If you are interested in the environment and are studying law or environmental science, being a member of UKELA is an invaluable way to start your professional career. Enhance your professional skills, add to your CV and start building your own professional network. Follow the tabs at the top of the page to find out more about all these fantastic opportunities. 

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About James Adler

James Adler was our valued Council member who died unexpectedly at the end of May 2023.  He was the Chief Executive of the Ashdown Forest, a committed environmentalist and promoter of nature-based solutions. We were incredibly fortunate that James was able to share his wealth of experience when he joined UKELA as a trustee in 2020. During his time on Council James worked tirelessly on a range of matters including equality, diversity and inclusion. Our mentoring scheme is established in his memory to honour and reflect James' desire to help enable and support a more inclusive and diverse community in the environmental law sector.  




Access for all 

The environment sector lacks diversity. At UKELA equality, diversity and inclusion are integral to our strategy.  We are committed to improving access in the environmental law sector for all, regardless of race, sex, and other protected characteristics. Our mentoring scheme is a programme of mentoring opportunities in the field of environmental law for those who would not usually be able to take advantage of such an opportunity.


2024 mentoring programme

In 2023, UKELA successfully ran a pilot mentoring scheme aimed at providing opportunities for individuals from under represented backgrounds to gain experience in the world of environmental law. The pilot scheme was a resounding success and we have been able to formally launch and expand the programme for 2024/25. This scheme will offer up to 10 mentoring placements in the period September 2024 to March 2025.

  • Each placement will consist of 6 months mentoring support from a named mentor working in environmental law. This will include 5 days of hands-on experience (which need not be undertaken all at once).
  • During your placement you might be shadowing your mentor at meetings, in court, and attending networking and CPD events, in addition to regular catch up calls.
  • Financial support is available up to £250 at the start of the placement. This is intended to cover out of pocket expenses such as travel costs, help with caring responsibilities and enabling you to step back from paid responsibilities during the period of the scheme.


Mentoring partners 

The following organisations are working with UKELA to provide mentoring opportunities for the scheme, and we hope to add more organisations in due course:

  • Environment Agency
  • Environmental Standards Scotland (ESS)
  • Natural England
  • Office of Environmental Protection (OEP)


Who can apply? 

Applications were invited from anyone over the age of 18 (as at 30 April 2024), who identifies with coming from an under-represented background in either the environmental field or legal field, as highlighted in the 2017 report from Policy Exchange and discussed in the Institute for Environmental Sciences 2022 report but also including those with protected characteristics under the Equality Act 2010. This may include those who: identify as any ethnicity other than White British; identify with the protected characteristics: age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex, and sexual orientation.

How to apply?

Closing date for this year's mentoring programme is Midday, Friday 21 June 2024.  

Please download and complete this application form and send it together with a covering note outlining your suitability to benefit from and take part in this scheme to [email protected] by Midday on Friday 21 June 2024, together with all required documents. All applications will be acknowledged, if you have not heard from us please let us know. 

Please help us to reach as many people as possible by downloading our flyer about the scheme to share with your networks / place on noticeboards.

Follow up reporting 

Each successful applicant will be required to submit a short report about their placement. The mentor will also be asked to provide a short feedback report to you and to UKELA.

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