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Associate or Staff Attorney

Job Location

Oakland, CA; Washington, DC; Denver, Colorado


Type of Job



$111,085 - $154,456

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jul 26, 2022

About the job

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Job Title: Associate or Staff Attorney
Department: ELP/Program
Location: Oakland, California, Washington, D.C., or Denver/Boulder, Colorado preferred. This position requires an ability to travel.
Reports To: Managing Attorney
Supervises: n/a


Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we remain committed to the fight for a healthy climate built on a foundation of environmental, racial, economic, and gender justice – a future where all people benefit from a healthy, thriving planet and a direct connection to nature. As the climate crisis and deeply entrenched systemic racism all fuel inequity, we will continue to fight for a bold, transformational agenda that recognizes the interconnectedness between our planet, our humanity, and our democracy. By recognizing that our destinies are tied, we continue to name that all things are fundamentally connected, and the overlap between ecology, race, gender, and representative government will move to either advance our collective humanity or to oppress it.

Sierra Club is comprised of staff across the country and a network of local chapters that support our grassroots engagement. We are also proud to be a unionized employer, with two labor unions representing more than half of our employees.

Scope: Sierra Club is seeking an Associate or Staff Attorney to join its national legal team as a litigator for Sierra Club's Environmental Law Program. Under the supervision of a managing and senior attorney, the associate attorney would serve as a legal resource for Sierra Club campaigns; litigate environmental and energy cases, with a focus on decarbonizing the electrical grid by replacing coal and fracked gas with clean energy; help design and implement legal and advocacy strategies; and coordinate with campaign staff, coalition partners, and outside counsel.


Job activities include but are not limited to:

  1. Litigate key Sierra Club lawsuits, under the supervision of managing and senior staff attorneys; assume increasing litigation responsibilities including discovery management, witness handling, legal research and writing, and oral argument.
  2. Implement strategic, programmatic legal campaigns to support Sierra Club's campaign objectives; help coordinate the litigation work of strategic legal campaigns; assume responsibility for relationships with staff, volunteer leaders, and outside counsel.
  3. Help evaluate proposed litigation to advise national volunteer and staff leadership on the scope of Sierra Club participation in legal actions.
  4. Help develop and plan programmatic litigation and advocacy campaigns to support Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Initiative, with a focus on replacing coal and gas with clean energy, progressing in the future to clean energy for all initiatives, including building and transportation electrification; assist in drafting legal components of strategic plans and reports.
  5. Help develop and execute work in a manner that centers on and promotes equity, justice, and inclusion, and intentionally address the history of inequitable environmental and economic burdens carried by communities overburdened by air, water, and climate pollution and disproportionate energy burdens.
  6. Analyze legal cases and trends for Sierra Club management and membership.
  7. Provide legal advice to Sierra Club membership; help Chapters and Groups with their local energy- related legal programs and objectives.
  8. Perform miscellaneous duties as directed.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • J.D. degree and license to practice law.
  • 3-4 years of experience as a practicing attorney for Associate Attorney.
  • 5-7 years of experience as a practicing attorney for Staff Attorney.
  • Excellent writing, analytical and oral advocacy skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and consensus-building skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Equity Analysis and Practice. You are aware of your group identities and how they have shaped your life and experiences at work. You have an analysis of how racism and other forms of oppression in society impact relationships, systems and culture. You bring experience and skills for working effectively with colleagues across group identities and position/role.
  • Passion for the Sierra Club's mission to enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position, determined based on years of experience and location, is:

  • Associate Attorney: $111,085 - $133,676
  • Staff Attorney: $129,293 - $154,456

The Sierra Club offers a competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 5 exempt, non-represented, professional position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.

Sierra Club values the expertise and talents of foreign nationals. Sierra Club sponsors both nonimmigrant and immigrant visas when certain criteria are met, based on immigration laws and organizational needs. Such sponsorship is at the discretion of the Department Head and Sierra Club Human Resources in consultation with the employee's manager. The Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.


To Apply


Apply here:


Please remove your schools from your resume. You may leave your degree (e.g., "B.A. Philosophy"), but please remove any undergraduate and graduate school names.

This anonymous process is aimed at opening this opportunity to more candidates, reviewing applicants on performance assessments and mitigating bias in the decision-making process.

Lastly, we are intentionally not asking for a cover letter, so please do not send one in with your application.


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