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Staff Attorney, Tribal Partnerships for Earthjustice in Chicago, IL or Madison, WI

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 7:13 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

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Job Title: Staff Attorney, Tribal Partnerships
Job Location: Chicago, IL or Madison, WI
Job Type: Full-time
Compensation: Salary range in Chicago, IL with 5+ years experience: $138,035+ Salary range in Madison, WI (remote) with 5+ years experience: $123,505+
Job Category Attorney
Job Description:
Earthjustice is now accepting applications for a Staff Attorney to join our Tribal Partnerships team. This position will focus on litigation and advocacy on behalf of our tribal clients and partners in the Midwest and other regions as needed. Earthjustice is proud of our longstanding and productive relationships with tribes and Indigenous communities and is committed to expanding our tribal and Indigenous representation.

Earthjustice is the nation’s 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; to preserve magnificent places and wildlife; to advance clean energy; and to 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 history of using litigation and advocacy to achieve 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, Miami, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Chicago, and Washington, DC.

The Tribal Partnerships team works across Earthjustice’s regional offices and programs to develop cross-cutting strategies on behalf of our tribal and Indigenous partners and to provide added capacity and expertise to work on matters of concern to tribes and Indigenous communities. Tribal Partnerships attorneys litigate cases themselves, collaborate and consult with program and regional office attorneys, conduct outreach with tribes and Indigenous communities, and work with Earthjustice’s other teams as needed.

The Midwest Regional Office opened in 2019 and focuses on fighting to ensure that communities have access to clean water and clear air, protecting precious places, promoting the transition from fossil fuels to clean energy, and ensuring the cleanup of the legacy of coal plants. The Staff Attorney, Tribal Partnerships will work closely with the Midwest Regional Office to expand our tribal partnerships in the Midwest and provide support to other regions.

This position will be based out of the Midwest office in Chicago, IL or work remotely out of Madison, WI.
Job Requirements: Responsibilities

Work with the Tribal Partnerships team and Midwest Regional Office to develop and implement strategies for expanding Earthjustice’s ability and capacity to partner with and represent tribes and tribal communities.
Develop new cases in a strategic fashion; conduct factual investigations; develop legal theories; draft pleadings and briefs; and otherwise manage new and existing cases in state or federal courts and administrative agencies.
Litigate cases from beginning to end, performing all aspects of litigation.
Cultivate new clients, allies, and coalition partners.
Collaborate and manage relationships with co-counsel, clients, and coalition partners.
Supervise the work of associate attorneys and litigation assistants.
Serve as a spokesperson for Earthjustice, clients, and partners.
Help develop and execute effective media strategies.
Integrate communications and legislative advocacy into litigation and other legal strategies.
Work effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including our communications, development, and policy and legislation departments.
Participate in long-term planning, strategy development, goal-setting, and work plan management that advances a collective vision for Tribal Partnerships.
Participate as an active member of a learning and mentorship culture, and engage with colleagues in manner that is respectful, professional, and supportive.
Participate actively in 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.
Recruit and hire qualified candidates who fit position requirements and the work environment.
Develop and participate in training and professional development opportunities appropriate to the role and the organization.


At least five years of litigation experience, including experience litigating on issues of relevance to tribes and tribal communities. Experience in federal Indian law is preferred.
Experience representing or working in partnership with tribes and/or tribal communities, particularly in the Midwest.
Excellent litigation skills, including legal research, writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills.
Ability to manage a litigation docket effectively, including ability to work independently and to prioritize tasks and deadlines.
Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collegially both inside and outside the organization.
Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media.
Ability to work independently and in collaboration with client partners and in leading a litigation team.
Strong and demonstrated initiative, good judgment, creativity, and work ethic.
Ability and willingness to travel as needed, including for case work, court appearances, and meetings with clients and partners.
Commitment to serving the public interest and a passion for the role of Earthjustice and its mission.
Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
Commitment to help create a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
How to Apply Apply here: https://app.jobvite.com/j?cj=o55fdfwm&s=Gwen_S._Cherry_Black_Women_Lawyers_Association

Interested candidates should submit a:

Cover letter that addresses (1) why you are drawn to this position and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or justice issues that inspire you; and (2) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence and experience working with tribal and Indigenous communities.
Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum you have written.
Please reach out to jobs@earthjustice.org 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.

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 23, 2020

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