Job Openings and Internships at AWI


AWI is an equal employment opportunity employer. We are committed to employment practices that provide equal opportunities for all persons without regard to race, color, creed, sex, religion, age, national origin, sexual orientation, political affiliation, physical or mental disability, pregnancy, personal appearance, marital or family status, or other status as protected by applicable state, local, and federal laws. We are committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion within our organization.

Staff Attorney, Terrestrial Wildlife Program

Position Summary:
We seek a full-time staff attorney to join our Terrestrial Wildlife Program team. The staff attorney’s role will be to use the law and science to develop and implement AWI’s policy and litigation strategy to protect terrestrial wildlife. The staff attorney will work closely with the Program’s attorneys and biologists, as well as with other advocacy groups, to advance the Program’s efforts at local, state, national, and international levels to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitat, to oppose methods of wildlife management that are cruel and not based in sound science, to advocate for humane solutions to human-wildlife conflicts, and to address unsustainable global wildlife trade and other harmful activities.

Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identify and engage in opportunities to protect terrestrial wildlife through federal and state regulatory mechanisms, legislation, and litigation.
  • Draft a variety of documents, including rulemaking petitions, comments on rulemaking notices, federal listing petitions, public records requests, environmental analyses, and other policy-related documents.
  • Develop and implement litigation and legal advocacy strategies to support program goals.
  • Conduct legal research and draft legal memoranda.
  • Support AWI’s government affairs staff by drafting and reviewing state and federal legislation, engaging with policymakers, and providing expert testimony before the US Congress, state legislatures, and administrative agencies.
  • Represent AWI at meetings, hearings, and other events.
  • Draft action alerts, press releases, op-eds, educational materials, social media posts, website content, donor updates, and AWI Quarterly magazine articles highlighting AWI’s wildlife protection campaigns.
  • Along with other members of the terrestrial wildlife program team, act as a media contact for wildlife issues.
  • Engage in a wide range of activities related to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (CITES).
  • Develop contacts and communicate with government officials and other NGOs.


  • A law degree as well as admission to and good standing with a state bar is required.
  • A bachelor’s degree or advanced degree in conservation biology, wildlife biology, ecology, or related field is preferred.

Skills and Experience:

  • A minimum of three years of relevant legal experience.
  • Experience using a broad suite of legal advocacy tools, including federal and state administrative rulemakings and petitions, legislative policy development, and litigation.
  • Participation in some or all of the tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, discovery, briefing, and oral advocacy.
  • Exceptional research, writing, and communication skills.
  • Excellent oral advocacy skills, including public speaking experience.
  • Strong working knowledge of the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Administrative Procedures Act, Freedom of Information Act, and other federal and state laws that protect terrestrial wildlife.
  • Knowledge of CITES issues and processes.
  • Demonstrated commitment to AWI’s mission and to public interest work, including the preservation of wildlife and prevention of animal suffering.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and think creatively about project development.
  • Demonstrated ability to prioritize heavy workload, work independently as well as part of a team, and work under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated ability to cultivate and maintain relationships with a wide range of stakeholders and policymakers influencing wildlife conservation, including other NGOs, state and federal government officials, and legislators and their staff.
  • Ability to multitask and manage short- and long-term deadlines.
  • Strong work ethic and sound judgment.
  • Strong attention to detail, as well as problem-solving skills.
  • Strong computer skills, including proficiency in Microsoft Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work effectively with a diversity of people, cultures, and constituencies.

Job Location:
Washington, DC is the preferred location for this position, but remote options will be considered for exceptional candidates.

Salary is commensurate with experience and abilities. We offer an excellent benefits package, including employer-paid medical, prescription, and dental insurance, employee-paid vision insurance, 401(k) with employer match, paid time off policy, on-site parking, and IRS commuter benefit program.

To apply:
Please submit the following materials to, “Attn: Staff Attorney”: (1) cover letter, including an explanation of your interests in wildlife protection and your motivation to work in this position and the public interest legal field; (2) resume; (3) two writing samples that are predominantly your own work. A rulemaking comment or petition and legal brief or memorandum are preferred writing samples; (4) law school transcript (unofficial is acceptable); and (5) three to five professional references. No telephone calls, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted. The position will remain open until filled.

Download the full job description here.


All internships will be remote until further notice


Marine Life Legal Intern

AWI’s marine life program is currently looking for a part-time remote legal intern to engage in and assist with various research projects. Applicants must be willing to assist with a myriad of captive and wild marine life law and policy issues, including but not limited to researching case law and drafting legal analyses, public comments, and legal memos. The intern will have the opportunity to work with AWI’s legal, scientific and policy staff.

To better acquaint yourself with AWI’s work before applying, please read more here. Interested applicants should send their cover letter and resume to Georgia Hancock at (Due to the volume of applicants, only those selected for an interview will be contacted. Thanks for your understanding.)

Preference will go to second and third year law students involved in relevant law reviews and law journals and those that have taken or are currently enrolled in any of the following courses: Environmental Law/Litigation/Clinic, Administrative Law, Ocean and Coastal Law, Animal Law, International Environmental Law, Wildlife Law and/or related coursework. Please indicate whether you are a 2L or 3L when you apply.

Communications Intern

AWI seeks a Communications intern every fall, spring, and summer. This is a great opportunity for undergraduate or graduate students majoring in Communications, Journalism, Marketing, or Public Relations looking to gain communications experience in a non-profit setting. Interns focus on content creation, media monitoring, media database management, and social media strategy development, and report to both Social Media and Communications Coordinator Sydney Hearst and Public Relations Manager Margie Fishman.

The ideal candidate is a strong writer and communicator who is organized and has the ability to multitask. Although not required, search engine optimization skills and/or an interest in digital communications across multiple platforms (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram), as well as iPhone video skills, are preferable.

Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. The internship is located in our Capitol Hill office and is unpaid. Interested applicants should send a resume and cover letter to Sydney Hearst at When applying, please specify the term you are seeking to intern for (i.e., Summer, Fall, Winter, Spring).

AWI seeks two legislative interns every fall, spring, and summer. This is a great opportunity for law students, political science students, or anyone with a passion for making a difference in the lives of animals. Interns will assist our government and legal affairs staff in maintaining updated Hill contact lists, delivering documents to and attend meetings with Congressional offices and assisting staff in research; as well as miscellaneous tasks of an administrative nature. No specific academic major is required; however, preferred candidates will have a strong work ethic and be willing to take on any project. Interns may work full-time or part-time and can arrange to receive course credit. Please submit a resume and cover letter, stating why you wish to become an advocate for animals to Nancy Blaney at These positions are located in our Capitol Hill office and are unpaid.

The Animal Welfare Institute (AWI) works to reduce animal suffering and promote the welfare of all animals, including animals in agriculture. As a part of our mission, we promote humane farming systems and work to advance legislative and regulatory efforts to improve the conditions of farm animals.

Farm animal interns have the opportunity to learn more about advocacy efforts to protect farm animals. Potential responsibilities include research and writing, tracking legislation and regulations, and drafting public policy comments. Projects will cover a range of factory farming issues; the intern will support AWI in its efforts to eliminate harmful on-farm practices, improve conditions during long-distance transport, encourage humane handling at slaughter, and educate the public regarding the meaning of welfare-related claims on food products. The ideal candidate will have a genuine interest in animal welfare and a background in law, public policy, or animal science.

The internship is unpaid. Interested applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, unofficial transcript, and writing sample to Erin Sutherland at AWI is currently seeking interns for Spring and Summer 2021.

AWI offers on-site and remote internships every fall, spring, and summer to qualified students who have interest and experience in protecting wildlife. Interns assist with a variety of wildlife law and policy issues, such as conducting legal research, drafting legal memoranda, commenting on federal and state rulemaking proposals, and assisting with litigation matters. Projects may cover a range of issues, including threatened and endangered species, international wildlife trade, hunting and trapping regulations, and wild horses and burros, among other issues.

Interested applicants should send their cover letter, resume, and a writing sample that has not been edited by anyone other than yourself to Johanna Hamburger at Please specify the following in your application: (1) the semester you are seeking to intern for (i.e. Summer, Fall, or Spring); (2) whether you are interested in a remote position or an on-site position at our Capitol Hill office; and (3) whether you are a 1, 2, or 3L. Applications are currently being accepted for remote positions for Spring 2021 and remote and on-site positions for Summer 2021.

Internships are unpaid. Preference will go to students that have taken or are currently enrolled in any of the following courses: Environmental Law/Litigation/Clinic, Administrative Law, Animal Law, International Environmental Law, Wildlife Law, Public Lands & Resources Law, and/or related coursework. For our summer positions, 2Ls are strongly preferred. However, 1Ls with exceptional prior work experience will be considered. Although most projects are best suited for law school students, students enrolled in Masters programs in scientific and/or public policy fields are also encouraged to apply.

Interns, part-time or full-time, needed to assist with developing and maintaining Animals and Family Violence Program databases, such as the Safe Havens for Pets of Domestic Violence Victims national database. Animals and family violence interns may also conduct computer research related to training efforts and legislative and policy initiatives, e.g., on pet protection orders, cross-reporting between animal and human services agencies, and related matters.

Internships are not paid; interns do not have to work from the AWI office; hours are negotiable, as is length of service. For further information, please contact Mary Lou Randour at

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