Senior Counsel, Strategic Legal Advocacy

Litigation Washington, District Of Columbia San Francisco, California Remote, Telecommute


Earthjustice is the nation’s largest, oldest, and most active public interest environmental law organization. With a team of over 550 staff, including over 190 litigators, we wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect public health, address environmental injustice, defend magnificent places and irreplaceable ecosystems, transition our economy to 100% clean energy, and combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, tribes, individuals, and communities to address the environmental crises of our time. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer. 

Earthjustice is looking for a collaborative and experienced attorney to join its Strategic Legal Advocacy team. Earthjustice hired a Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy in 2021 to identify and address changes in the judicial doctrines — such as standing, remedies, and interpretation — that affect our clients’ ability to vindicate their rights. Our strategic legal advocacy program focuses primarily on our own advocacy, serving as a resource to our talented team by, for example, providing research and drafting assistance on novel or difficult legal issues that arise during litigation, with a focus on cases that arrive before an en banc court or the U.S. Supreme Court, and convening litigators from across Earthjustice to develop organizational responses to new legal doctrines. In the past year, the program has expanded its reach to Earthjustice’s peers in the broader progressive legal community, for example, by hosting webinars to inform the community of developments in the law, assisting litigants with their amicus strategy in high-profile cases, and providing expert advice and drafting assistance in cases pending before en banc courts and the U.S. Supreme Court. 

Earthjustice is hiring a Senior Counsel to join the strategic legal advocacy team as it expands its work, both internally and externally. This attorney will report to the Director of Strategic Legal Advocacy and work with the Director to expand the program’s reach in high-impact litigation work by Earthjustice and other peer progressive legal organizations. The attorney will be joining a small team supervised by the Senior Vice President of Programs, who manages our litigation and lobbying teams.  

Preference will be given to those who can work a hybrid schedule from our Washington, D.C. office, or our San Francisco headquarters. Those who can work remotely with access to one of our twelve other offices will also be considered. 

Responsibilities: 

Litigation strategy, support, and leadership (70%) 

  • Serve as a partner and resource to Earthjustice litigation teams who encounter difficult, novel, or important legal issues with consequences for future Earthjustice litigation, such as by reviewing drafts; providing drafting assistance; being a moot court judge; or serving as lead counsel on cases or amicus briefs
  • Track developments in federal and state courts that impact Earthjustice’s ability to successfully litigate environmental law claims and develop responses and, where appropriate, organizational best practices, to counter negative developments
  • Develop Earthjustice’s role as a resource and potential partner for other environmental litigation organizations in cases that could have effects for Earthjustice’s litigation work or align with Earthjustice’s goals, particularly cases that may be, or are, before, the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Identify cases raising important administrative law issues in the federal courts of appeals and U.S. Supreme Court, and in state courts, for possible Earthjustice engagement, and participate in development and litigation of those cases
  • Work with Earthjustice’s VP of Litigation Practice and Litigation Training team to develop programs for Earthjustice and other progressive legal organizations to provide education about legal developments and share best practices in responding to them

External Engagement and Communications (30%) 

  • Represent Earthjustice to peer organizations and other external audiences at public events, such as convenings or panel discussions on recent cases
  • Educate the public about Earthjustice’s strategic advocacy program, including through Earthjustice’s website, public speaking, media interviews, and other channels

Qualifications 

Education and requirements: 

  • J.D. from an accredited U.S. law school
  • Licensed to practice law wherever located

Experience: 

  • A minimum of 7 years of legal experience preferred, with a strong preference for candidates with a state or federal appellate clerkship
  • Substantial experience drafting briefs, including appellate briefs, as lead drafter
  • Experience arguing cases before appellate courts strongly preferred
  • Experience coordinating large litigation teams or client groups strongly preferred
  • A deep familiarity with, and demonstrated interest in, administrative law, including relevant public constitutional law doctrines
  • An interest in environmental law and litigation

Skills: 

  • Superior legal research, brief writing, and oral advocacy skills
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, including the ability to build and maintain partnerships, understand and influence stakeholders, listen to and learn from others, and motivate and inspire peers
  • Excellent communication skills, preferably including experience speaking to the media about legal matters
  • A network of relevant professional relationships (e.g., attorneys at private firms and nonprofit organizations or law school professors) that can be drawn on to help the strategic advocacy program achieve its goals

Personal Traits and Attributes: 

  • Passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission, including our commitment to furthering racial and social justice through our programmatic agenda
  • Excellent emotional intelligence, self-awareness, and cultural humility
  • Awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations
  • Ability to contribute to the development and retention of a diverse workforce and an equitable and inclusive workplace and culture
  • Willingness to travel as necessary
  • Interest and commitment to mentoring interns and more junior staff
  • A positive attitude, a sense of humor and a willingness to have fun

Salary and Benefits 

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. 

Salary is based on experience and location. 

Salary for Washington, D.C.: $184,600 - $217,200
Salary for San Francisco, CA: $194,300 - $228,600
Remote Salary: $165,200 - $228,600
 

To Apply: 

Interested qualified applicants should send the following via Jobvite: 

  • Resume
  • One- to two-page cover letter that explains why you are drawn to this position and what prior experience of yours lends itself to this role

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 given 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. 

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