Senior Staff Attorney (Healthy Rivers)

Western Resource Advocates

Boulder or Denver, CO, US

Position Summary

Western Resource Advocates (WRA) seeks a passionate attorney to join our Healthy Rivers team. The Senior Staff Attorney will research and advocate for wiser water management and updated water policies and laws for the West, helping to ensure our rivers and lakes are healthy and able to provide for our growing populationReporting to the Healthy Rivers Program Directorthe Senior Staff Attorney will be the lead acting attorney for a team of WRA experts in the water field. This is an excellent opportunity to join a growing non-profit, and to learn and grow while working with other conservation professionals. 

About Western Resource Advocates

Founded in 1989, Western Resource Advocates (WRA) is dedicated to protecting the West’s land, air, and water to ensure that vibrant communities exist in balance with nature. We use law, science, and economics to craft innovative solutions to the most pressing conservation issues in the region within three core program areas: Clean Energy, Healthy Rivers and Western Lands.
In the face of population growth and climate change, the Western United States needs a strong and effective advocacy voice at the regional level to address changes that are already underway and to steer the West towards a sustainable future. WRA has aggressive plans to tackle these challenges. We envision a future in the West where:

  • Western rivers and lakes will have abundant clean water to support habitat for fish and wildlife, communities and agriculture, and world class recreational opportunities. The Colorado River will flow to the sea;
  • Our homes, buildings and transportation systems will be powered by clean energy. The West will prosper in a zero-carbon economy;
  • Half of western landscapes and habitat will be protected and connected to support thriving wildlife populations and unparalleled opportunities to enjoy the West’s natural beauty; and
  • The West will have clean air and clean water to support healthy communities and vital habitat.


The position may be based in Boulder or Denver, CO. 

Job Responsibilities

  • Research and draft briefs, motions and memoranda
  • Advocate in multiple forums (including federal court, state court, and administrative appellate bodies) regarding a diverse scope of issues often connected to water, including federal permitting and other topics 
  • Lobby before the Colorado General Assembly and state agencies  
  • Draft, submit and present advocacy, legal opinions, and testimony on proposed projects and policies in administrative venues 
  • Assist with research and writing of reports, studies and analyses 
  • Collaborate with clients and partners
  • Assist with implementation of actions, initiatives, strategies and campaigns to advance efforts of Western Resource Advocates and client organizations to conserve natural resources and protect the environment 
  • Focus on the Healthy River Program’s mission and plans while also advising other Western Resource Advocates programs and staff and furthering our overall organizational mission  
  • Periodically supervise legal interns 


  • Law degree and membership in the Colorado bar 
  • Proven experience in water and natural resource law 
  • Basic computer knowledge, including proficiency with Microsoft Word 
  • Excellent writing, analytical and communication skills  

Preferred Qualifications

  • Well-connected within Colorado’s water community 
  • Some experience with law and policy and decision-makers in other western states  
  • Some experience with strategic planning 

Salary and Benefits

Salary range for this position is $63,000-$93,000; salary depends on relevant experience and new staff rarely start at the top of the range – most start close to the midpoint of the range.  WRA’s excellent benefits package includes health, dental, and vision coverage, a 401(k) retirement plan, life & disability insurance, 3 weeks paid vacation leave, sick leave, parental leave, sabbatical leave after five years; and an RTD EcoPass for staff in the Denver/Boulder metro area. Position is full-time exempt. 

Deadline to Apply: Monday, February 3, 2020

Diversity and inclusion are a critical component of our business strategy, mission and vision. We welcome candidates from an array of backgrounds and experiences to join our team. Learn more about our commitment here: 

Western Resource Advocates is an equal opportunity employer (EOE) and does not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, religion,  gender, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, marital status, amnesty, or veteran status.

Apply to be WRA’s Healthy Rivers Senior Staff Attorney in Boulder or Denver, CO!

Thank you for your interest in the Healthy Rivers Senior Staff Attorney with Western Resource Advocates. Complete the form below to apply for the position. You will need to upload the following in PDF format:

  • Cover letter to the attention of Meagan Kadlec, Recruitment & Hiring Manager, explaining how your qualifications match the needs of the position and your interest in WRA;
  • Current Resume;
  • A writing sample of no more than 10 pages; and 
  • Three references, including at least one former supervisor, with contact information and a brief description of your relationship. (WRA will not contact references without first checking with the applicant.)