Senior Attorney

Legal Washington, District Of Columbia




JOB TITLE:  Senior Attorney

CLASSIFICATION: Professional 6

SALARY: $119,000 - 126,000

FLSA:  Exempt

DEPARTMENT:  Conservation Law

LOCATION: Washington, DC

REPORTS TO:  VP, Conservation Law


LAST REVISED:  December 2021


The Senior Attorney engages in legal advocacy and develops and litigates cases under federal environmental and natural resources law to advance Defenders’ conservation policies to protect biological diversity. As an experienced litigator and senior member of the legal team, the Senior Attorney supervises staff attorneys, legal fellows, and law clerks and advises Defenders staff on legal questions and legislative matters.


  • Develop innovative litigation strategies and litigate cases to protect imperiled wildlife and habitats brought under the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Clean Water Act, National Forest Management Act, Administrative Procedure Act, Freedom of Information Act, and other relevant federal and state wildlife, public lands, and natural resource statutes.
  • Work across disciplines using law, science, policy, and communications to engage in legal advocacy, including drafting comment letters and speaking at public hearings.
  • Advise Defenders staff on legal questions and legislative matters.
  • Supervise and mentor staff attorneys, legal fellows, and law clerks in Defenders’ Conservation Law department.
  • Work across departments within Defenders to generate written products to advance Defenders’ conservation work, such as comment letters, blog posts, op-eds, and presentations.
  • Perform all other related duties as assigned.


Education: JD required; appropriate state bar license(s) required.

Experience: 10 years of relevant experience; 5 years supervisory experience

Visit to apply.

All employees are required to satisfactorily perform the essential duties and responsibilities of their positions. The essential duties and responsibilities listed above are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties and skills required. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions of the job.

Defenders requires employees who engage in in-person work activities, including business travel or onsite work, to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19. An applicant (i) who is disabled or pregnant or who has a qualifying medical condition that contraindicates a COVID-19 vaccination or (ii) who objects to being vaccinated on the basis of a sincerely held religious belief, observance or practice may request an exemption from this vaccination policy. This determination will be made on a case-by-case basis and in accordance with applicable law. Any medical information concerning an applicant's disability will be treated as a confidential medical record in compliance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

It is the policy of Defenders of Wildlife to provide equal employment opportunity to all qualified individuals without regard to their race, color, creed, religion, sex national origin, ethnicity, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, marital status, personal appearance, family/parental status, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected characteristic in all personnel actions.

Please be advised this position is non union-eligible.