Environmental Law Staff Attorney (China Focus)

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

Washington, DC, US

The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) seeks an attorney with one to three years of relevant experience and outstanding academic credentials to join its Research and Policy Division.

Job Description

 The Environmental Law Institute (ELI), a non-profit organization headquartered in Washington, D.C., is the leading center of environmental law research, policy, analysis, scholarship, and training in the United States. Founded in 1969, ELI plays a pivotal role in the evolution and implementation of environmental law, management, and policy both in the United States and abroad, and is a world leader in strengthening rule of law in the environmental sphere and in enabling environmental governance in public, private, and informal (civil society) sectors. Support for the Institute comes from a mix of grants from private foundations, companies, and government agencies as well as law firm, corporate, government, academic, and individual members.

ELI’s Research and Policy division is roughly 20 professionals, comprising lawyers, scientists, economists, and policy professionals, who develop law and policy around the globe; educate professionals, such as judges, enforcement personnel, and the public about environmental law, policy, and management; research and provide objective data and analysis to thought-leaders and the public; and convene diverse groups to solve today’s most pressing environmental problems.

 ELI assembles interdisciplinary teams to work on a wide range of projects in such areas as climate change, governance, natural resource management, land conservation and smart growth, biodiversity loss and habitat destruction, ocean resource management, and air, water, and soil pollution. One hallmark of the Institute’s work is its long-standing track record working at the state and local level, where it assists state and local governments that bear primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing environmental protection laws. ELI’s international programs are marked by staff engaging with local partners in citizen and government capacity building, developing legal mechanisms to protect the environment, assisting nongovernmental organizations and government agencies on policy development, judicial education, and promoting public participation and advocacy in environmental decision making. As part of its strategic plan, ELI is committed to increasing its work in, and engagement with, China.


The Staff Attorney will work closely with ELI senior staff and with partner organizations in the United States and abroad, with a focus on China.  Responsibilities may include extensive writing, legal and policy research, working with partners, public speaking, facilitating and coordinating meetings and communications with partners, and assisting with project proposals and providing other development support. Domestic and international travel may be required.


 Applicants must have J.D. or equivalent, superior research, analytical, writing, and verbal communication skills, as well as a strong academic record.  Practical legal and policy experience in the environmental field is highly desirable.  Fluency in Mandarin Chinese is required for this position.  The position is in Washington, DC. Salary is $40,000, with excellent benefits.  This position is for a one-year term, with ELI’s option to renew.  The Environmental Law Institute is strongly committed to providing equal employment opportunity and to achieving an inclusive, diverse workplace that values every individual.