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Associate Attorney Program

"Being an associate attorney with Earthjustice was a great opportunity to work with, and learn from, high-caliber attorneys and to hone my legal skills on interesting and relevant environmental problems. During my time there, I felt I had just the right balance between independence and guidance, with both a lot of freedom to pursue my work as I chose, and access to smart, experienced lawyers for advice and direction when I needed that. My experience there gave me a great foundation for my subsequent career in public interest environmental litigation."

Rebecca Bernard
Senior Staff Attorney,
Trustees for Alaska
(named one of the Best Lawyers in America)

Job Opportunities | Benefits | Associate Attorney Program | Law Clerk Program | Listserv

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 Senior Associate 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 more information, visit our job opportunities section.

Meet Counsel Kapua Sproat of the Mid-Pacific Regional Office, who started at Earthjustice through the Associate Attorney program: