Staff Attorney

Environmental Law Institute (ELI)

Washington, DC, US

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 and 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. 


The Staff Attorney will work closely with ELI senior staff and with partner organizations in the United States and abroad.  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 Chinese, Spanish, or French is desirable.  The position is in Washington, DC. Salary is $43,000, 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.

How To Apply
Interested candidates can apply online through ELI’s application portal (click the blue Apply button above). Applications must include the following:

  • Cover letter
  • Resume
  • Writing sample
  • Transcript

Applications must be submitted no later than June 10, 2017. You must use ELI’s online application system; ELI cannot accept applications submitted by email, USPS or other shipping service, or hand delivery. No phone calls, please.