Associate Attorney, Toxic Exposure & Health

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Earthjustice seeks an Associate Attorney to join the Toxic Exposure & Health Program. The attorney selected for this position will collaborate with litigators, policy experts, communications teams, and scientists to advance a visionary legal advocacy program that seeks to protect people—especially those who are most exposed to chemicals or susceptible to harm—from the most urgent health threats posed by toxic chemical exposures and to place environmental justice and science at the center of U.S. chemicals policy.
The work of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is at the heart of Earthjustice’s mission to defend the right of all people to live, work, and raise children in a healthy environment. Exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to chronic diseases and health conditions, many of which are on the rise as toxic exposures have increased. The goal of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is to use litigation and other legal advocacy to ensure that all people have safe workplaces and neighborhoods, access to safe drinking water and food, and live in homes that are free of hazardous chemicals. In recent years, attorneys doing this work have won a groundbreaking lawsuit requiring EPA to improve its lead hazard standards, successfully petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban a toxic class of flame retardants in consumer products, fought successfully to ensure that EPA addresses “legacy uses” of toxic substances, and sued to stop the United States Department of Defense from incinerating toxic PFAS chemicals without environmental review.
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, Houston, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.
The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position with the opportunity for extension. Many Associates have gone on to other more senior positions within Earthjustice or have joined other public interest organizations. The Associate Attorney program is designed to help attorneys who are in the early stages of their careers to develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation. As Associate Attorneys gain experience, they gradually take on more independent responsibility for their cases, but Associates work throughout their tenure under the supervision of a Senior Attorney or the Managing Attorney.
The Associate Attorney position will be based in Earthjustice’s New York or Washington, DC, office. Applicants seeking to work remotely from locations in the Northeast with strong transportation access to New York and Washington, DC, may be considered under exceptional circumstances. The Toxic Exposure & Health team works on a hybrid schedule, with some expectation of in-office time.
Our goal is to produce the highest quality legal work in a diverse, inclusive, supportive, and collegial environment.
Associate Attorneys perform a range of work, in partnership with senior attorneys and professional staff, to investigate, develop, and prosecute administrative appeals and litigation including: factual investigation, legal research, case development, record review, client engagement and development, expert evidence and witness development, motions practice and brief writing, oral advocacy, and appellate advocacy.
As Associate Attorneys gain experience, their case load may include cases for which they have primary responsibility under the supervision of a senior attorney, in addition to matters on which they work in a supporting role with senior attorneys. Specific responsibilities include:
  • Work closely with Earthjustice attorneys, scientists, and professional staff to develop and advance litigation and administrative advocacy that serves a diverse set of clients.
  • Participate in the full range of tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and memo writing, drafting pleadings and briefs, and oral advocacy.
  • Develop and engage in other forms of legal advocacy, including drafting rulemaking petitions, comments to agencies, letters, fact sheets, and other materials; analyzing or drafting proposed legislation; and participating in meetings with clients, coalition partners, and agency staff.
  • Identify, support, and interact with clients and work with experts to develop a clear understanding of the facts involved in each case and to support our litigation goals.
  • Represent Earthjustice in meetings with clients, partners, co-counsel, opposing counsel, technical experts, and agency staff.
  • Handle other legal work to further the goals of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program.
  • With appropriate training, serve as spokesperson with print and other media.
  • Assist with hiring and supervision of student law clerks.
  • Juris Doctorate Required.
  • Attorney admitted to, or qualified and willing to apply for admission to, the New York State or Washington, DC Bar, depending on work location.
  • 0-3 years of litigation experience.
  • Comfortable with technical and scientific issues.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, analytical, and communication skills.
  • Strong work ethic, good judgment, initiative, and creativity.
  • Ability to work independently and as a collegial team member.
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Ability and desire to contribute 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.
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. As a 501(c)(3) organization, Earthjustice is a qualifying employer for purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
Compensation is based on experience and location.
Salary range in New York, NY: $94,900– $117,100
Salary range in Washington, DC: $90,200 - $111,200
To Apply
Interested applicants should submit via Jobvite:
  • Resume.
  • One- or two-page cover letter that addresses (1) why you are drawn to working to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals; and (2) why you want to partner with and represent people or communities from backgrounds that differ from your own or with those who are disproportionately affected by environmental harms.
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work. Please include a cover sheet explaining the extent of editing by someone else.
  • Unofficial Law school transcript.
We are looking to hire a candidate who is available to start in June or September 2024. Preference will be given to candidates who apply by March 10, 2024. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Earthjustice typically brings our associate attorneys on board on a quarterly schedule, during the months of January, April, June and September.
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 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.