Nichole Saunders interned with the Sierra Club this summer and shares her story.
Hello from beautiful San Francisco! I am one of the lucky few to have landed a full time internship in the national headquarters of Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program.
Sierra Club is a non-profit organization, and the nation’s leader in environmental litigation. The program has 25 attorneys, spread among three offices in San Francisco, Washington D.C., and Boulder. San Francisco houses the attorneys who focus on all things ENERGY, and as my personal focus as incoming Editor-In-Chief of the Energy Law Journal is on energy law and policy, this has been a wonderful fit.
I have been spending my hours researching and writing on everything from new environmental regulations to case law and policy. The days, however, are not always filled with traditional work. Sierra Club has been a truly educational and eye-opening experience. Each week I learn the ins and outs of a specific practice from a different attorney working on each of Sierra Club’s unique campaigns. In addition, the Club is part of a consortium of public service environmental law programs that each host a brown bag for interns in the Bay Area. These brown bags take me to organizations like NRDC and Earthjustice, as well as to state and government offices, like the U.S. D.O.J Natural Resources Division.
As they say though, all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy—and no one is dull in San Francisco! The entire Club recently attended a Giants game in the beautiful ballpark overlooking the Bay. I’ve visited the picturesque Napa and Sonoma valleys, witnessed the 75th Anniversary of the Golden Gate Bridge, had amazing sourdough bread and chowder, and walked through the majestic Muir Woods Monument. The upcoming to-do list includes a night tour of Alcatraz and a camping trip to Big Sur. In short, my work not only allows me to do my part in saving the environment, but also gives me the unique opportunity to truly experience all that the environment has to offer.