Staff Attorney

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Natural Resources Defense Council

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New York City, NY, United States

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20 days ago

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 people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing.

Position Summary
NRDC is seeking a Staff Attorney to work with the Litigation Team out of one of our five main U.S. offices: New York, Chicago, Santa Monica, San Francisco, or Washington D.C.. Preference will be given to candidates applying to work in our New York, Chicago or Santa Monica offices.

The Litigation Team is a group of approximately 40 lawyers, litigation assistants and other operations staff who pursue litigation across a broad range of environmental and public health issues and in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including Black, indigenous, and people of color, and low-income and rural communities). Over the past five years, we have litigated cases against the federal government to prevent climate pollution, challenge agency approvals of toxic chemicals and pesticides, resist the suspension of clean water safeguards, oppose offshore drilling and seismic exploration for oil and gas, defend national monuments, and protect energy efficiency standards, among other matters. We also bring enforcement cases against corporate and governmental entities whose violations harm health and the environment—including recent cases to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.
  • Litigates cases on behalf of NRDC and its allies, with the ability to lead record-review cases in federal or state trial or appellate courts with limited oversight by a senior attorney.
  • Investigates and works within a case team to litigate complex cases, including discovery cases that may go to trial.
  • Develops client relationships within NRDC and with outside partners.
  • Drafts complaints and briefs with oversight and mentorship from a senior attorney, and conducts legal research with limited oversight.
  • May engage in discovery or trial practice, including taking depositions and examining witnesses, with substantial oversight by a senior attorney.
  • Negotiates procedural matters and fee disputes with opposing counsel, and may negotiate settlements with oversight by a senior attorney.
  • Researches and acts as a team-wide resource, as needed, on cross-cutting institutional litigation issues.
  • May supervise and mentor legal interns, and supervise litigation assistants or more junior attorneys on assignments.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • Juris Doctorate degree and 3 to 7 years of post-law school experience, including active litigation experience, with at least 4 years of post-law school experience preferred.
  • A strong conceptual and practical knowledge of litigation processes.
  • A demonstrated ability to work, with sensitivity and awareness, with people of different backgrounds and identities than the applicant’s own, including race, gender, sexual identity or orientation, age, class, and disability.
  • Exceptional legal writing and analytical skills.
  • Strong, demonstrated oral advocacy skills preferred.
  • Creativity, resourcefulness, and humility.
  • Ability to travel when necessary.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, or social justice work.
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. For this position, the salary is $ 125,000 to $ 145,000 . 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 and upload your résumé, cover letter and 3-5 page writing sample. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Applications will be reviewed and considered on a rolling basis starting immediately. 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