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Staff or Senior Attorney for Environmental Law Program

Job Location

Oakland, CA; Washington, D.C.; Denver, CO; remote possibility


Type of Job



$98,193 - $161,129

Published By

Publisher Name

Published Date

Jan 24, 2022

About the job

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Job Title: Staff or Senior Attorney
Department: Program/Environmental Law Program (ELP)
Location: All Sierra Club ELP Offices (Oakland, CA, Washington, D.C., Denver, CO) and possibility of remote option 
Reports To: Managing Attorney
Supervises: None

Context: At the Sierra Club, we believe in the power of togetherness. Together, we are 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 comprises 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 a Staff or Senior Attorney to join its national legal team as a litigator for Sierra Club’s Environmental Law Program. Appointment will be made at the level commensurate with an individual’s level of experience. Under the supervision of a managing and senior attorney, the staff or senior attorney would litigate cases at the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and federal courts, advocate in regional transmission organization stakeholder processes, and advise Sierra Club campaigns;, with a focus on decarbonizing the electrical grid by replacing coal and fracked gas with clean energy and promoting affordable electric service. The staff or senior attorney will 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, including Federal Energy Regulatory Commission dockets, under the supervision of managing and senior staff attorneys; assume increasing litigation responsibilities including case development, legal research and writing, and oral advocacy.
  2. Represent the Sierra Club in select regional transmission organization stakeholder processes, through written and oral advocacy, as well as coalition development and support.
  3. Develop and implement strategic legal campaigns to support Sierra Club’s Beyond Coal Campaign objectives, in coordination with staff, volunteer leaders, and outside counsel.
  4. Help evaluate proposed litigation to advise national volunteer and staff leadership on the scope of Sierra Club participation in legal actions.
  5. Help develop and plan programmatic litigation and advocacy campaigns to support Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, with a focus on replacing coal and gas with clean energy, while improving the affordability and reliability of electric service.  Assist in drafting legal components of strategic plans and reports.
  6. 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.
  7. Analyze legal cases and trends for Sierra Club management and membership.
  8. Provide legal advice to Sierra Club Chapters and Groups with their local energy- related legal programs and objectives.
  9. Perform miscellaneous duties as directed.

The successful candidate must have the following skills and experience:

  • J.D. degree and license to practice law.
  • 5-9 years of experience as a practicing attorney for Staff Attorney
  • 10+ years of experience as a practicing attorney for Senior Attorney
  • Excellent research, 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.
  • Knowledge of environmental or energy law.

The strongest candidates will also demonstrate the following experience, skills and competencies:

  • Passion for Sierra Club’s mission to enlist humanity to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.

*Title will be determined based on years of experience at the date of hire as detailed in the qualifications section.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is $98,193 to $161,129 (depending on years of legal experience and location)

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 2 or 3 exempt, non-represented, confidential position.

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. Sierra Club cannot guarantee the approval of a visa petition. Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.


To Apply


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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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