Staff Attorney, Sustainable Food and Farming for Earthjustice

Thursday, June 29, 2017 12:00 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

Staff Attorney, Sustainable Food and Farming
Washington DC, New York, NY, or San Francisco, CA

We are now accepting applications for a Staff Attorney to work with the Sustainable Food and Farming Program to be based in Earthjustice’s Washington, DC, New York, or San Francisco office.  We seek an experienced and skilled attorney to join our growing team to develop and deploy legal strategies to reform the industrial food system, ensure safe food, promote sustainable agriculture, and reduce agriculture’s climate, environmental, and social impacts.    

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 and supporters to engage 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 the best and brightest who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment.  Our headquarters are in San Francisco with thirteen offices across the U.S.

Earthjustice is expanding its work on sustainable food and farming, building on its vast experience litigating to protect the environment and public health, and its successes reducing pesticide use, toxic food additives, and water pollution.  Agriculture and food issues represent the next frontier for more sustainable production to satisfy human needs while minimizing environmental, worker and consumer harm.  We represent environmental organizations and consumer watchdogs as well as farmworkers and sustainable producers, grassroots organizations and environmental justice communities.  We focus on three areas: safer food -- protecting people from toxic chemicals in foods and minimizing diet-related disease; sustainable farming -- limiting reliance on agricultural chemicals, reducing agricultural pollution, and fostering responsible methods of crop and animal production; and climate-friendly farming -- reducing the food system’s contribution to climate change and increasing farms’ resilience to climate shocks.  The Staff Attorney will work closely with the rest of the sustainable food and farming team based in NYC to develop and deploy new strategies in all these areas.


  • Develop cases and legal advocacy strategies to support program goals.
  • Litigate cases from beginning to end, performing all aspects of litigation.
  • Conduct administrative and legislative advocacy, including comments, testimony, petitions, media, and coalition building.
  • Supervise the work of Associate Attorneys.
  • Collaborate with colleagues and coalition partners.
  • Manage relationships with co-counsel, clients, and coalition partners.
  • Serve as spokesperson for client partners and for Earthjustice.
  • Work effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including Communications, Development, and Policy and Legislation.


  • Juris Doctor (JD) degree.
  • A minimum of 8 years of litigation experience.
  • Licensed to practice law in New York, Washington DC, California, or willingness to apply for admission in that jurisdiction within one year of employment. 
  • Excellent litigation skills, including top-notch legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills, with a strong preference for affirmative litigation experience.
  • Initiative, good judgment, and a strong work ethic.
  • Knowledge and experience in environmental law are strongly preferred; experience in food and agriculture law also preferred.
  • Proficient at working with technical experts.
  • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with client partners and staff.
  • Ability and willingness to travel as needed for case work, court appearances and presentations (approximately 10% of the time).
  • Commitment to serving the public interest.
  • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
  • Demonstrated commitment to the creation of a diverse, equitable and inclusive workforce and culture that encourages and celebrates differences.

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.

To Apply

Interested applicants should submit:

  • Resume
  • Cover letter
  • Writing sample (please indicate the extent to which others had input)
  • List of 3 references

Click here to apply

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.

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