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Roger E. Koontz Fellowship in Law and Climate Policy

Acadia Center is a regional non-profit, research, and advocacy organization committed to advancing the clean energy future. We focus on offering real-world solutions to the climate crisis that address consumer, public health, economic and climate justice benefits.  

Roger E. Koontz Fellowship in Law and Climate Policy 

Acadia Center is seeking motivated law students to apply for its Roger E. Koontz Fellowship in Law and Climate Policy. The Koontz Fellow will work with Acadia Center staff – policy experts, researchers, attorneys, and communications professionals– on projects that directly impact the work of the organization. Depending on the work, the Fellow may have the opportunity to meet with policymakers, attend public meetings and engage in coalition interactions. Projects will be assigned based on skills and interests, and could include the following:  
  • Clean Energy and Community Engagement. Scoping issues for legal and policy review related to community and stakeholder engagement in the anticipated expansion of the region’s clean energy projects, power grid, and transmission, such as a review of the adequacy of current permitting processes to seek and engage community level input.  
  • Energy Regulatory System Reform. Researching legal issues and policy solutions on issues involving the need to reform approaches to regional power grid and state level utility planning, financing and governance so that it advances clean energy, climate, consumer and energy justice goals.   
  • Building Energy and Energy Justice. Using analysis and data to advance organizational initiatives, conduct analysis aimed at developing a better understanding of the connections between environmental justice issues, and develop policy recommendations in the areas of housing and transportation.  
Drafting public comments, policy memos, or explanatory outreach materials; attending webinars, coalition meetings, and meeting with government officials and other stakeholder groups are aspects of our work that are available to gain exposure and understanding of climate and clean energy issues. 
Candidates should possess a selection of the following skills:   
  • A strong interest in environmental, energy or climate law and policy; 
  • An interest in the application of data, consumer, health and equity analyses to law and policy; 
  • Interest in the role of electric and gas utilities, energy efficiency programs, public policy, community, state and regional engagement, buildings and transportation energy use; 
  • Self-guided literature research, legal/docket research, conducting interviews, preparing summaries;  
  • Knowledge of social media and digital media best practices is helpful. 
The Koontz Fellow position is fully remote, though there may be possibilities for in-person connections near Acadia Center staff locations in Rockport, ME; Boston, MA; Providence, RI; Hartford, CT and New York City. The fellowship is expected to run full-time for 8-10 weeks in June, July and August and can be structured as full or flex time. Acadia Center will provide a stipend of $8,000 (full time level) depending on factors such as educational level, background experience and schedule. Applicants are encouraged to seek support from other school or work support programs such as those offered by the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center. 
Diversity and Climate Justice Commitment 
Acadia Center is committed to a diverse work environment that advances racial, environmental and climate justice. We value a workplace of mutual respect, the ability to learn from one another and a team culture of inclusion, shared responsibilities and decision making. We apply values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice to our program and organization’s activities and encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.   

Honoring Roger E. Koontz, Esq. (1940-2021) 
Roger Koontz had an illustrious career as one of New England’s leading energy attorneys. Born in a small town in rural Illinois, Roger attended a one-room schoolhouse, winning a National Merit Scholarship and graduating with a BS in chemistry from the University of Illinois. He obtained his JD at Yale Law School, beginning his career at the New Haven Legal Assistance Association before moving to Connecticut Legal Services where he served as Executive Director. His strong interest in environment and energy issues led him to staff the Conservation Law Foundation’s Connecticut office and form the firm Silverstone & Koontz with his friend and public interest attorney, David Silverstone, in Hartford for 17 years. Later counsel to Tyler, Cooper & Alcorn, Roger represented nonprofit organizations and small power producers on energy and utility issues. In 2001, Roger came out retirement to assist Acadia Center, then Environment Northeast/ENE, in its efforts to stop an attempt by Enron Corporation to transfer over $100 million dollars from two new, public funded state clean energy funds into a project owned wholly by an Enron subsidiary. Roger’s legal skills helped defeat the project, a startling blow to one of the nation’s most powerful corporations. Roger worked with Acadia Center for the next decade as Senior Counsel, where he left his mark on a wide range of clean energy and regulatory reform precedents. Roger was a beloved mentor and friend to numerous staff. We are grateful for his work and presence in our organization. 

To Apply  
Current law students interested in environmental, climate or energy law and policy are invited to apply. Interested candidates should send a resume, cover letter detailing their areas of interest and a brief writing sample by March 31 with the subject line “Koontz Legal Fellow” to: internship Applications will be processed on a rolling basis. 

Founded in 1998, Acadia Center is a leading non-profit whose mission is to advance bold, effective, and equitable clean energy solutions for a livable climate and a stronger, more equitable economy. Acadia Center achieves change through thought leadership, analysis, advocacy, coalition building, and engagement with the public in the Northeast and beyond. Acadia Center emphasizes a commitment to use data and research to demonstrate the energy, climate, public health, consumer and equitable distribution potential of reforms and build awareness and diverse support for its program. More information is at Acadia Center holds Charity Navigator’s highest 4 Star rating for fiscal management and devotion of revenues to program work.  

Acadia Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Acadia Center seeks to recruit, hire, and provide opportunities for advancement without regard to race, color, creed, religion, sex, pregnancy, age, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, gender, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, genetic information, marital or civil union status, military service, citizenship, or any other characteristics and traits protected under applicable federal, state or local law.