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Associate Attorney, Tribal Partnerships Program

Job Location

Denver or Seattle


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Dec 20, 2021

About the job

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Earthjustice is accepting applications for an Associate Attorney to join our Tribal Partnerships team. This position will focus on litigation and advocacy on behalf of our tribal clients and partners. Earthjustice is proud of our longstanding and productive relationships with tribes and Indigenous communities and is committed to expanding our tribal and Indigenous representation.


The position will be based preferably in our Seattle, Washington or Denver, Colorado offices, although applicants seeking to work in other locations where Earthjustice has an office will also be considered. This role can begin between April and October 2022. 


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, individuals and communities to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. 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 is in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Chicago, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.


The Tribal Partnerships Program works across Earthjustice’s regional offices and programs to develop cross-cutting strategies on behalf of our tribal and Indigenous partners and to provide added capacity and expertise to work on matters of concern to tribes and Indigenous communities. Tribal Partnerships attorneys litigate cases themselves, collaborate and consult with program and regional office attorneys, conduct outreach with tribes and Indigenous communities, and work with Earthjustice’s other teams as needed.


The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position with the opportunity for extension. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations. The Associate Attorney program is designed to help attorneys who are in the early stages of their careers to develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation. As Associate Attorneys gain experience, they gradually take on more independent responsibility for their cases, but Associates work throughout their tenure under the supervision of a Senior Attorney or the Managing Attorney. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations.


Due to Covid-19, Earthjustice staff are currently working remotely from approved locations until further notice. This is not a permanantly remote position.



Associate attorneys perform a range of litigation and advocacy-related tasks that can include:

  • Work with the Tribal Partnerships team to develop and implement strategies for expanding Earthjustice’s ability and capacity to partner with and represent tribes and tribal communities.
  • Participate in the full range of tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, discovery, briefing, and oral advocacy.
  • Participate in cultivating new clients, allies, and coalition partners.
  • Help to develop and execute effective media strategies.
  • Integrate communications and legislative advocacy into litigation and other legal strategies.
  • Work effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including our communications, development, and policy and legislation departments.
  • Participate in long-term planning, strategy development, goal-setting, and work plan management that advances a collective vision for Tribal Partnerships.
  • Participate as an active member of a learning and mentorship culture, and engage with colleagues in manner that is respectful, professional, and supportive.
  • Participate actively in efforts to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and personally engage with colleagues, clients, and partners in a manner that is consistent with those efforts.
  • Develop and participate in training and professional development opportunities appropriate to the role and the organization.


  • Law school graduates who are admitted, or willing to apply for admission, to the state bar where they are located.
  • Up to 5 years of litigation experience, either in full-time employment or in summer jobs or internships while in school.  Litigation experience on issues of concern to tribes and Indigenous communities is a plus.
  • Experience representing or working in partnership with tribes and/or tribal communities.
  • Excellent research, writing, analytic, and communication skills.
  • Ability to work independently and to prioritize tasks and deadlines.
  • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collegially both inside and outside the organization.
  • Strong and demonstrated initiative, good judgment, creativity, and work ethic.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed, including for case work, court appearances, and meetings with clients and partners.
  • Commitment to serving the public interest and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Commitment to help create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

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.


Compensation is based on experience and location.

Salary Range for Denver, Colorado: $78,700 - $98,900 annually 
Salary Range for Seattle, Washington: $83,000 - $104,400 annually


Apply through our Jobvite portal:


Interested applicants should submit via Jobvite:

  • Resume.
  • Cover letter that addresses (1) why you are drawn to this position and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or justice issues that inspire you; and (2) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence and experience working with tribal and Indigenous communities.
  • Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum you have written.
  • Unofficial Law school transcript; and
  • List of three professional or academic references.

For this position, we are looking to hire a candidate that is available to start between April and October 2022 with flexibility. Preference will be given to candidates who apply by January 10, 2021. After that, applications may be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.


Earthjustice brings our associate attorneys on board on a quarterly schedule, during the months of January, April, June and September.

Please reach out to if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.


Earthjustice is driven by a passion for justice, partnership and excellence. Our core values lead us to seek a broad range of perspectives and backgrounds to achieve our mission and to maintain an inclusive environment where all staff are valued and respected. As an equal opportunity employer, we are committed to employment practices that ensure that employees and applicants for employment are given equal opportunities without regard to race, color, national origin, ancestry, sex, age, religion, physical or mental disability, medical condition, veteran status, marital status, pregnancy, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.

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