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Associate Attorney

Job Location

Denver or DC Preferred. Other TWS office locations considered.


Type of Job




Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jul 16, 2021

About the job

Apply Now

To Apply for this position please submit resume & cover letter by Sunday, August 8th.

Please note the preferred locations for this role is denver or washington, DC. Other TWS office locations may be considered.


General Description

The Associate Attorney will support The Wilderness Society’s (TWS’s) critical conservation priorities related to the climate crisis, public lands protection, and community-led conservation. The Associate Attorney will serve as an integral member of the Legal Team in the Conservation Program, assisting in administrative record building, government agency decision-making processes, policy interpretation and advocacy, and managing litigation from an in-house counsel role by conducting research, supporting case management, and providing legal expertise to various campaigns and cross-functional teams. This position offers valuable mentoring and growth opportunities at a leading public lands conservation organization.


This position plays an important role in supporting an inclusive organizational culture that is grounded in trust and accountability to shared goals and outcomes. TWS has made diversity, equity, and inclusion strategic priorities for the organization, and the Associate Attorney will integrate these priorities throughout our legal work. Across our team, we aspire to be campaign oriented, nimble, collaborative, innovative, transparent, and supportive of staff – our greatest asset.


The Wilderness Society (TWS) is a national non-profit organization whose mission is to protect wilderness and inspire Americans to care for our wild places. We believe public lands belong to and should benefit all of us. We strive to ensure our organization and work embodies the cultures and perspectives of people and communities across our nation and connects and inspires people to care about the outdoors.

(Note: TWS does not represent itself in court but actively supports and partners with our litigating counsel.)


Essential Duties & Responsibilities

· Provide legal, policy, and land use planning support to help realize TWS’s strategic priorities, including achieving net zero fossil fuel emissions from federal public lands, protecting 30 percent of U.S. lands and waters, and elevating community-led conservation.

· Conduct legal research and draft legal memoranda to inform litigation strategies, policy development, and other Conservation Program efforts, with a focus on key environmental laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, and National Forest Management Act.

· Assist in developing and drafting technical comments – as part of federal agency rulemakings and other administrative processes – white papers, fact sheets, press releases, and briefings.

· Track and monitor docket of cases where TWS is directly engaged or interested in following outcomes.

· Assist TWS in staying current on public land and related case law.

· File and track record requests under the Freedom of Information Act and review agency responses.

· Provide expertise in law and policy to TWS staff and other conservation organizations to advance TWS priorities.

· Work collaboratively with broad cross section of TWS staff and external partners, and participate in coalitions as appropriate.

· Help ensure that litigation TWS pursues centers equity, inclusion, and affected communities.

· Assist TWS communications staff to ensure legally accurate public messaging and communications for priority issues.

· Co-manage TWS law clerk program, including recruitment, onboarding, supervision, project management, feedback, and mentoring.

· Perform other related duties as needed.



· Law degree and bar admission required (or sitting for the bar in 2021).

· 0–3 years’ legal work experience.

· Excellent analytical and verbal and written communication skills, with an ability to write and speak concisely and persuasively.

· Basic understanding of administrative law, as well as an interest in learning about and developing expertise in public land law, policies, and issues.

· Experience working with communities, Tribes, or grassroots organizations to effect positive change.

· Track record working successfully in teams representing a rich mix of talent, backgrounds, and perspectives – across race and gender.

· Ability to conduct legal research and monitor cases.

· Ability to identify legal and policy issues in reviewing federal agency proposals and actions.

· Organized, accurate, and detail oriented.

· Ability to work well independently and as part of diverse teams, and able to keep a level head when responding to rapid changes in campaign strategies and plans.

· Passion for public interest, social and environmental justice, and effecting positive change; and eagerness to learn about, develop, and implement legal tools for combating climate change, protecting public lands, and centering justice and equity in conservation.

· Interest in working collaboratively and inclusively on cross-functional teams and multi-disciplinary campaigns.

· Commitment to embedding equity and justice throughout work.

· Willingness to travel for short durations (approximately 5% of workdays/year).



The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is occasionally required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; balance; stoop, kneel, crouch, or crawl; talk or hear. The employee must occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job include close vision.



Work environment characteristics described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

While performing the duties of this job, the employee is not exposed to adverse weather conditions.

The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

This job description is intended to convey information essential to understanding the scope of this position, and it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of experience, skills, efforts, duties, responsibilities, or working conditions associated with the position.


The Wilderness Society offers a competitive salary and benefits package, including: health, dental, vision, life and disability insurance; sick and vacation leave; a sabbatical program; and a retirement plan. TWS is an equal opportunity employer and actively works to ensure fair treatment of our employees and constituents across culture, socioeconomic status, race, marital or family situation, gender, age, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical ability, veteran status or sexual orientation.


As an organization, we aspire to being inclusive in the work that we do, and in the kind of organization we are. Internally this means working as a team that listens to different points of view, recognizes the contributions of every employee and empowers each employee to bring their whole selves to work every day. Externally this means ensuring that public lands are inclusive and welcoming, so that our shared wildlands can help people and nature to thrive. We are committed to equity throughout our work, which we define as our commitment to realizing the promise of our public lands and ensuring that all can share in their universal benefits.

To learn more about our commitment, please see

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