Environmental Justice Attorney

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Natural Resources Defense Council

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Chicago, IL, United States

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21 days ago

Overview:
The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

Position Summary:

The Environmental Justice Attorney will collaborate with a team of attorneys, policy advocates, and other staff advancing the goals of NRDC’s new Environment, Equity, and Justice Center (“EEJC”). Within the EEJC, the Attorney will be part of the Environmental Justice Team. The primary focus of this position will be to assist NRDC attorneys working on environmental justice in the Midwest region as well as other parts of the country, with an emphasis on building connections and advocacy across geographies and levels of government. A significant portion of the Attorney’s time will be spent collaborating directly with frontline community partners. There is a strong preference for the Attorney to be located in NRDC’s Chicago office; consideration may be given to placement in NRDC’s Santa Monica or New York Office in the exceptional case.
Responsibilities:
  • Works with impacted residents, environmental justice (“EJ”) partner organizations and Center staff to develop community-led and community-centered, cross-disciplinary strategies to advance EJ campaign priorities with EJ partners
  • Develops relationships with communities, working with them to identify opportunities to partner or collaborate on EJ-related issues
  • Supports development and implementation of EJ campaigns that employ a wide range of integrated legal and technical tools, including:
    • Legislative, regulatory and policy reforms to address EJ issues across levels of government, including researching and drafting comments on existing statutes, ordinances, government regulations and guidance, and drafting new ones
    • Pre-litigation challenges to individual polluting operations, including through administrative permitting and pre-litigation enforcement advocacy
    • Litigation, including development of new cases through factual investigations and legal and policy research, and/or supporting existing litigation in state and federal court
  • Represents NRDC publicly in settings such as coalition meetings, hearings, panel presentations and with press, with an emphasis on presenting with/in deference to community partners
  • Attends community meetings, including on nights and weekends
Qualifications:
  • Juris Doctor degree
  • 2-4 years of legal, policy and/or administrative advocacy experience
  • Member of the Bar in the state where the position is located
  • Excellent strategic judgment and the drive to develop and effectuate challenging campaigns, including creativity in knitting together a wide range of advocacy tools deployed across multiple venues
  • Experience working with coalitions of community members and community-based organizations
  • Ability to contribute effectively as a member of a team and collaborate across a large non-profit organization
  • Excellent writing, research, analytic, and public speaking skills
  • Experience with and/or commitment to environmental justice work, racial justice work, or non-profit lawyering
  • Demonstrated leadership experience and abilities
  • Knowledge of environmental, civil rights, and administrative laws is a plus, as is a background in a technical issue area relevant to EJ advocacy, such as public health, land use/zoning, community economic development, and/or housing
NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement.

We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.

Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements.

As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws.

To apply, visit www.nrdc.org/careers and upload your résumé and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs.

If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422.

For more about NRDC, visit www.nrdc.org.