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Associate General Counsel, Clean Air and Climate

Job Location

Washington, DC


Type of Job




Published By

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Published Date

Mar 27, 2023

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Date: March 2023 Position Title: Associate General Counsel, Clean Air and Climate

Grade: O Job Status: Full Time FLSA: Exempt

Department: Legal Location: Washington, D.C. preferred (option for partial/full-time remote)

Immediate Supervisor: Deputy General Counsel

Manager’s Supervisor: General Counsel

Incumbent / New Position: New Position

Salary: $110,000- $120,000, commensurate with skills and experience.

Primary Purpose of the Position: The National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) is seeking an experienced attorney for an Associate General Counsel, Clean Air and Climate, position based in NPCA’s Washington, D.C. headquarters. The Associate General Counsel will assist NPCA’s General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel in managing NPCA’s extensive litigation docket and providing non-litigation legal support to various park protection advocacy efforts, with a particular focus on clean air and climate issues impacting national parks. A substantial portion of this attorney’s work will be to coordinate directly with outside litigation counsel and to advise NPCA clean air program staff on legal issues surrounding regional haze campaigns, comment development and regulatory enforcement strategies to protect national parks, and ensuring enforcement of the Clean Air Act’s special air quality and visibility protections for national parks and wilderness areas designated as “Class I” areas. Other issues may include National Ambient Air Quality Standards and other Clean Air Act regulations and requirements. Overall, this attorney will serve as a strategic litigation advisor and counsel to defend, advance and enforce clean air laws to protect national parks.

Essential Functions: % of Time

· Litigation Management: Assist NPCA’s General Counsel and Deputy General Counsel in managing select litigation matters (with a particular focus on clean air and climate issues) in which NPCA has an interest, whether as a plaintiff, intervenor, or amicus curiae. Work with various NPCA clean air program and regional staff to develop and advise on litigation strategies, seek litigation approvals, secure and manage outside legal counsel, review and approve draft case filings (including NPCA member standing declarations), collaborate with NPCA staff on media and communications, and keep NPCA staff, management, and Board apprised of case developments. A large portion of this work is expected to involve the regional haze second planning period, and continued attention to other ongoing Clean Air Act related litigation. Overall, this attorney will conceptualize and execute litigation strategies to achieve successes in maintaining or raising air quality standards, driving down pollution adversely impacting national parks, and generally resulting in national park air quality improvement. (50%)

· Non-litigation Advocacy Support:Serve as in-house legal counsel support to NPCA’s clean air team within Conservation Programs and advise, as needed, on other NPCA regional clean air and climate programmatic projects and non-litigation advocacy campaigns, particularly around Regional Haze Rule implementation. Identify and advise on strategic approaches to various legal issues and potential litigation involving the Clean Air Act in relation to national parks. Work could also include reviewing and analyzing draft National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) documents related to various agency decisions involving clean air and climate issues, reviewing and editing draft public comments led by air program staff on proposed rules and other proposed agency actions, and identifying and securing additional outside legal assistance and engaging with coalition partners when necessary. A large portion of this work is expected to involve the regional haze second planning period, but also could involve ongoing regional haze, NAAQS, or other Clean Air Act standards and regulations. (50%)

Total 100%


Respect employees regardless of their position or background. Participate in developing department goals, objectives, and systems. Participate in administrative staff meetings, organization-wide meetings, staff committee meetings, training programs, and attend other meetings and seminars as designated by the supervisor. Assist in evaluation of reports, decisions, and results of department in relation to established goals. This job description in no way states or implies that these are the only duties to be performed by the employee in this position.

Minimum Work Schedule: NPCA’s typical work schedule is Monday through Thursday, 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. (32 hour work week). Although some evening and weekend work may be required, NPCA tries to provide a flexible and balanced work schedule. Some travel may be necessary for meetings, conferences, and work events when appropriate.

Minimum Scope of Position:Interacts with NPCA staff at all levels in all departments, regional offices, and programs. Develops and fosters existing relationships with outside legal counsel at law firms, non-profit public interest legal organizations, and law school clinics. Works effectively and collaboratively with coalitions and NPCA partner organizations. Demonstrates clear and effective written and verbal communication skills.

Minimum Qualifications, Competencies, Skills, Education, and Traits:

· J.D. degree and bar membership in good standing.

· Strong legal research and writing skills, and strong verbal communication skills.

· Proven ability to balance and prioritize multiple projects, work efficiently under time constraints, and satisfactorily meet internal and external deadlines.

· Strong academic record, strong work ethic, pays attention to detail, and exercises sound judgment and discretion.

· Demonstrated ability to work collaboratively and creatively with other legal and non-legal staff, both internal and external to the organization.

· At least 3-5 years litigation and non-litigation experience in the areas of environmental and natural resources law, with a particular focus on the Clean Air Act and regional haze issues, at a law firm, non-profit organization, corporate legal department, and/or governmental agency is required.

· In addition to experience with the Clean Air Act, experience with various other federal environmental and natural resource laws including, but not limited to, the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), Endangered Species Act (ESA), Clean Water Act (CWA), and Federal Land Policy and Management Act (FLPMA) is welcomed but not required.

· Federal government service, judicial clerkship experience, and/or demonstrated experience working with the National Park Service, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, U.S. Department of the Interior, and/or the U.S. Department of Justice is strongly preferred.

· Experience with general non-profit legal issues and general corporate counseling is a plus, but not required.

· Demonstrated passion for national parks and environmental conservation.

Core Values

Live, honor, and own the organization’s Core Values:

  • Commitment. We are passionate about NPCA and dedicated to achieving excellence through our work and mission. We seek to improve our performance by taking opportunities for professional and personal development and encouraging reasonable risk-taking and innovation.
  • Inclusion. We value diversity of thought, background, experience, and opinion. We create a culture of empowerment by welcoming and encouraging meaningful participation from all people and promoting an environment that embraces different perspectives.
  • Integrity. We hold ourselves accountable to each other, our members and partners, and our mission. We evaluate the impact of our work and strive for honesty and transparency across the organization. We operate ethically in the organization’s best interests.

· Respect. We collaborate in results-oriented teams based on trust and consideration for each other. We promote harmony between our work and our personal lives. We foster a healthy and positive workplace culture and work collaboratively with external partners.

Green 2.0 Pledge: Our organization is committing to conducting a pay equity analysis of staff compensation to look at differences in compensation in regard to race, ethnicity, and gender, to collect and analyze relevant data, and take corrective actions to remediate pay disparities.

Physical Effort and Dexterity: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is typically required to stand; walk; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel objects, tools, or controls; reach with hands and arms; climb stairs; talk or hear. The employee may lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by the job may include close vision, distance vision, color vision, peripheral vision, depth perception, and the ability to adjust focus. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. NPCA is committed to diversity among its employees and hiring practices. All qualified applicants are encouraged to apply.

Physical Environment: Option for remote work, but typical office cube when in an in-person office setting.

Employer’s Rights: NPCA reserves the right to revise this position description at any time. The duties listed above are intended only as illustrations of the various types of work that may be performed. The omission of specific statements of duties does not exclude them from the position if the work is similar, related, or a logical assignment to the position. The job description does not constitute an employment agreement between the NPCA and employee and is subject to change by the NPCA as the needs of the NPCA and requirements of the job change. The above is in no way an exhaustive list of the requirements for the position.

COVID-19: Please be aware that NPCA requires all employees who are required to work onsite, whether regularly or sporadically to be vaccinated for COVID-19. This position will require the successful candidate to show proof of vaccination. NPCA is an equal opportunity employer and will provide reasonable accommodation to those individuals who are unable to be vaccinated consistent with federal, state, and local law. *This does not apply to applicants residing in Montana, Tennessee, and Florida.

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