Associate Attorney, Sustainable Food and Farming

New York
We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package.
Mar 05, 2019
Apr 04, 2019
Focus Areas
Position Type
Full Time
Degree Level

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, 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, Miami, Chicago, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, and Washington, DC.

Earthjustice’s Sustainable Food and Farming Program is seeking an Associate Attorney to conduct legal advocacy and litigation. The position is available immediately and is located in Washington, D.C. or New York, NY.

The Sustainable Food and Farming Program, within the Healthy Communities Department, engages in litigation and other legislative and administrative advocacy on behalf of a wide range of diverse clients to advance safer and healthier food and more sustainable and climate-friendly farming in order to protect consumers, farm workers and communities, and our waters, air and climate. A major priority is to limit and obtain adequate safeguards on the use of dangerous pesticides, excess fertilizers, animal waste, and farm and food processing chemicals. We take on cases with regional and national scope. We also work on cross-cutting Access to Justice issues to respond to the current efforts to limit the use of science and public participation. More about this work here.

The Associate Attorney program offers early-career attorneys the opportunity to develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various aspects of public-interest litigation. The term for the associate position is three years, with potential for extension. Some associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice, while others use the experience as a springboard to other career opportunities in environmental litigation or other areas.

The Associate Attorney will handle legal advocacy and litigation in judicial, administrative, and legislative fora including, but not limited to:

• Work closely with Staff Attorneys and clients to investigate, develop, and prosecute cases.
• Participate in the full range of tasks involved in complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research and analysis, discovery, briefing, and oral advocacy.
• Develop and engage in legal advocacy, including draft and review legislation; draft rulemaking petitions, comments to agencies, letters, fact sheets and other materials; and, participate in coalition meetings and events.
• Handle other legal work to further the work of the Sustainable Food and Farming and Healthy Communities Programs.

• Law school graduate with up to four years of legal experience.
• Admitted to, or willing to apply for admission to, the New York Bar.
• Excellent legal research, writing, analytical, and communication skills.
• Strong work ethic, initiative, sound yet creative judgment.
• Contributes to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences. 
• Ability to work well both independently and in a team. 
• An unrelenting commitment to high professional standards.
• Aware of and sensitive to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
• Commitment to serving the public interest.

We offer a mission- and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package, including excellent benefits. Compensation is based on experience. Earthjustice is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

To Apply:
Interested candidates should submit the following materials via the Jobvite system. 
• One- or two-page cover letter that addresses at least the following subjects: (1) why you are drawn to Earthjustice’s mission and whether there are particular legal, environmental, or social justice issues that inspire you; and (2) aspects of your background that demonstrate competence to work with diverse clients and colleagues.
• Resume.
• Writing sample, preferably a legal brief or memorandum that is either unedited or lightly edited by someone other than you. Please include a cover sheet explaining the extent of editing by someone else.
• Unofficial law school transcript.
• List of contact information for three professional or academic references.

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled. 
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. 

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