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Associate Attorney, Toxic Exposure & Health

Job Location

New York, NY


Type of Job




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Published Date

Mar 23, 2022

About the job

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Associate Attorney, Toxic Exposure & Health Program


New York, NY

Earthjustice seeks an Associate Attorney to join the Toxic Exposure & Health Program. This position will begin inSeptember 2022 in New York, NY.

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 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.

The work of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is at the heart of Earthjustice’s mission to defend the right of all people to live, work, and raise children in a healthy environment. The attorney selected for this position will work closely with other professionals (attorneys, scientists, policy analysts, communications experts) seeking to protect families, communities, and populations—especially those most exposed or susceptible to harm—from toxic chemicals in the workplace, in consumer products, in the built environment, and in the outside environment. The attorney also will partner with Earthjustice staff who focus on securing clean air, clean water, and sustainable food and agriculture.

Exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to chronic diseases and health conditions, many of which are on the rise as toxic exposures have increased. The goal of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is to use litigation and other legal advocacy to ensure that all people have safe workplaces and neighborhoods, access to safe drinking water and food, and live in homes that are free of hazardous chemicals. In recent years, attorneys doing this work have won a groundbreaking lawsuit requiring EPA to improve its lead hazard standards, successfully petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban a toxic class of flame retardants in consumer products, prevailed in a challenge to rules that would have allowed EPA to ignore the risks posed by legacy uses of toxic substances, such as lead in drinking water pipes, when it conducts chemical risk evaluations, and sued the United States Department of Defense for incinerating toxic PFAS chemicals without environmental review.

Our goal is to produce the highest quality legal work in a diverse, inclusive, supportive, and collegial environment.

Due to Covid-19, Earthjustice staff are currently working remotely from approved locations through April 27, 2022.


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

• Work closely with Earthjustice attorneys, scientists, and professional staff to develop litigation and support policies that serve a diverse set of clients.

• Participate in the full range of tasks involved in administrative advocacy and complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research, memo writing, briefing, and oral advocacy.

• Develop and engage in other forms of legal advocacy, including drafting and reviewing legislation; drafting rulemaking petitions, comments to agencies, letters, fact sheets and other materials; and participating in coalition meetings and events.

• Interact with clients and work with experts to develop a clear understanding of the facts involved in each case and, ultimately, to support our litigation goals.

• Represent Earthjustice on telephone calls and at meetings with clients, partners, co-counsel, and experts.

• Handle other legal work to further the goals of the Toxic Exposure & Health program

• Develop skills required to serve as spokesperson with print and other media.

• Assist with hiring and supervision of student law clerks.


• Law school graduate and admitted to, or qualified and willing to apply for admission to, the New York State Bar.

• 0-5 years of litigation experience.

• Science background preferred.

• Excellent legal research, writing, analytical, and communication skills.

• Strong work ethic, good judgment, initiative, and creativity.

• Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.

• Ability and desire to contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

• Commitment to public interest work and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.

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 in New York, NY: $87,400-$109,900

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit via Jobvite:

• Resume.

• One- or two-page cover letter that addresses (1) why you are drawn to working to reduce exposures to toxic chemicals; and (2) why you want to partner with and represent 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. Please include a cover sheet explaining the extent of editing by someone else.

• 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 in September 2022. Preference will be given to candidates who apply by April 18, 2022. 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.

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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