The Vice President for Litigation, Washington DC, is a member of the organization’s leadership team and oversees the direction and effectiveness of select strategic initiatives. As currently conceived, these initiatives include the following, and may include others as assigned:
- Litigation and advocacy strategy on access to courts and regulatory reform
- National litigation and advocacy on clean air.
- National litigation and advocacy on toxic chemicals and pesticides.
- Litigation and advocacy under Title VI.
- Client and partnership development associated with these areas of responsibility.
The VP reports to the President of Earthjustice and collaborates closely with the other program VP colleagues, as well as managing attorneys, dedicated program staff, and members of the Senior Leadership Team (SLT) which includes the President, the litigation VPs, and department VPs (Communications, Policy & Legislation, Development, Operations, Diversity and Inclusion) to ensure that Earthjustice pursues the most important environmental goals and the most effective strategies. In partnership with the other program VPs, this position integrates efforts across offices and departments, and requires collaboration with staff across all departments. The VP is well-grounded in the work of the organization both factually and legally, and seeks to maximize funding opportunities and efficiently manage the program. In practice, this means significant time and attention to fundraising and donor relations, client relations and networking, keeping current on external developments legally, politically, and environmentally, engaging with the Board including with frequent reporting, being an Earthjustice “ambassador” or media spokesperson as needed, and basic program and personnel management.
Each Litigation VP is also responsible for working with the other litigation VPs for maintaining litigation excellence and overseeing the litigation department as a whole, with substantial time devoted to both substantive legal practice and administrative needs. Each litigation VP is routinely involved in resolving institutional issues as they arise, whether or not they relate directly to the VP’s program. Finally, as a member of SLT, the VP is responsible for contributing to overall institutional direction and SLT-level decision-making.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
Strategic Direction and Vision for Select Initiatives and High-Quality, Effective Litigation
- Provides strategic leadership to ensure the development and effective prosecution of far-reaching, high impact litigation.
- Collaborates with managing attorneys and other relevant staff, to ensure that Earthjustice advocacy achieves strategic program goals.
- In conjunction with managing attorneys, other relevant staff, and the organization’s program leadership team, ensures that associated communications and policy/legislative advocacy strategies are in place (managed internally or by clients or allies) to move toward achieving identified goals and outcomes.
- Helps identify gaps, weaknesses, and lessons learned as the program grows and changes.
- Oversees the direction and management of the Washington, DC, regional office to ensure effective, high-quality litigation and advocacy with the highest ethical standards.
- Effectively manages and develops staff, creates a productive and rewarding work environment, and in collaboration with managing attorneys, effectively recruits and retains the highest quality legal staff.
- Pursues opportunities to diversify program and staff with a focus on (a) fostering an inclusive work environment that is hospitable to, respectful of, and conducive to success of staff from all backgrounds; and, (b) identifying and pursuing opportunities to diversify our client base to include communities of color and/or economically disadvantaged communities that experience disproportionate environmental impact.
Integration, Coordination, and Intra-Organization Communication
- Works closely and collaboratively with the other program VPs in leading the litigation program and ensuring a well-integrated litigation program for the entire organization; to achieve this goal, the VP must also be generally knowledgeable about the objectives and work of the entire litigation program.
- Facilitates collaboration among regional offices and between litigation staff and Communications, Policy and Legislation, and Development staff on relevant program issues.
- Works closely with the VPs of Policy and Legislation and Communications in aligning vision and prioritizing allocation of cross-departmental resources to advance program objectives.
Effective Member of Leadership Team
- Reports to, supports and is an effective partner for the President.
- Keeps organizational leadership informed about relevant program.
- Maintains the trust and confidence of the President and colleagues.
- Participates effectively in organizational decision-making, including priority-setting, planning and budget.
Board Relations, Education, and Inspiration
- Participates in the board litigation approval process issues.
- Provides updates to the board.
- Inspires and earns the confidence of the board.
- Educates and keeps the board apprised about developments of the program and our unique mission.
External Presence and Voice for Select Program Initiatives
- Helps Earthjustice articulate its vision for the program and serves as a leading spokesperson for Earthjustice to the outside world (e.g., funders, supporters, media and policy makers), working with PAL and the Communications Advocacy team.
- Ensures that he/she or other staff are recognized experts and visionaries in spheres that matter for our work.
- May include participation in high level policy discussions at a national level.
- Works with fundraising staff to identify and capitalize on funding opportunities; builds positive relationships with major donors and foundations via effective communications; provides program leadership for Development department.
- Works with litigation staff and others to provides program information to the other departments so that they can be as effective as possible.
- Identifies and capitalizes on media opportunities.
- Engages in direct advocacy work on select issues.
Managing Attorneys of designated regional offices and dedicated program staff.
- JD degree.
- Attorney with 12 or more years’ experience in environmental litigation and/or legal advocacy.
- Experience with a diverse range of environmental issues; significant experience with federal policy issues.
- Excellent litigation skills.
- Experience leading, designing and participating in regional and/or national environmental campaigns.
- Proven leadership skills.
- Outstanding verbal and written communication skills.
- Excellent people management skills; experience managing lawyers.
- Demonstrated success in managing and working with teams.
- Formal and informal advocacy skills.
- Outstanding interpersonal skills.
- Strong public speaking and presentation skills.
- Excellent computer skills (e.g. Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.)
- 25% or more travel time.
- Demonstrates an awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations.
- Contributes to recruiting, hiring, developing and retaining a diverse and inclusive workforce.
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.
Interested candidates should submit a resume and cover letter.
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis until the position is filled.
Please reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org if you are having technical difficulties submitting your application. No phone calls, drop-ins, or hard copies.
If you need reasonable accommodation in order to complete the application, interview or some other portion of the selection process for a job at Earthjustice, please contact Human Resources at email@example.com.
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, genetic information or any other factor that is not related to the position.
Founded in 1971, 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.