Staff Attorney, Fossil Fuels for Earthjustice in Chicago, IL

Tuesday, September 22, 2020 7:18 AM | Nakia Ruffin (Administrator)

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Job Title: Staff Attorney, Fossil Fuels
Job Location: Chicago, IL
Job Type: Full-time
Compensation: Salary range in Chicago, IL with 5+ years of experience: $132,050+
Job Category Attorney
Job Description: Earthjustice’s Fossil Fuels Program is hiring a Staff Attorney to join us in using the power of the law to protect communities and our environment from an onslaught of new oil and gas development. The position will focus on the Ohio River Valley in Appalachia and will be based in Chicago, Illinois.

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 people who share a passion for justice and a healthy environment. Our headquarters are in San Francisco with offices in Anchorage, Chicago, Juneau, Los Angeles, Miami, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

At a time when we desperately need to reduce greenhouse emissions to prevent the worst impacts of climate change, the oil and gas industry is aggressively expanding fossil fuel infrastructure, locking us into decades of future fossil fuel use and directly harming the communities already hardest hit by climate disruption. Earthjustice’s Fossil Fuels program is confronting this massive build-out. We use litigation, administrative advocacy, and partnership to advance an end to U.S. oil and gas extraction and production, and stop new infrastructure (e.g. petrochemical facilities, export terminals and pipelines). The Staff Attorney will focus on challenging upstream and new and expanding fossil fuel infrastructure development with an emphasis on the Ohio River Valley in Appalachia.
Job Requirements: Responsibilities:

Develop new cases in a strategic fashion; conduct factual investigations; develop legal theories; draft pleadings and briefs; and otherwise manage new and existing cases within state and federal courts and administrative agencies.
Litigate cases from beginning to end, performing all aspects of litigation.
Develop and maintain partnerships with clients, allies, and coalition partners in litigation and other advocacy.
Collaborate and manage relationships with co-counsel, clients, and coalition partners.
Supervise the work of Associate Attorneys, Litigation Assistants, and Law Clerks.
Integrate communications and legislative advocacy into litigation and other legal strategies, working effectively with other departments within Earthjustice, including Communications, Development, and Policy and Legislation.
Support efforts to ensure a diverse, equitable and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.


Lawyer who is admitted or willing to apply for admission to the Illinois bar;
At least five years of litigation experience;
Excellent litigation skills, including proven legal research, writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills, and ability to manage a litigation docket effectively;
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 team;
Strong and demonstrated initiative, good judgment, creativity, and work ethic;
Ability and willingness to travel as needed for case work, court appearances, and presentations;
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.
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.

Salary is based on number of years of litigation experience and location.

Salary range in Chicago, IL with 5+ years of experience: $132,050+

For litigators and advocates committed to saving the planet and the people who depend on it, Staff Attorney at Earthjustice is the best job on the planet. Learn more about our Staff Attorney careers and work online here:
How to Apply Interested applicants should submit the following here:

One page cover letter that addresses each of the following: (1) aspects of your background that are relevant to the qualifications listed above; (2) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or justice issues that inspire you; and (3) how your time at Earthjustice would contribute to your career aspirations.
Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that primarily reflects your work.
List of three references.

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.

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 22, 2020

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