Local recruitment: Associate Attorney (Washington DC Regional)


Washington, D.C., USA 🇺🇸

We are accepting applications for Associate Attorneys to conduct legal advocacy and litigation with the Washington, DC office. The position requires 0-4 years post-law school legal experience. The attorney selected for this position will have the opportunity to play a key role in legal actions that can make a real difference to people’s health and well-being and in protection of important environmental values.

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, individuals, and communities to engage 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 are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Bozeman, Chicago, Denver, Honolulu, Houston, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, New Orleans, New York, Philadelphia, Seattle, Tallahassee and Washington, D.C.

Earthjustice is now accepting applications for Associate Attorneys to join its Washington, D.C, office.  This office serves both as a center for litigation on important national environmental issues and as a regional office for issues arising in the Mid-Atlantic states.  The current docket includes litigation and advocacy to: curb climate change pollution; protect public health and the environment from air pollution, including in frontline and disproportionately impacted communities; ensure safe drinking water, clean rivers, and equal access to sanitation; protect people from the dangers of hazardous wastes and toxic chemicals; and secure strong energy efficiency standards for the nation. For more information about the office’s work, visit http://earthjustice.org/about/offices/dc.

The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position with the possibility of an additional three-years as a Senior Associate Attorney.  Earthjustice’s Associate Attorney program is designed to help attorneys who are in the early stages of their careers develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation.  The level of duties and responsibilities for an Associate Attorney will vary depending on experience.   Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations. 


Associate attorneys perform a range of work, in partnership with senior attorneys and professional staff to investigate, develop, and pursue advocacy before administrative agencies and litigation in court.   

As associate attorneys gain experience, their dockets 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:

  • Working closely with Earthjustice attorneys, scientists, professional staff, and clients to build cases and support policies that serve a diverse set of clients. 
  • Participating in the full range of tasks involved in administrative advocacy and litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, memo writing, negotiation, discovery, briefing, and oral advocacy.
  • Participating in cultivating relationships with new clients, allies, and coalition partners.
  • Integrate communications and legislative advocacy into litigation and other legal strategies.
  • Support efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Representing Earthjustice on telephone calls and at meetings with clients, partners, co-counsel, and experts.
  • Developing skills required to serve as spokesperson in media.
  • Participating in hiring and supervision of student law clerks and externs. 

Required Qualifications:

  • Law school graduate with 0-4 years of legal experience and admitted to, or willing and eligible to apply for admission to, the District of Columbia Bar.
  • Excellent research, analytic, writing, and communication skills.
  • Strong and demonstrated work ethic, good judgment, initiative, and creativity.
  • Strong desire to fight for the right of all to a healthy environment.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collegially.
  • Commitment to serving the public interest and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
  • Legal or non-legal experience supporting communities working to overcome injustice is a plus.
  • Demonstrated awareness 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.
  • High levels of emotional intelligence.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed, including for case work, court appearances, and meetings with clients and partners.
  • Ability and willingness to live and work in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.

We offer a competitive salary and excellent benefits that are comprehensive and competitive. We also offer a congenial work environment and a casual dress code.  As a 501(c)(3) organization, Earthjustice is a qualifying employer for purposes of the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Salary depends on experience and location.

Salary range in Washington, D.C.:  $88,100 – $106,400

To Apply:

Interested applicants should submit the following via Jobvite by February 12, 2023:

  • Resume.
  • One-page cover letter that addresses: 1) your interest in, and qualifications for serving as an associate attorney: (2) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or social justice issues that inspire you; and (3) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion in work with clients and colleagues. Also, please include the earliest date you would be available to begin work.
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that is either unedited or only lightly edited by someone other than you. Please include a cover sheet explaining the extent of any editing by someone else.
  • Law school transcript.
  • List of three professional references.

For this position, we are looking to hire a candidate who is available to start in April, June, or September 2023. Preference will be given to candidates who apply by February 12, 2023. After that, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.

Please reach out to jobs@earthjustice.org 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.





IHE Delft MSc in Water and Sustainable Development