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Associate Attorney, Biodiversity Defense Program

Job Location

Washington, D.C., Seattle, WA, Remote from Montana


Type of Job



Salary depends on experience and location.

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jul 22, 2021

About the job

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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 are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Miami and Washington, DC.
The Biodiversity Defense Program of Earthjustice is seeking to hire an Associate Attorney to join our team of lawyers and advocates who work to stem the growing crisis of biodiversity loss. The attorney who fills this position will work closely with more senior lawyers to advance a nationwide litigation and advocacy campaign to protect and preserve our remaining biodiversity, with a potential subject-matter focus ranging from insect pollinators to grizzly bears. The position will be based preferably in our Seattle, Bozeman, or Washington, DC offices, although applicants seeking to work in other locations where Earthjustice has an office will also be considered. Because the Biodiversity Defense Program has a nationwide focus, this position may entail occasional travel.  The position is available immediately but we will consider applicants who can start work any time between now and the fall of 2022.


Earthjustice launched a new Biodiversity Defense Program in the summer of 2021 to build upon our 50-year legacy of protecting wildlife species and their habitat by focusing renewed attention on the biggest drivers of biodiversity loss, including habitat destruction and over-exploitation of wildlife. The program’s work will bring Earthjustice’s strategic, collaborative, and hard-hitting approach to environmental protection into new geographies and issues. In addition, because this work is immense and intersectional, a key piece of this program’s strategy is partnering with our 14 regional offices and programs to add litigation and policy knowledge to their work and to build new partnerships. Further, we aim to advance policies to protect habitat critical to the survival of species, such as a national plan to permanently protect America’s carbon-dense and biodiverse old-growth forests.


The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position, with potential for extension. 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 work throughout their tenure under the supervision of a Senior Attorney or Managing Attorney. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations.

The role is based in Washington, DC (in-office), Seattle, Washington (in-office), or Montana (remote). Due to covid-19, Earthjustice staff are currently working remotely from approved locations through September 7, 2021.



  • Work closely with Senior Attorneys, the Managing Attorney, and clients to investigate, develop, and litigate cases.
  • Participate in the full range of tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, discovery, briefing, witness preparation, and oral advocacy.
  • Engage in proceedings before state and federal courts and administrative tribunals.
  • Interact with clients, coalition partners, and experts, and learn how to handle press work.
  • Hire and supervise law students who work at Earthjustice as interns or clerks.


  • Law school graduates who are admitted, or willing to apply for admission, to the state bar where they are located.
  • Up to four years of litigation experience.
  • Excellent research, analytic, writing, and communication skills.
  • Strong work ethic and initiative, and sound yet creative judgment.
  • Strong desire to fight for the right of all to a healthy environment.
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
  • Willingness to travel as needed for docket management.
  • Commitment to serving the public interest.
  • Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

Salary depends on experience and location.
Salary range in Washington, DC:
Salary range in Seattle, Washington: : $83,000-$99,400
Salary range in Montana (Remote): $74,300-$88,900

 *Candidates in Washington, DC and Seattle, Washington will work in-office; candidates in Montana will be remote.

We offer a mission-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits.  Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.


To Apply


Interested candidates should submit a:

  • Resume
  • One or two page cover letter explaining your interest in this position and the skills you would bring to it. Please also indicate the Earthjustice office location(s) where you would prefer to work.
  • Writing sample, preferably an example of advocacy writing that primarily reflects your work.
  • Law school transcript.
  • List of three references.

Click here to apply:


Preference will be given to candidates who apply by September 8, 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 provided with 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.


For positions located within the City and County of San Francisco Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment-qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


For positions located within the City of Los Angeles: We will consider qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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