Earthjustice Supervising Staff Attorney in Chicago, IL

Tuesday, August 06, 2019 5:12 PM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)
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Job Title: Supervising Staff Attorney
Job Location: Chicago, IL
Job Type: Full-time
Compensation: Dependent on experience
Job Category Attorney
Job Description: Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We take on major precedent-setting cases across the country. We wield the power of law and the strength of partnership to protect people’s health, preserve magnificent places and wildlife, advance clean energy, and combat climate change. We partner with thousands of groups, supporters, individuals, and communities 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 people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Juneau, Los Angeles, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Miami, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

Earthjustice is seeking an experienced litigation attorney to join its Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, IL. This office serves as a focal point for work throughout the Midwest, potentially including work across the full array of Earthjustice’s program areas - Climate & Energy, Healthy Communities, Lands and Wildlife, and Sustainable Food and Farming. The Supervising Staff Attorney will independently develop, file, manage, and litigate cases from beginning to end, and will work with the Managing Attorney to develop strategic objectives, set priorities, build and maintain client and partner relationships, and assess resource needs. This person will also supervise the work of other staff assigned to the Midwest Regional program (potentially including Associate Attorneys, Fellows, Litigation Assistants, and litigation support staff). For more information about our Midwest Office, see

The Supervising Staff Attonrey will play a leading role in their own docket of major environmental cases, collaborate on litigation with other Earthjustice attorneys and staff, and develop and maintain relationships with clients and partners (such as, other nonprofit organizations, environmental justice groups, community-based organizations, labor unions, and tribes). This person will also serve as a thought partner with the Managing Attorney and a Litigation Leader in the office. It is particularly important that the incumbent be a seasoned litigator with experience leading and developing their own cases, and the ability to do so at Earthjustice from day one.

Our practice increasingly emphasizes a mentorship culture for staff at all levels, and we expect that every staff attorney will help nurture the development of early career attorneys and other staff. Supervising Staff Attorneys also supervise more junior staff in connection with their work on particular projects, and will be asked to serve as the formal supervisor for one or more members of the junior staff.


Manage new and existing cases from start to finish, performing all aspects of litigation, including: drafting pleadings, motions, and briefs; conducting discovery; presenting oral arguments; and handling appeals.
Conduct factual investigations and develop legal theories for possible advocacy or litigation advancing the goals of our clients.
Join other staff in long-term planning, strategy development, goal-setting, and work plan management that advances a collective vision for future Midwest Office work.
Participate as an active member of a learning and mentorship culture, and engage with colleagues in a manner that is respectful, professional, and supportive.
Participate actively in organizational and office-specific efforts to create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace, and personally engage with colleagues, clients, and partners in a manner that is consistent with those efforts.
Supervise the work of Associate Attorneys, Law Clerks, and Litigation Assistants, either as part of a litigation team or as a formal direct supervisor.
Develop and manage relationships with co-counsel, and with a diverse group of clients and coalition partners.
Work effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including Communications, Development, Operations, and Policy and Legislation.

Law school graduates who are admitted to or able join the IL Bar.
A minimum of eight years of trial court and appellate litigation experience, including significant lead counsel experience.
Excellent research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to implement collective plans.
Initiative, good judgment, a collegial work style, and a strong work ethic.
A commitment to and passion for public interest work.
Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
Strong interpersonal skills.
Aware of and sensitive to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
Eager to help the office recruit, hire, develop, and retain a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Ability to effectively supervise and mentor more junior staff in connection with litigation projects, and to help foster an inclusive and nurturing work environment.
Formal management experience is a plus.
Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.
Willing to live in the Chicago, IL area, and travel as needed.
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.
Job Requirements: Law school graduates who are admitted to or able join the IL Bar.
A minimum of eight years of trial court and appellate litigation experience, including significant lead counsel experience.
How to Apply

To Apply:

Interested candidates should submit the following online via the Jobvite system:

Cover letter
Three professional references
Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work.
Please, no phone calls, hard copies, or drop-ins. If you're having technical difficulties submitting your application, reach out to

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.

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.
Closing Date Oct 31, 2019

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