Senior Attorney, National Climate

Washington, DC Regional Washington, District Of Columbia

Earthjustice is now accepting applications for a Senior Attorney to join our Washington, D.C. Regional Office.  The position will focus primarily on litigation and advocacy to promote stronger national rules, programs and policies to combat climate change and its harmful effects on people and the planet. 

Earthjustice is the nation’s premier nonprofit environmental law organization.  We take on major, precedent-setting cases across the country.  We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, preserve magnificent places and wildlife, advance clean energy, and combat climate change.  We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.

Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished history of using litigation and advocacy to achieve significant, lasting environmental protections.  We achieve this by hiring people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.  Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Chicago, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

The Washington, D.C. office serves as a center for litigation on important national environmental issues, a regional office for issues arising in Mid-Atlantic States, and a source of legal advocacy on environmental justice issues in a variety of locations.  The office’s docket currently includes litigation and administrative advocacy to protect public health and the environment from air pollution, hazardous wastes, and dangerous chemicals; curb greenhouse gas emissions and promote energy efficiency, clean energy and clean transportation; and protect streams, wetlands, and drinking water.  A significant focus of our work is preventing environmental harms to children, disproportionately impacted communities of color, and low-income communities.  For more information about the office’s work, visit

Earthjustice has a longstanding record of success with our litigation and advocacy to attack climate pollution and other dangerous air emissions and to advance a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.  We played a significant role in litigation establishing EPA’s power to limit greenhouse gases under the Clean Air Act and defending the agency’s initial exercise of that power.  In recent years, we have achieved major success in securing stronger air pollution limits on dirty coal-fired power plants, effective national energy efficiency standards that have dramatically cut power use, increased reliance on and access to clean energy across the country, and zero-emissions transportation commitments at the local and state level.  We seek a senior attorney to advance stronger national initiatives to curb greenhouse gas emission as we continue our focus on ensuring a just and equitable transition for those most impacted by power plants and industries that generate climate pollution.  Examples of the work the senior attorney may pursue include the following:

*Act as Earthjustice’s lead counsel in ongoing and potential litigation to secure and strengthen national greenhouse emission standards for major industries.  

* National litigation and advocacy to eliminate or curb greenhouse emissions from the power, transportation, and building sectors

* Research, develop, and pursue litigation and advocacy to curtail federal subsidies for extraction, processing and use of fossil fuels. 

* Research and develop innovative legal strategies to significantly limit climate pollution in the U.S. and internationally.

* Provide substantive input on draft climate legislation.

* Act as an Earthjustice representative at partner meetings and conferences on national climate regulatory issues.

The senior attorney will work closely with our existing team of experienced litigators, scientists, policy advocates, and other dedicated staff in D.C. and other Earthjustice offices across the nation. Additionally, senior attorneys are expected to help foster the development of early career attorneys and other staff. Senior attorneys supervise other staff in connection with their work on particular projects and may be asked to serve as the formal supervisor for one or more early-career staff. 

Due to Covid-19, Earthjustice staff are currently working remotely from approved locations through January 18, 2022.


  • Conduct and supervise advocacy before federal agencies and courts as warranted.
  • Manage new and existing cases from start to finish.
  • Coordinate the development and execution of non-litigation advocacy strategies in collaboration with attorneys, policy staff and communications staff as appropriate.
  • Conduct factual investigations and develop legal theories for possible advocacy or litigation advancing the goals of our clients.
  • Supervise the work of Associate Attorneys, Scientists, Researchers, Litigation Assistants, and Law Clerks individually and as part of litigation teams.
  • Develop and manage relationships with co-counsel and with a diverse group of clients and coalition partners.
  • Participate in meetings and conferences on national climate regulatory issues and strategies.
  • Work effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including Communications, Development, Operations, and Policy and Legislation.
  • Collaborate with and oversee the work of technical experts.
  • Serve as spokesperson for Earthjustice, clients, and partners.
  • Help develop and execute effective media strategies.
  • Join other staff in long-term planning, strategy development, goal setting, and work plan management that advances a collective vision for future D.C. Office work.
  • Participate as an active member of a learning and mentorship culture, and engage with colleagues in manner that is respectful, professional, and supportive.
  • Participate actively in organizational and office-specific efforts to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and personally engage with colleagues, clients, and partners in a manner that is consistent with those efforts.


  • Juris Doctorate (JD) degree from an ABA accredited law school.
  • A minimum of eight years of relevant litigation and advocacy experience.
  • Admitted or eligible to waive in for admission to the District of Columbia Bar.
  • Given the position’s focus on federal laws and advocacy, the ideal candidate will be willing and able to work in our Washington, D.C. office once it reopens. The D.C. office is currently closed due to the pandemic.  As with all staff, the person in this position will work remotely until the office reopens. Although there is a strong preference for the incumbent to work in the D.C office after reopening, applicants seeking to work in other geographic areas are welcome to apply.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, environmental and administrative law (including experience under the Clean Air Act) is strongly preferred.
  • Knowledge of causes and effects of climate change and strategies to curb greenhouse gas emissions is a plus.
  • Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Strong initiative, good judgment, creativity, a collegial work style, and a strong work ethic.
  • Proficient at working with technical issues and experts.
  • Ready and able to develop, initiate, and conduct complex litigation and advocacy from day one, independently if necessary, to lead teams, and to work collaboratively with colleagues and partner organizations. 
  • Ability to develop and maintain partnerships with community-based or other grassroots groups interested in litigation and other advocacy in the attorney’s area of focus.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed for casework, court appearances, presentations, staff meetings, and conferences.
  • Willingness to help the office recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
  • Willingness and ability to effectively supervise and mentor early career staff in connection with litigation and advocacy projects, and to help foster an inclusive and supportive work environment.
  • Formal management experience is a plus.
  • Commitment to serving the public interest and Earthjustice’s mission.
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Commitment to help create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workforce and culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

For litigators and advocates committed to saving the planet and the people who depend on it, Senior Attorney at Earthjustice is the best job on the planet. Learn more about our Senior Attorney careers and work online here:

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. 
Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity. 

Salary depends on experience and location.
Salary range in Washington, DC: $155,000+

To apply interested applicants should submit the following:

  • Resume.
  • One to two-page cover letter that addresses at least the following subjects: (1) Why you are drawn to this position and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or justice issues that inspire you; and (2) Aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to work with diverse clients and colleagues.
  • A writing sample that reflects your own legal analysis and writing (i.e., not jointly written with or edited by other people).
  • List of three professional references.

Please reach out to [email protected] if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies. Earthjustice only accepts resumes submitted for positions that are currently open. Unsolicited resumes, or resumes for posted positions that are not submitted via the on-line application process (where available), will not be reviewed or retained.

 Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership, and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are provided with equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, or any other factor that is not related to the position.

For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco: Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

For positions located within the City of Los Angeles:  We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.