The Council on Environmental Quality is housed within the Executive Office of the President. CEQ has offices within the Eisenhower Executive Office Building (EEOB) and within the Jackson Place townhouse on Lafayette Square.

Mailing Address

Council on Environmental Quality
730 Jackson Place, NW, Washington, DC 20503

Main Line:  (202) 395-5750

For inquiries related to internships or legal clerkships: internships@ceq.eop.gov

General Internship

Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) interns typically are given a wide range of assignments, including conducting research, managing incoming inquiries, attending meetings, and writing memoranda on a variety of environmental issues.  Interns have the opportunity to be involved in groundbreaking projects and work closely with staff from all levels of CEQ.  The pace in the office is fast, so accuracy and attention to detail are critical.  Interns should expect to assume an increasing level of responsibility as they gain experience in the office.  Other essential intern duties include answering phones, routing mail, copying  documents, filing and retrieving information (conventionally or electronically), and assembling briefing materials.

Applicants Must Demonstrate the Following Qualifications

  • High motivation and self-initiative
  • Willingness to contribute where needed
  • Ability to handle the inherent pressure that comes with working within the Executive Office of the President
  • Excellent communications skills
  • Computer literacy
  • Relevant classroom or practical experience

CEQ gives preference to applicants who are available to work full-time but also will consider applicants who are seeking a part-time position.  CEQ will work with interns who are attempting to arrange credit with a college or university to help fulfill academic requirements. All internship positions are unpaid.

Most interns work a typical semester-based schedule, but a position may be customized based on applicant availability and project needs.

Standard Timing For Internships
Start and End Date Application Deadlines
Fall August – January Last Friday in June
Spring January – May Last Friday in November
Summer May – August Last Friday in March

Application: CEQ Internship Application (PDF)

Frequently Asked Questions

  • Is the CEQ Internship a paid position?  No.  CEQ Internships are unpaid positions.  Applicants are encouraged to contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for funding or housing assistance.  If you receive assistance, you must notify us.
  • How long should my résumé be and what should it include?  Your résumé should be no longer than two pages and should include your education, work experience, extracurricular activities, and service experiences.
  • Is housing provided?  No.  Applicants must arrange for their own housing.  Applicants are encouraged to contact educational and other non-profit organizations to apply for housing assistance.  Applicants may also contact local schools for housing opportunities.
  • Is the CEQ Internship Program part of the White House Intern Program?  No. Although the two programs and the interns may work with one another, the CEQ Internship Program is separate from the White House Intern Program.
  • Do you have to be a U.S. citizen to apply?  Yes.  In order to serve as an intern in the Executive Office of the President, you must be a United States Citizen.
  • When will I hear back from CEQ after I submit my application?  Due to the large volume of applications submitted to the CEQ Internship Program, we are not able to confirm receipt of your application.  However, if selected for an interview, you can expect to be contacted within three to four weeks after an application deadline has passed.
  • Are the start dates for the semesters at all flexible in the event of a conflicting academic or work schedule?  Yes, we can be flexible with start and end dates.

Legal Clerkships

The White House Council on Environmental Quality (CEQ) has a competitive legal clerkship program and recruits unpaid clerks for its spring, summer, and fall semester schedules.  CEQ accepts applications from prospective clerks on a rolling basis; however, due to the high volume of applications that we typically receive, we encourage applicants to abide by the following dates and deadlines:

Standard Timing For Clerkships
Start and End Date Application Deadlines
Fall August – January Last Friday in June
Spring January – May Last Friday in November
Summer May – August Last Friday in March

Application: CEQ Legal Clerkship Application (PDF)

CEQ has legal clerkship openings each spring and fall semester, as well as each summer.  Clerks are supervised by attorneys within CEQ’s Office of the General Counsel and provide critical research and writing assistance to both legal and policy staff on a variety of matters pertinent to CEQ’s functions, including oversight of the National Environmental Policy Act.  Through CEQ’s participation in policy processes across the federal government, clerks have the opportunity to perform diverse, substantive legal work, including (1) drafting memoranda on environmental, energy, natural resources, infrastructure, and general law issues; (2) tracking federal agency actions on environmental and infrastructure issues; (3) attending interagency working group meetings; and (4) assisting with responses to Freedom of Information Act requests and other inquiries regarding CEQ’s activities.  Clerks may also have the opportunity to help advise CEQ’s policy teams on legal issues and to analyze significant draft regulations through CEQ’s participation in the interagency regulatory review process under Executive Order 12866.

Requirements

CEQ seeks second and third year law students and recent law school graduates who are highly motivated, willing to contribute where needed, and able to exercise professional judgment and maturity.  Additionally, applicants must be U.S. Citizens. There are no curricular requirements for selection as a law clerk; however, CEQ prefers applicants who have completed coursework in environmental law, administrative law, legal research and writing, and statutory interpretation, and who demonstrate a commitment to the environmental, energy, or natural resource arenas. During the Fall and Spring terms, CEQ requires a minimum commitment of 16 hours per week and prefers a commitment of 30+ hours per week.  Summer internships require a minimum commitment of 32 hours per week with a preference for applicants who can be available full-time for 40 hours per week. CEQ will work with students who seek school credit for their uncompensated service to CEQ.

Note: the White House has a zero-tolerance policy for drug use.  Clerks will be required to take a drug test prior to beginning a clerkship.  Failure to pass the drug test will result in immediate disqualification.

Application

Prepare the materials in the check-list below and combine them into a single PDF file addressed to Howard Sun, Attorney Advisor.  Name the PDF file using the following convention, indicating whether you are applying to the spring, summer, or fall program: Last Name, First Name.YEAR SEMESTER.Clerkship Application (e.g., “Smith, Jane.2017.Fall.Clerkship Application”).  Email the PDF file to internships@ceq.eop.gov, indicating in the email subject line that you are applying for the Legal Clerkship Program (e.g., “Spring 2017 Law Clerkship Application”).

CEQ will contact selected applicants to interview.  Should you need to hear from CEQ by a certain deadline, please advise us of this in your email or by calling the CEQ mainline at (202) 395-5750 and asking for Howard Sun.

Required Application Materials

  • Cover letter (1 page maximum)
  • Resume (1 page maximum)
  • References (see instructions below)
  • Law school transcript (most recent; an unofficial transcript is acceptable)
  • Writing sample (3-5 pages maximum)

Applicant references should include three individuals who are able to speak to the applicant’s legal research and writing skills, and ability to work well in a fast-paced office environment.  This list must include at least one law school professor and one supervising attorney.  Please list the names, titles, organizations, phone numbers, email addresses, and relationships to the applicant for all references.

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