Senior Attorney, Oceans Program

Oceans Program Seattle, Washington Remote, United States


Earthjustice’s Oceans Program seeks a Senior Attorney to join our team of lawyers working to protect the world’s oceans through legal advocacy and litigation. This role will be responsible for developing, filing, and litigating cases and advocacy strategies with an immediate subject-matter focus on offshore oil and gas development; with increasing contribution to other areas over time. The position will be based preferably in our Seattle, WA office, although applicants seeking to work in other locations where Earthjustice has an office will also be considered.  

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 is in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC. 

Earthjustice’s Oceans Program works to protect oceans and ocean wildlife from threats such as overfishing, oil and gas drilling, and habitat degradation. Our team currently consists of eight full-time attorneys and a litigation paralegal. We litigate cases primarily in federal court aimed at protecting ocean resources in the United States. We also work to protect marine ecosystems and vulnerable species outside our borders by strengthening international provisions in U.S. fisheries management laws and in partnerships with advocates across the globe. The person in this position would focus immediately on our efforts to halt expanded offshore drilling in the Gulf of Mexico and in other hot spots, but would also work on a mix of other matters, including ocean biodiversity. 

Our practice increasingly emphasizes a mentorship culture for staff at all levels, and we expect that every Senior Attorney will help nurture the development of early-career attorneys and other staff. Senior Attorneys also supervise Associate Attorneys and Litigation Assistants in connection with their work on particular projects and may be asked to serve as the formal supervisor for one or more team members.  

Responsibilities: 

  • Develop new cases in a strategic fashion; conduct factual investigations; develop legal theories; draft pleadings and briefs; and otherwise manage new and existing cases within federal and state courts and administrative agencies. 
  • Litigate cases from beginning to end, performing all aspects of litigation. 
  • Develop and maintain partnerships with clients, allies, and coalition partners. 
  • Collaborate in team problem solving, litigation strategy, and project management. 
  • Manage relationships with co-counsel, clients, and coalition partners. 
  • Supervise the work of Associate Attorneys, Litigation Assistants, and Law Clerks. 
  • Integrate communications and, as appropriate, legislative and administrative advocacy into legal strategies, working effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including Communications, Development, and Policy and Legislation. 
  • Support efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences. 
  • Train and mentor Associate Attorneys, including by building their skills in the course of legal advocacy.  

Qualifications: 

  • Admitted to, or willing to apply for admission to, the bar association of the jurisdiction where the position is located. 
  • At least six years of litigation experience, with experience in the role of lead trial or appellate counsel. 
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively litigate complex cases—including the full range of litigation tasks, such as factual investigation, legal research, drafting of pleadings and briefing, and courtroom advocacy.  
  • A willingness and enthusiasm to learn new skills as needed for effective litigation advocacy. 
  • Excellent research, analytic, writing and communication skills. 
  • Experience collaborating with diverse allies and partners in advocacy work. 
  • An awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations. 
  • Strong and demonstrated work ethic, initiative, and sound judgment. 
  • Willingness and ability to effectively supervise and intentionally mentor early career staff in connection with litigation and advocacy projects, and to help foster an inclusive culture of learning in the work environment. 
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed for casework, court appearances, and other advocacy needs. 
  • Ability and commitment to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Commitment to public interest work, a passion for the oceans and for the role of Earthjustice and its mission to fight for the right of all to a healthy environment. 

Salaries at Earthjustice are determined by experience level and working location. Remote applicants should indicate in their application the city and state from which they will be working to confirm the salary range of that location.   

Salary range in Seattle, WA: $151,100+ 

Salary range for Remote (US): $135,200+, varies by location  

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

To Apply:   

Interested candidates should submit via Jobvite:  

  • Resume 
  • One or two page cover letter that addresses: (1) what draws you to Earthjustice’s oceans work and; (2) aspects of your background that show your competence to work with diverse clients and colleagues. 
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or other advocacy product you have written. 
  • Law school transcript. 
  • List of three references   

Preference will be given to candidates who apply by May 23, 2022. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 

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: https://earthjustice.org/about/jobs/senior-attorney

Please reach out to [email protected] 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.