual. We firmly believe that hiring individuals with varying perspectives and backgrounds contributes to our success as an organization, and we strive to create an environment that fosters inclusiveness. As such, minority candidates and candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.