Environmental Justice Attorney

3 months ago
Full time role


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

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Job Description


NRDC is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our people helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our team of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and the globe from our offices in Bozeman, Montana; Chicago; New York; San Francisco; Santa Monica; Washington, D.C.; and Beijing. 


NRDC is seeking an Environmental Justice Attorney to work with the Environment, Equity & Justice Center team in our Santa Monica office. 


Position Summary  

The Environment, Equity & Justice Center (EEJC) is a team of approximately 15 lawyers, policy advocates, scientists, program assistants, and other staff who work to address the persistent and connected threats of environmental inequality, racial injustice, and socioeconomic insecurity. Our work is rooted in partnerships with frontline groups to advance community-driven solutions, to help build power in communities most harmed by inequities, and to push for long-lasting change. Ultimately, our work aims to foster a stronger, more equitable environmental movement, and a more just world. 


The Attorney will collaborate with the EEJC team to advance community-driven solutions and environmental justice by utilizing a broad range of legal and non-legal tools across geographies. In the near-term, the Attorney will be focused on addressing the environmental justice impacts of the freight transportation system, working in close partnership with coalitions and frontline groups in Southern California. 


  • Work with environmental justice ("EJ") partner organizations and EEJC staff to advance community-led and community-centered campaigns.    
  • Develop relationships with community-based partners, working with them to identify opportunities to partner or collaborate.    
  • Employ cross-disciplinary strategies and a wide range of legal and non-legal tools to advance EJ campaign priorities, which could include:
    • Advancing legislative, regulatory, and/or policy advocacy across levels of government 
    • Supporting potential or ongoing litigation, including by conducting factual investigations, developing legal research, engaging in pre-litigation administrative processes, and developing new cases. 
    • Drafting comment letters, blog posts, fact sheets, talking points, reports, and other written materials 
    • Collaborating with NRDC colleagues across teams to leverage support for EJ campaigns, including support with communications, scientific research, technical support, and other resources 
  • Represent NRDC in coalition meetings, hearings, panel presentations, and with press 
  • Attend community and agency meetings, including on nights and weekends 
  • Supervise interns and fellows on project related assignments  
  • Work to implement and grow the equity, justice, diversity, and inclusion principles in NRDC's work    



  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.
  • Juris Doctor degree
  • Member of the California Bar     
  • 2-4 years of legal, policy and/or advocacy experience
  • Excellent strategic judgment and the drive to develop and effectuate challenging campaigns, including creativity in using a wide range of advocacy tools deployed across multiple venues  
  • Ability to contribute effectively as a member of a team and collaborate across a large non-profit organization  
  • Excellent writing, research, analytic, and public speaking skills 
  • Experience with environmental justice work, racial justice work, or non-profit lawyering   


  • Experience working with diverse BIPOC-led organizations and coalitions  
  • Knowledge of environmental, civil rights, and administrative laws is a plus, as is a background in a technical issue area relevant to EJ advocacy, such as freight transportation, public health, land use/zoning, community economic development, and/or housing 
  • Litigation experience and/or experience engaging in administrative processes is a plus

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming diverse voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. 


We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.  


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and is commensurate with skills and experience. For this position, the salary is $83,500 to $100,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.  


Since March 2020, NRDC’s offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. You will be associated with one of our offices, but until circumstances allow us to re-open, we will continue to support NRDCers with remote working arrangements. 


As a science-based organization, NRDC aims to do our part to help contain the COVID-19 public health crisis. For the sake of health, safety, and equity, we ask that people be vaccinated unless they have an approved medical or religious accommodation or other exemption in accordance with state and local law. We consider a person to be vaccinated two weeks after receiving one full course of a CDC-approved vaccine. In accordance with state or local law, new hires will be asked to attest to vaccination, those wishing to do so may request medical or religious accommodations or other exemptions via NRDC Employee Relations. NRDC treats all vaccine-related data confidentially, in keeping with local, state, and federal laws. 


To apply, visit and upload your résumé, cover letter, a sample of legal writing you have completed, and contact information for three professional references. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications, we will contact only those candidates we would like to interview. Please no phone calls, emails, or in-person résumé drop-offs. 


If you experience technical problems while applying or if you are a person with a disability and need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care at 1-800-889-4422. 


For more about NRDC, visit 

The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of ...

View Company Profile