Staff Attorney


Ossining, NY, US

Position Overview
Riverkeeper seeks a mid-level attorney for its Legal Program, reporting to the Legal Program Director. The Staff Attorney will contribute to Riverkeeper’s presence and effectiveness in the Hudson River, its tributaries, and the watershed that provides New York City’s drinking water. As part of the legal team, the Attorney will advance Riverkeeper’s policy goals of fishable, swimmable waterways, and clean drinking water through litigation, advocacy, public education, and public outreach. The position requires significant travel throughout the Hudson River Valley, and a commitment to attend meetings and appointments that may be outside of normal business hours.Riverkeeper is looking for a qualified environmental attorney with an exceptional commitment to the environment and a strong academic and experiential-learning record. Riverkeeper is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

Detailed Description of Tasks:

  • Legal Work & Enforcement
    • Enforce Environmental Laws:
      • Manage a docket of active cases that may include environmental citizen suit litigation,
        permit challenges, challenges to environmental reviews, etc.
      • Conduct legal research and formulate strategies for citizen enforcement, including
        supervising factual investigations and compliance sweeps of facilities subject to the
        Clean Water Act and other environmental laws.
      • Coordinate with the Boat and Water Quality Programs, as well as managing attorneys
        and students at the Pace Environmental Law Clinic to conduct investigations and
        develop cases. Attend case review Clinic when in session.
      • Research, secure, and obtain opinions from expert witnesses.
      • Commence and advance enforcement lawsuits with partners and outside counsel.
      • Formulate settlement positions and monitor post settlement compliance.
      • Draft comments on administrative matters, including proposed rulemakings, Superfund
        milestones, permit applications, and environmental review documents.
      • Monitor Environmental Notice Bulletin and other relevant notices.
      • File local, state and federal information requests.
  • Policy Development and Strategic Planning
    • Maximize Riverkeeper efficiency and achievement in the watersheds.
    • Establish and enhance Riverkeeper presence and effectiveness in the region by:
      • Leading Legal Program efforts on campaigns and policy initiatives to protect and
        restore the environment, such as work on GE PCBs.
      • Reviewing bills, lobbying, testifying at public hearings, developing policy papers, etc.
      • Initiating, maintaining and expanding strategic relationships with constituency groups,
        environmental organizations, private advocates and funders.
      • Participating in government and administrative process to develop an awareness of
        issues and advocate and advance Riverkeeper priorities.
      • Reaching and actively engaging the public through meetings, public events, and public
      • Extensively traveling within the Hudson Valley and beyond to organize and attend
        meetings with elected officials, law enforcement, regulators and the public.
    • Work with development department to create and expand relationships with donors and
    • Work with communications department to develop content for the website, respond to press
      inquiries, and maintain relationships with the public and reporters.
    • Serve as spokesperson for campaigns, represent Riverkeeper at regional and national
      conferences, forums.
    • Coordinate with the Program Director and President to brief and explain legal actions to the
      Board for approval.
    • Oversee interns and volunteers.

All candidates must:

  • Be admitted to practice law in New York State, or be qualified to be admitted upon motion, or sit for the next administration of the New York State bar exam if necessary;
  • Have a strong commitment to Riverkeeper’s mission and goals and possess a general familiarity with non-profit environmental organizations;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with federal administrative and environmental law;
  • Have at least 3-6 years of relevant legal experience;
  • Have excellent writing, research and communication skills;
  • Be energetic, creative, well organized, independent, hard-working, personable, and have a sense of humor; and
  • Be able to maintain a flexible work schedule, be willing to work some evenings, and frequently travel throughout the Hudson Valley for meetings. The geographic working area for this position is the Hudson River watershed and the watersheds supplying New York City drinking water (the

Candidates will be preferred who also have:

  • Training or experience in environmental policy and/or litigation;
  • Training or experience in public oral advocacy;
  • Training or experience with the Clean Water Act, RCRA, NEPA, NY SEQRA, CERCLA, and/or the Atomic Energy Act.

Compensation and Benefits:
This is a band 6 position. Compensation is commensurate with experience ranging from $55,000 to $75,000.

How to Apply:
Please submit your résumé, cover letter and writing sample, not to exceed ten pages, to
[email protected]. Please write STAFF ATTORNEY in the subject line. Phone calls will not be accepted.

Riverkeeper is AA/EEO employer.

People from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply.