Associate Attorney via Idealist


Washington, DC, US

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, supporters and citizens 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, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

With staff in San Francisco and Los Angeles, Earthjustice’s California regional office fights for the rights of all to a healthy environment, including: protecting communities and public lands from oil development, safeguarding ocean and terrestrial ecosystems and imperiled species, advancing clean energy innovation, clearing the air in Los Angeles and the Central Valley, opposing hazardous fossil fuel transport, and fighting dangerous pesticide use.


The level of duties and responsibilities for an Associate Attorney will vary depending on experience. However, among other responsibilities, the Associate should be able to:

  • Conduct legal and factual research and prepare memoranda on issues relating to ongoing and potential litigation projects.
  • Review and analyze a paper record and interview fact witnesses and scientific experts.
  • Draft motions, briefs and other pleadings.
  • Prepare comments on proposed agency actions, permits, and environmental review documents.
  • Investigate facts and assist with case development.
  • Assist in or take the lead in preparing a legal brief.
  • Appear in court under the supervision of a more senior attorney.
  • Interact with clients on a regular basis.
  • Communicate with the news media.
  • Hire and supervise law students who work at Earthjustice as interns or clerks.

The Associate Attorney program is a two-year position with a possible extension for a third year. This program is designed to help attorneys develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice or with other public interest organizations.


  • Law school graduate admitted, or willing to apply for admission, to the California State Bar.
  • Preferably, one to four years of litigation or other relevant experience post law school.
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and analytical skills.
  • Strong self-motivation, solid work ethic, and sound judgment.
  • Ability and willingness to work closely with others.
  • Commitment to public interest work and the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
  • Demonstrate an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Contribute to recruiting, hiring, developing, and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.