Staff Attorney, Northwest

Northwest Regional Seattle, Washington


The Northwest Office of Earthjustice is looking to hire a Staff Attorney whose docket will include work done in partnership with environmental justice groups.  The position is available immediately.    

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 to engage on 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, Chicago, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

The Northwest Office opened in 1987 to enable Earthjustice to take a more active role in preserving the unique natural resources and environment of the Pacific Northwest.  Since that time, the Northwest office has undertaken campaigns to protect old growth forests, promote salmon recovery, improve water quality, protect Puget Sound and the Salish Sea and the communities that depend on them, stop coal-fired power plants, prevent the Pacific Northwest from becoming a fossil fuel fossil fuel export hub, and protect farmworkers and communities from toxic pesticides, among other things.  We are building out southern resident orca recovery work and partnerships with environmental justice communities in Seattle and Portland.  We frequently work in close partnership with Native American Tribes and fence-line communities.  The new Staff Attorney would spend a significant portion of their time partnering with environmental justice communities, along with other Northwest attorneys. 

Although the primary focus of the Northwest office is representing environmental and community groups in Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, we often take cases with national and international scope.  For example, the Northwest office is representing the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in fighting the Dakota Access Pipeline and is litigating numerous cases fighting rollbacks of environmental and health protections by the Trump administration, including a reversal of a proposed ban on a dangerous pesticide, chlorpyrifos, the repeal of the Clean Water Rule and the Dirty Water Rule replacement, and regulations that weaken the Endangered Species Act and National Environmental Policy Act. 

Our office (when open) is located in the heart of downtown Seattle near the federal and state courthouses and the waterfront.  Our goal is to produce the highest quality legal work in a diverse, inclusive, supportive, and collegial environment.  The Northwest Office has a staff of 16, including 12 attorneys. 

Responsibilities

  • Lead complex cases and the full range of litigation tasks, including factual investigation, legal research, discovery, briefing, witness preparation, trials, and oral advocacy.
  • Work with clients, other attorneys, and partners to investigate, develop, and litigate cases. 
  • Devote at least one-third of their docket to partnering with environmental justice groups and working with associate attorneys in doing so.  Some of this work will entail advocacy to combat harmful air pollution.
  • Work with our media and policy and legislation teams, as well as clients and partners, to leverage legal advocacy to obtain positive change and results. 
  • Train and mentor associate attorneys, including by building their litigation skills in the course of legal advocacy.

Qualifications

  • Law school graduate and admitted to, or willing to apply for admission to, the Washington State Bar.
  • A minimum of six years of litigation experience is required, and 10 or more years of experience is strongly preferred.
  • Excellent research, analytic, writing and communication skills; trial skills preferred.
  • Experience partnering with environmental justice communities. 
  • Experience engaging in advocacy to combat harmful air pollution preferred.
  • Experience training and mentoring associate attorneys.
  • Strong work ethic, initiative, sound judgment.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Commitment to public interest work and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission, including a desire to fight for the right of all to a healthy environment.

Salary depends on experience and location.
Salary range in Seattle, WA: $134,995+ depending on experience


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.

For litigators and advocates committed to saving the planet and the people who depend on it, Staff Attorney at Earthjustice is the best job on the planet. Learn more about our Staff Attorney careers and work online here: https://earthjustice.org/about/jobs/staff-attorney.

To Apply

Interested candidates should submit a:

  • Resume
  • One or two page cover letter that addresses (1) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission; and/or, (2) any experiences you have working with people or communities from backgrounds that differ from your own or with those who have been disproportionately affected by environmental harms.
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work.
  • Law school transcript.
  • List of three references.

We are looking to hire a candidate that is available to start any time between now and the fall of 2020. We are flexible as to start date during this period. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

Please reach out to jobs@earthjustice.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.