Staff Attorney

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Washington, DC, United States

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30+ days ago

Greenpeace is a global network of independent organizations that use solid research; peaceful protest and creative communication to expose global environmental problems and promote solutions that are essential to a green and peaceful future. For fifty years, Greenpeace has fought to save the planet from the threat of the climate crisis, destruction of ancient forests, deterioration of our oceans, and the threat of nuclear disasters. Greenpeace does not accept funds from any corporations or government entities, safeguarding our independence and ability to speak the truth and act boldly. We recognize the importance of the moment: Ours is the first generation to understand the impacts of climate change and ecosystem destruction, and also the last generation with a window of time to do something about it. Greenpeace US works with Greenpeace offices around the world and diverse allies across the US to build a movement strong enough to drive change commensurate with what the science, and the moment, demands.


We know that we're in a historic moment in this country. From threats to the planet's systems, to the corporate hijacking of our democracy, to attacks on our core social values, we are at a juncture that will determine the kind of society and world we want. Decisions made now will have repercussions long into the future. In this moment we need transformational leaders who understand the power of mobilizing people to achieve bold systemic change. Greenpeace, Inc., a 501(c)(4) organization, (GPUS) is searching for a dynamic Staff Attorney to join its Legal Team.

Reporting to the Deputy General Counsel, the Staff Attorney is charged with managing a wide range of legal matters. This includes working to protect the organization by, among other things, ensuring regulatory compliance, identifying and helping to mitigate risks and legally vetting publications, contracts and other documents. They also work with outside counsel to manage a wide range of litigation and to defend activists. Additionally the Staff Attorney also provides legal guidance to staff on a wide range of issues with emphasis on nonprofit corporate, tax, employment, labor, contract, campaign finance, intellectual property and environmental matters. Greenpeace lawyers help change the world for the better through proactive litigation and other strategic legal initiatives.

This role will be a great fit for you if you are an attorney with a strong work ethic and deep passion for and commitment to social and environmental justice. You must strategically think about the big picture and how to always improve our legal systems and practices. You thrive and remain steady under pressure, are a master manager of priorities and projects, and can manage a team to deliver high quality outcomes, all with great attention to detail.

This is a full time, exempt, benefits eligible position. Strong preference for candidates based in the Washington, DC area; also open to candidates based in the New York city metropolitan area.

The Staff Attorney is responsible for:

Legal Guidance and Compliance

  • Provide legal guidance and advice to various stakeholders, including leadership and staff, on a variety of in-house legal issues, such as nonprofit corporate tax, employment, labor contract, lobbying, campaign finance, publication review, and intellectual property
  • Conduct risk assessments and implement mitigation measures
  • Advise activists on legal risks and constitutional rights
  • Collaborate in team problem solving, litigation strategy, and project management
  • Advance organizational environmental mission through creative legal initiatives, including leading any new initiatives as needed to capture opportunities, optimize legal practices and mitigate legal risk Supervise outreach activities related to cases and campaigns
  • Support fundraising work to ensure timely charitable fundraising registrations and compliance with fundraising regulations
  • Collaborate with the Legal Team and the Communications Department to develop communication strategies around cases and campaigns
  • Support the organization in ongoing registration and protection of organizational intellectual property rights
  • Support high-quality contract and publication review systems to protect organizational interests
  • Collaborate and liaise with outside counsel on various legal matters requiring subject area expertise
  • A commitment to Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Justice principles
  • Other responsibilities as assigned by the Deputy General Counsel or General Counsel

Required Skills & Experience

  • Minimum 3-5 years of legal experience, including a track record for translating strategic thinking and legal analysis into action plans, outputs and results
  • Outstanding judgment and creative problem-solving skills, including negotiation and conflict resolution skills
  • Ability to thrive and make decisions in a fast-changing and deadline driven environment, including managing multiple priorities and projects, anticipating future needs and maintaining attention to detail
  • Excellent project and task management skills and experience in directing a project from conception to completion
  • Exceptional and persuasive written and verbal communicator, including experience working with non-lawyers and explaining complex legal concepts in a comprehensive way
  • An intrinsic and unwavering support for equity, diversity and inclusion in the workplace and beyond
  • Commitment to progressive values and peaceful direct action as a means to change
  • Ability and willingness to travel domestically and internationally as needed
  • Juris doctor (JD) and current state license to practice law

Preferred Skills & Experience

  • Expertise, with at least 3 years experience in campaign finance and non-profit tax law
  • Experience with providing legal support in unionized non-profit organizations
  • Knowledge of U.S. political landscape, culture, social movements and socio-economic environment
  • Experience in providing legal counsel and leadership to non-profit advocacy organizations
  • Experience in environmental, human rights or direct legal representation of activists a plus

If you want to save the world from climate change and believe in environmental justice, please submit an application on our careers page. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will conclude once we have found the best candidate.

Greenpeace is an Equal Opportunity Employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, class, sex, gender, sexual orientation, disability, family/marital status, religion or other protected classes. We strongly encourage applications from marginalized communities. If you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please contact

COVID - 19:

  • As of Q3 2022, most Greenpeace employees are working from home due to COVID-19. In accordance with Greenpeace values to maintain a safe and healthy working environment, we have adopted a mandatory COVID-19 vaccination policy to safeguard the health of our employees, supporters, and the community at large from COVID-19.Current and future employees in need of an exemption from this policy for medical reasons, or because of sincerely held religious beliefs may request exemption. Accommodations will be granted where they do not cause Greenpeace undue hardship or pose a direct threat to the health and safety of others.


The starting salary for this position is anticipated to be $90,000 - $100,000 and is commensurate with experience.

Greenpeace USA values a healthy work-life balance and has flexible, family-friendly employment policies. Our competitive benefits package for full-time employees includes medical, dental, and vision coverage with low contributions from staff. We have options for pretax flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care costs. Greenpeace employees enjoy generous 6% 401K matching. New staff members receive 3 weeks vacation, 10 sick days, 2 personal days in their first year. Additionally we are closed Christmas Eve through New Year's Day.

After 1 year of service staff members receive 20 weeks of fully paid parental leave and after five years, staff are eligible for a 12 week paid sabbatical. To encourage public transportation use and biking, we offer subsidies for staff who choose to bike or ride mass transit to work. Greenpeace is committed to the growth and development of staff and fostering a creative workplace culture. For more information, check out our benefits plan.

This position requires eligibility to work and live in the United States without any legal restrictions.