Attorney (Nature Program)

Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
Chicago, IL, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
5-7 Years
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is the nation's most effective environmental action 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 a safe and healthy environment for all living things. 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; our water enforcement cases played a major role shaping current water policy throughout the country. Today, our staff of more than 500 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy and communications experts, and others, work out of offices in New York, Washington, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Bozeman, Montana and Beijing.

Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking an Attorney to work with the Nature team in Chicago, IL, Washington, DC, New York, NY, San Francisco, CA, or Los Angeles, CA. The Nature Program works to protect wild places, wildlife, oceans, and water, and litigation is a central component of that work. The Program files and litigates cases in federal court under many of the major environmental statutes including NEPA, the Endangered Species Act, the Clean Water Act, the Marine Mammal Protection Act, and the Magnuson Act. Nature Program lawyers are currently working on litigation to save the vaquita from extinction, to protect the Arctic from oil and gas drilling, and to protect pollinators like bees and butterflies from pesticide overuse. The attorney will work on litigation across the program’s priorities. In addition, the attorney will partner with or supervise other Nature Program lawyers, train junior attorneys and fellows, develop cases, and evaluate litigation opportunities.

This is currently a term limited position of 2 years. 

  • Litigate cases in partnership with Nature Program lawyers
  • Supervise litigation staffed by Nature Program lawyers and legal fellows
  • Work with Nature Program lawyers to develop new cases
  • Coordinate with the Legal Director and the Litigation Team on strategy, case development, case evaluation, and staffing
  • Work with the Legal Director and Nature Program lawyers to evaluate litigation sign-on requests from outside groups
  • Five to ten years of litigation experience
  • Strong legal writing, research, and analysis skills
  • Experience supervising and mentoring junior attorneys
  • Effective communication skills, including public speaking
  • Ability to work well with lawyers, scientists, policy advocates, and communications professionals

NRDC is committed to workplace diversity and inclusion. We are equal opportunity employers and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, gender identity and expression, marital status, sexual orientation, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a pleasant working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, for positions based in San Francisco, CA we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

To apply, please visit and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal.  We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.