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Associate Attorney, Coal Program

Job Location

Chicago or Philadelphia


Type of Job




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Published Date

Oct 1, 2021

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Associate Attorney, Coal Program

Philadelphia or Chicago

The Coal Program at Earthjustice is now accepting applications for an Associate Attorney to join our team of lawyers and advocates who are working to end the U.S.’s dependence on coal-fired power, stop proposed gas-fired power plants, and advance a just and equitable clean energy transformation. The position will be based wither in our Philadelphia, PA office or our Chicago, IL office. As Earthjustice handles coal litigation around the country, the position may entail significant travel.

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 to engage on the critical environmental issues of our time and bring about positive change. 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 Coal Program uses hard-hitting litigation, administrative advocacy, and the strength of partnership to work to end our nation’s reliance on dirty, expensive, and outdated coal-fired power, and to transform our country’s energy sector into one that is clean, renewable, and modern. Our docket includes litigation to secure and strengthen stringent environmental standards for coal plants, lawsuits challenging government or industry failure to implement such standards, and challenges to utility proposals to spend hundreds of millions of dollars or more on aging coal plants rather than investing in clean energy. We also have a growing docket focused on challenging proposed new gas plants that would crowd out clean energy development. For more information about the Coal Program, please visit

The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position 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 Senior Attorneys, Deputy Managing Attorneys, or the Managing Attorney. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations.


· Work closely with Senior Attorneys, Deputy Managing Attorneys, Managing Attorney, and clients to investigate, develop, and prosecute 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, public utility commissions, and other administrative tribunals.

· Prepare comments on proposed agency actions, permits, and environmental review documents.

· 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 at least 15% of the time.

· 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 Chicago, IL: $83,000 - $99,400

Salary range in Philadelphia, PA: $78,700 - $94,100

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.

Application Procedure:

Interested candidates should submit via Jobvite:

· Resume

· One or two page cover letter that addresses each of the following: (1) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission; and/or (2) any experiences you have working with people or communities from backgrounds that differ from your own or with those who have been disproportionately affected by environmental harms.

· Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work.

· Law school transcript.

· List of three references.

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

For this position, we are looking to hire a candidate that is available to start in January 2022. Please apply by October 26, 2021. After that, applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

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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