Environmental Enforcement Attorney via Idealist

Public Justice Foundation

Oakland, CA, US

Public Justice is a national public interest law firm dedicated to pursuing high impact lawsuits to combat social and economic injustice, protect the Earth’s sustainability, and challenge predatory corporate conduct and government abuses. It seeks to hire a full-time litigator with at least five years of relevant experience. The attorney will develop and prosecute cases in our Environmental Enforcement Project, a national leader in using citizen suits to enforce federal statutes protecting environmental quality and human health. The attorney will continue this work, as well as develop and employ new, cutting-edge legal theories to make polluters clean up their pollution and internalize the costs they impose on the environment and the public—and, especially, to combat climate change. The position is open immediately in our Washington, D.C. headquarters or Oakland, CA, office.

The Environmental Enforcement Attorney will primarily be responsible for developing and prosecuting precedent-setting and socially-significant lawsuits against major pollution sources, including fossil fuel industry actors nationwide. The attorney should be prepared to develop new legal theories outside of environmental law, and think holistically about how to reform industries and push our country towards a clean energy future. Other duties will include networking with attorneys and other public interest groups; helping to develop and define strategic goals; and supporting fundraising and communication efforts for the organization. The right candidate will be a top-notch litigator with environmental and tort law experience, who is a creative and strategic thinker able to work both independently and within teams.

The Environmental Enforcement Attorney will work closely with Environmental Enforcement Project Director Jim Hecker and report to the Executive Director. The attorney will also work collaboratively with Public Justice’s other attorneys, outside lawyers who support Public Justice’s work, and other public interest groups in order to develop and bring precedent-setting cases to protect the environment. The attorney will use traditional and social media networks to publicize our work, develop speaking engagements to educate the public about Public Justice’s cases and the issues they represent, and assist with donor and foundation relations and communications.

This is a unique opportunity to play a key role in advancing cutting-edge legal strategies that intersect with pressing social and political issues including climate change, access to clean water, fracking, clean energy and community mobilization around these issues. Our clients and partners include prominent and recognized advocates such as The Sierra Club, Southern Environmental Law Center, Earthjustice and others, as well as labor unions and community organizations. Public Justice is committed to ensuring that our Environmental Enforcement Project is well-positioned to take on important, innovative work that holds government leaders, corporations and polluters accountable. This position will play a key role in developing those strategies and responses.


·                 A law degree and at least five years of relevant litigation experience;

·                 Superb analytical, legal research, and legal writing skills;         

·                 Excellent communication and public speaking skills;

·                 Experience in environmental law;

·                 Experience in tort law, and specifically nuisance cases;

·                 Experience in litigation under the Administrative Procedures Act;

·                 Conversant with scientific and technical data;

·                 Demonstrated ability to develop a case from the ground up with little supervision;

·                 Willingness to undertake significant business travel;

·                 Ability to juggle multiple tasks at a time and work in a fast-paced environment;

·                 Self-motivation and proven ability to work independently;

·                 Ability to work well with others and diverse groups; and

·                 Healthy sense of outrage and desire to change the world for the better. 

How To Apply

[email protected]


Your application should consist of two electronic files: (1) your cover letter, resume, and references in a single .pdf file; and (2) a writing sample in another .pdf file, comprised of a legal brief for which you were the primary author (please note the contributions of others). Please send both files to [email protected]. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis. For more information, please visit our website at www.publicjustice.net.


Excellent benefits. Public Justice is an equal opportunity employer with a non-smoking environment. Diversity valued. Applications invited without regard to race, gender, national origin, sexual orientation, age, or disability.