Maryland Sea Grant (MDSG) and the Agriculture Law Education Initiative (ALEI) are excited to invite applications for a one-year legal fellowship. Please come join our dynamic team of legal experts and scientists to work at the exciting interface of law, policy, and environmental research. This one year fellowship has the possibility for a second year renewal in mutual agreement between the fellow, MDSG, and funding availability.

MDSG supports research, education, extension, and outreach on critical environmental issues in the Chesapeake and coastal bays and their watersheds. ALEI is comprised of legal specialists and other extension specialists who help agricultural producers understand and comply with state, federal, and local laws and regulations.

The Maryland Sea Grant legal fellow will help work toward these goals through projects involving training and programming for government agencies, coastal industries, and coastal communities addressing coastal law and policy in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay.

The primary effort of the fellow is to provide legal research, writing, and educational assistance to ALEI and MDSG. We invite applicants who have a curiosity about coastal environmental issues and legal education around those issues. The work is not advocacy. Fellows conduct legal scholarship and provide education for government agencies, coastal industries, and coastal communities addressing coastal law and policy in Maryland and the Chesapeake Bay with an emphasis on reaching underserved populations. Project topics are likely to cover legal questions in environmental areas such as aquaculture, sea level rise impact and resilience, and stormwater management in Maryland.

This is an excellent opportunity to gain experience with a variety of legal, policy, and regulatory matters concerning aquaculture, environmental compliance, and land use policy, including the impacts of sea level rise on coastal communities and governmental responses to the changing landscape. The fellowship serves to increase the capacity of local, state, and federal government agencies as well as non-governmental partners and coastal industries in Maryland, and to promote integration of a range of perspectives into problem-solving for Maryland to provide more inclusive solutions and facilitate training around and development of coastal laws and policies.

Delivering presentations to stakeholder groups, including commercial, public, and private property owners and regulatory officials, will be required. Professional development activities include networking with different environmental legal groups, presentations, and travel to learn about other marine-focused legal education work in the region. The legal fellow will also investigate funding sources for structuring a long-standing legal resource within MDSG.

If you are excited to gain professional development experience working with multiple audiences, build out your network, and sharpen your legal research and problem solving skills, we encourage you to apply for this position. The legal fellow will be hired by MDSG and work under the direction of ALEI Environmental and Agricultural Faculty Legal Specialist Nicole Cook. ALEI will provide legal expertise, while MDSG provides connections to coastal scientists and communities.

The legal fellow may work remotely, but will be expected to live in the region and be available to travel frequently for in-person meetings and activities in Maryland. There will be office space available for the fellow at the MDSG offices in College Park, Maryland and the University of Maryland’s Wye Research Center in Queenstown, Maryland.


  • Applicants must have earned a J.D. or equivalent LL.M. for foreign-trained attorneys no earlier than June 2018
  • Interest in exploring environmental legal research relevant to underresourced communities in coastal communities.
  • Enthusiasm for pursuing a career in the areas of natural resource management, protection, or stewardship, or public or policy or law of marine and/or coastal environments
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work independently as well as within a team environment

Applications due: March 14, 2022

Selection: Late April 2022

Fellowship period: One year from hire date (rolling date May – September 1, 2022) with a possible option, funding dependent, to continue for a second year

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