Associate Attorney, Sierra Club (Oakland, CA or Washington, DC)

Job Title: Associate Attorney

Department: ELP/Programs

Reports To:  Managing Attorney

Location:  Oakland, CA or Washington, DC

Sierra Club is seeking an Associate Attorney to join its national legal team and work to enforce and implement climate laws and regulations, incorporating equity and social justice principles. Under the supervision of a Managing Attorney, the Associate Attorney will serve as a legal resource for Sierra Club campaigns; litigate environmental, energy, and transportation cases; handle federal and state regulatory matters; help design and implement legal strategies; and coordinate with campaign staff, coalition partners, and outside counsel.  


  1. Litigate key Sierra Club lawsuits under the supervision of managing and senior staff attorneys; assume increasing litigation responsibilities.
  2. Serve as counsel in federal and state regulatory proceedings.
  3. Help develop, plan and implement legal strategies to support Sierra Club clean energy campaigns, including Clean Transportation, Beyond Coal, and Beyond Dirty Fuels; assume responsibility for relationships with campaign staff, volunteer leaders, coalition partners, and outside counsel. 
  4. Help evaluate proposed litigation to advise national volunteer and staff leadership on the scope of Sierra Club participation in legal actions.
  5. Develop and execute work in a manner that centers on and promotes equity, justice, and inclusion, and intentionally addresses the history of inequitable environmental and economic burdens imposed on communities that are disproportionately harmed by air, water, and climate pollution.


  • J.D. degree and license to practice law or awaiting bar exam results.
  • 0–3 years of experience as a practicing attorney.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and consensus-building skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds
  • Demonstration of a commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Knowledge of climate, environmental or energy law.
  • Passion for Sierra Club’s mission to enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.

In 2015, Sierra Club formalized its vision for an internal transformation to become a more equitable and inclusive organization. Sierra Club and its Environmental Law Program recognize that the environmental movement and the field of law have historically been white, wealthy, and male-dominated, and given that history, we are committed to creating a workplace where people from all social identities and backgrounds feel welcomed and can thrive. We strive to become an organization that attracts, retains, and celebrates people from all avenues of life who share our values. Sierra Club has adopted the Jemez Principles, a set of guidelines designed to help people from different cultures, communities, politics, and organizations work together in solidarity. The Environmental Law Program strives to conduct litigation in accordance with the Jemez Principles and in furtherance of Sierra Club’s vision of becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization. For more information about our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice, please visit:

To apply: The start date is early 2020. The hiring committee will review applications on a rolling basis. The position will remain open until filled. Please attach a cover letter, resume, three references, writing sample, and law school transcript to the online application. In your cover letter, please address how your background has prepared you to contribute to Sierra Club’s mission—particularly its commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and justice—and aspects of your background that demonstrate your ability to work with diverse clients and colleagues. Please visit to apply.

The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan. 

This is a category 5 exempt position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization.  Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program. 

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee’s manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

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*If you are applying for more than one position with us, please attach your job-specific cover letters in the 'Attachments' section.

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