Staff Attorney, Right to Zero

Washington, DC Regional Washington, District Of Columbia

Earthjustice is now accepting applications for a Staff Attorney to join our Washington, D.C. Regional Office.  This attorney will play a key role in our office’s efforts to safeguard health and the environment, focusing primarily on litigation and advocacy to compel a shift away from fossil fuels and toward equitable zero-emissions solutions across the power, transportation, and building sectors in D.C., Maryland, and elsewhere in the eastern U.S.  

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; 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 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, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

The Washington, D.C. office serves both as a center for litigation on important national environmental issues and a regional office for issues arising in Mid-Atlantic States.  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; 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 track record of success with our litigation and advocacy to attack dangerous air emissions and climate pollution, and to advance a transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.  In recent years, we have achieved major successes in promoting a shift toward a zero-emissions future in California in which fossil fuels will be replaced by clean energy.  We see an unparalleled opportunity to do the same in the eastern U.S.

The Staff Attorney will work closely with our existing team of experienced clean air and water litigators, scientists, policy advocates, and other dedicated staff in D.C., and with similar staff in other Earthjustice offices across the nation. Additionally, Staff Attorneys are expected to help nurture the development of early career attorneys and other staff.


  • Conduct and supervise advocacy before agencies, state and local governments, 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.
  • 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 six years of relevant litigation and advocacy experience.
  • Admitted or eligible to waive in for admission to the District of Columbia Bar.
  • Willing and able to work in our Washington, D.C. office.
  • Knowledge of, and experience in, environmental and administrative law is strongly preferred.
  • Experience with advocacy campaigns directed at boards, agencies or commissions is a plus.
  • Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Initiative, good judgment, a collegial work style, and a strong work ethic.
  • Proficient at working with technical issues and experts.
  • Ready and able to develop 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 litigation and other advocacy in the attorney’s area of focus.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed for case work, 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 nurturing 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.

Salary depends on experience (DOE) and location.

Salary range in Washington, DC is: $141,075 + depending on experience

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:

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. 

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; (2) Aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to work with diverse clients and colleagues.
  • 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 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.