Associate Attorney, Tribal Partnerships
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on the biggest, most precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to 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 here because the earth needs a good lawyer.
Founded in 1971, Earthjustice has a distinguished track record of achieving 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, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.
Earthjustice seeks an associate attorney to join our tribal partnerships work, which aims to broaden and deepen our ability to partner with and represent tribes and tribal communities in litigation and other advocacy to protect public health and the environment. Earthjustice is proud of our record of productive partnership with tribes and tribal communities. For example:
- We represent the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in its litigation against the Dakota Access Pipeline, which threatens water quality on the Tribe’s reservation in North Dakota.
- We represent the Tohono O’Odham Nation, the Pascua Yaqui Tribe, and the Hopi Tribe in a challenge to the proposed Rosemont open-pit copper mine, which would be situated on public lands in Arizona that have profound cultural and religious significance to the Tribes.
- We represent the Menominee Indian Tribe of Wisconsin in litigation aimed at protecting sites of great cultural, religious, and historic significance to the Tribe from harm due to a proposed sulfide mine situated on the banks of the Menominee River.
- We represent the Quinault Indian Nation in successfully opposing oil shipping terminals proposed for Grays Harbor, on the Washington coast, that threatened waters and ancestral territory of critical importance to the Quinault people.
- We represent the Pikuni Traditionalist Association, an association of cultural leaders of the Blackfeet Nation, and the Blackfeet Headwaters Alliance, a grassroots organization whose membership includes many Blackfeet tribal members, in opposing oil-and-gas leases in Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine region, an area adjacent to the Blackfeet Indian Reservation that holds immense cultural significance for people of the Blackfeet Nation.
Each of these cases is being litigated by attorneys located in one of Earthjustice’s ten regional offices. The associate attorney for tribal partnerships will work closely with Earthjustice’s Director of Tribal Partnerships, a new position for which we are contemporaneously hiring, to complement the work being done out of our regional offices by adding new, cross-organization capacity and expertise to work on matters of concern to tribes and tribal communities. The two attorneys will work together and in collaboration with the attorneys in our regional offices to advance our work in this area. They will litigate cases themselves and in collaboration with attorneys located in regional offices, as well as provide consultation and advice on other cases litigated by regional office staff. They also will conduct outreach with tribes and tribal communities, often in collaboration with Earthjustice regional office staff, to identify matters of concern to current and potential Earthjustice clients and to ensure our partnerships are as effective as they can be.
We may prefer that the associate attorney work out of the same geographic location as the Director of Tribal Partnerships. The accompanying job notice for the Director of Tribal Partnerships specifies a strong preference for the Director to work out of one of Earthjustice’s regional offices located in the Western United States – in either Bozeman, Denver, Los Angeles, San Francisco, or Seattle. Given these geographic considerations, associate attorney applicants may increase the strength of their application by being willing to reside in multiple locations, depending on where the Director is hired.
The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position, with potential for extension. The Associate Attorney program is designed to help attorneys who are in the early stages of their careers to develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation. As Associate Attorneys gain experience, they gradually take on more independent responsibility for their cases, but work throughout their tenure under the supervision of a Staff Attorney or the Deputy Managing Attorney or Managing Attorney. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations.
- Working under the direction of the Director of Tribal Partnerships, implement strategies for deepening and broadening Earthjustice’s ability to partner with and represent tribes and tribal communities.
- Participate in the full range of tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, discovery, briefing, and oral advocacy.
- Participate in cultivating new clients, allies, and coalition partners.
- Integrate communications and legislative advocacy into litigation and other legal strategies.
- Support efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
- Litigation experience, either in full-time employment or in summer jobs or term-time internships while in school. Litigation experience on issues of concern to tribes and tribal communities is a plus.
- Experience working with tribes and/or tribal communities.
- Excellent research, analytic, writing, and communication skills.
- Strong and demonstrated initiative, good judgment, creativity, and work ethic.
- Ability and willingness to travel as needed, including for case work, court appearances, and meetings with clients and partners.
- Commitment to serving the public interest and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
- Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collegially.
- Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
- Commitment to help create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
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.
Interested candidates should submit a:
- One or two-page cover letter that addresses why you would like serve as the associate attorney for tribal partnerships and in which geographic location(s) you would be prepared to reside.
- Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work.
- List of three references.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.
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.