Senior Litigating Counsel

9 days ago
Full time role


Natural Resources Defense Council

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

View Company Profile

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 helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws 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’s Litigation Team is seeking to hire a Senior Litigating Counsel to be affiliated with any one of our five main U.S. offices: Santa Monica, Chicago, New York, San Francisco, or Washington D.C.


Position Summary

The Litigation Team is a group of approximately 40 lawyers, litigation assistants, and operations staff who pursue litigation across a broad range of environmental and public health issues, often working closely with NRDC’s subject-matter experts. In addition to representing NRDC, our attorneys may also represent other nonprofit organizations, community groups, and individuals impacted by environmental injustices. Over the past five years, we have litigated cases against the federal government to prevent climate pollution, challenge agency approvals of toxic chemicals and pesticides, resist the suspension of clean water safeguards, oppose offshore drilling and seismic exploration for oil and gas, and protect energy efficiency standards, among other matters. We also bring enforcement cases against corporate polluters and governmental entities whose violations harm health and the environment—including cases to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate mercury pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.  We are seeking a Senior Litigating Counsel who will litigate significant cases on behalf of NRDC and allied community groups and individuals. This Senior Litigating Counsel will lead cases and supervise the litigation work of other Litigation Team members.


  • Litigate significant cases on behalf of NRDC and allied community groups and individuals, with the ability to lead all aspects of a case, working with and guiding a case team, from initial development through briefing, oral argument, pre-trial discovery, trials, and other court hearings.
  • Supervise the litigation of others, providing guidance, mentorship, and support to achieve the highest quality standards while fostering teammates’ growth and development.
  • Collaborate with NRDC’s other lawyers, advocates, technical experts, and others to refine a litigation strategy that aligns with non-litigation advocacy.
  • Develop relationships with NRDC’s advocacy programs and outside allies to identify and pursue potential litigation.



  • Juris Doctorate degree and a minimum of twelve years of active litigation experience.
  • Extensive experience with appellate briefing, record-review litigation, or summary judgment motion practice.
  • The ability to lead and inspire case teams, to mentor and support less experienced lawyers and staff, and to foster an equitable and inclusive workplace.
  • A demonstrated ability to work, with sensitivity and humility, with people of different backgrounds and identities, including race, gender, sexual orientation, age, class, and disability.
  • Competence with and commitment to diversity and inclusion; ability to be an effective partner with diverse colleagues, leaders, and partners.   
  • Exceptional legal writing, analytical and oral communication, and advocacy skills.
  • Creativity and resourcefulness.
  • Willingness to travel when necessary.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, or social justice work.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s mission and values.


  • Preference for fifteen or more years of active litigation experience. 
  • Preference for experience with pretrial discovery, including written discovery, fact and expert depositions, and witness examinations at trial or other evidentiary hearings.


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 $181,000 to $203,000. Internal equity considerations will be reviewed before making a final offer.  


Our offices are open and we are operating in a hybrid model. We offer NRDCers flexibility, but we ask them to come into the office and spend meaningful time there in collaboration with their colleagues. We call this purposeful presence. 


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 and cover letter. Please mention where you saw this posting and upload any additional materials that showcase your abilities. We are accepting applications through May 31, 2023. We will review applications on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply early. 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. 


Please note that during the online application process you will be asked to answer the following two questions:

  • Please share what diversity, equity, and inclusion mean to you and why they are important. [600 Characters Limit].
  • If hired, how would you use this position to increase or enhance diversity, equity and inclusion at NRDC? [600 Characters Limit].


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 

Natural Resources Defense Council

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

View Company Profile