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Associate Attorney Program

Earthjustice's Associate Attorney program is an exceptional opportunity for early-career attorneys to participate in cutting-edge litigation to protect the planet's wild places, species, and the quality of air and water so vital to public health and to our very life on Earth. The program also affords associate attorneys the opportunity to work with and be mentored by some of the best environmental litigators in the country.

While your experience as Associate Attorney will differ from office to office, associate attorneys generally work with a team of attorneys to develop and pursue strategic litigation, primarily in federal, but sometimes in state courts. In addition, associate attorneys typically become involved in other aspects of public interest advocacy, including non-litigation strategies and media outreach.

Associates conduct legal research and prepare memoranda on issues relating to ongoing or potential litigation projects, work to develop potential cases, interact with clients, draft motions, briefs and other pleadings, argue motions, assist with discovery, work with experts, and prepare comments on proposed agency actions and environmental impact statements. Associates assist the other attorneys on major cases and may take on primary responsibility for some cases.

What does a successful applicant to our Associate program look like?

  • A recent law school graduate, a recent judicial clerk, or lawyer with one to five years of experience.
  • Possesses excellent research, writing and oral advocacy skills.
  • Compiled an outstanding academic record.
  • Strong self-motivation.
  • Ability to be a team player.
  • Excellent work ethic.
  • Sense of initiative.
  • Sound judgment.

Although we look for candidates with a demonstrated commitment to the environment and the public interest, we will consider any promising candidate with a strong legal background, whether in government, public interest, or private practice.

Associates typically work with Earthjustice for 2–3 years. Some are promoted into Project or Staff Attorney positions, and several have become Managing Attorneys at Earthjustice. Others use the Associate program experience as a springboard to other environmental litigation career opportunities. For currently available Associate positions, visit our Career Opportunities section.

Interview with Kapua Sproat

Kapua, counsel in the Mid-Pacific regional office in Honolulu, HI, started at Earthjustice through the Associate Attorney program. She speaks about her experiences in this video interview. (Learn more about Kapua's work.)

Kapua Sproat on Working at Earthjustice

Our Values

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.

About Earthjustice

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 and citizens to engage the critical environmental issues of our time, and bring about positive change. We are here because the earth needs a good lawyer.