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Posted on June 10, 2022

Supervising Senior Attorney, Midwest Regional Office

(Remote work possible within the Midwest region: MN • WI• IL•IN• MI• OH• IA• MO)


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 guided by a passionate, ambitious vision for the future for people and our planet: until justice stands for all, we will never rest. 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, Sacramento, Chicago, Tallahassee, Honolulu, New York, Philadelphia, Denver, Seattle, Bozeman, Miami, and Washington, D.C.

For litigators and advocates committed to saving the planet and the people who depend on it, the Senior Attorney position at Earthjustice is the best job on the planet. Learn more about our Senior Attorney careers and work here: https://earthjustice.org/about/jobs/senior-attorney. Earthjustice’s senior attorneys are experienced attorneys who, on behalf of our clients, develop, file, and litigate cases that align with the goals and needs of the program or regional office in which they work. Some senior attorneys have fewer than ten years of litigation experience while others have been with us for decades, and many are nationally recognized leaders in their fields. We compensate our senior attorneys based on their geography and years of legal experience.

Earthjustice is seeking a Supervising Senior Attorney to join its Midwest Regional Office in Chicago, IL. The Midwest Regional Office works across all three of Earthjustice’s program areas—climate, healthy communities, and lands and wildlife. Our work includes cases opposing pipelines and mining that will have devastating impacts on the environment and tribal interests; and fighting for clean air, soil, and water. We are committed to working with communities across the Midwest with special attention to Detroit and Flint, Chicagoland including Northwest Indiana, and St. Louis. The attorney selected for this position will have the opportunity to contribute to the strategic growth of our docket, including developing litigation and advocacy seeking to protect families, communities, and populations—especially frontline communities. In addition, the attorney will help develop the Midwest work combating toxic chemicals that pose risks to our homes, schools, and environment. The Supervising Senior Attorney will play a leading role in a docket of major environmental cases, collaborate on litigation with other Earthjustice attorneys and staff, and develop and maintain relationships with clients and partners (such as, other nonprofit organizations, environmental justice groups, community-based organizations, labor unions, and Tribes). The ideal candidate for this position will have significant and successful experience with trial court and appellate litigation on environmental issues. Prior experience with administrative law is strongly preferred. Also preferred is a demonstrated capacity to work effectively in a public-interest environment.

Management experience is needed for this position. Our practice increasingly emphasizes a mentorship culture for staff at all levels, and we expect that every senior attorney will help nurture the development of early career attorneys and other staff. Senior attorneys also supervise associate attorneys, fellows, and litigation assistants in connection with their work on projects. The Supervising Senior Attorney will serve as the formal supervisor for multiple team members.

The Supervising Senior Attorney will be based Earthjustice’s Chicago office or may work remotely in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Iowa, or Missouri. The Supervising Senior Attorney will report to the Midwest Regional Office Managing Attorney, who is based in Chicago, Illinois.

Responsibilities

  • Develop cases and legal advocacy strategies, in coordination with clients, other attorneys, experts, and partners, to support the goals of the Midwest Regional Office and Earthjustice’s strategic vision.
  • Lead complex cases and the full range of litigation tasks, including factual investigation, legal research, discovery, briefing, witness preparation, trials, and oral advocacy, and otherwise manage new and existing cases in state or federal courts and administrative tribunals from beginning to end.
  • Supervise the work of associate attorneys, fellows, interns, and litigation assistants, and train and mentor associate attorneys, as the leader of a litigation team, or as a formal supervisor.
  • Collaborate in team problem solving, litigation strategy, project management and trial work.
  • Cultivate new allies and engage in partnerships with, and representation of, Tribal entities, community groups, workers, advocacy organizations and coalitions, and others.
  • Support and contribute to a positive, respectful, supportive, and collegial work environment and help to advance Earthjustice’s efforts to create a diverse and inclusive workplace that centers equity and justice.
  • Help develop and execute effective media and, where appropriate, legislative strategies and serve as a spokesperson for Earthjustice, clients, and partners.
  • Work collaboratively and effectively with colleagues throughout Earthjustice, including team members in the Litigation, Communications, Development, and Policy and Legislation departments.
  • Develop and participate in training and professional development opportunities appropriate to the role and the organization.
  • Promote change in terms of the expected benefits, as well as removing or lowering the impact of potential obstacles.
  • Set clear team direction that aligns with Earthjustice strategy, mission, and vision.
  • Develop staff by identifying and encouraging training and professional development opportunities appropriate to role and creating development plans for all staff.

Management

  • Manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence and cultural competency
  • Create a learning culture, including by implementing practices related to delivering timely and high-quality feedback and by fostering growth through creativity and risk-taking.
  • Work with team members to celebrate successes and learn from setbacks.
  • Foster a work environment that aligns with Earthjustice’s diversity, equity, and inclusion goals and helps ensure the advancement of such goals.
  • Develop and embrace practices and policies that promote a respectful and inclusive workplace and that foster community and teamwork among a diverse group of staff. Promptly address micro-aggressions, implicit biases, and other equity or inclusion concerns brought to their attention.
  • Recruit and hire qualified candidates to support and grow a highly effective program team.
  • Other duties as assigned.

Continued Personal Learning

  • Participate in organization-wide initiatives and trainings that contribute to the creation of a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
  • Utilize internal and external resources to support their personal and professional development in a way that increases awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  • Qualifications:

    • Law school graduate who is admitted to or able to join the Bar in one the following states: IL, MN, WI, IN, MI, OH, IA, MO
    • A minimum of eight years of legal experience including deep environmental law knowledge and significant lead counsel litigation experience.
    • Excellent research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy skills
    • Demonstrated ability to think strategically and to implement collective plans.
    • Initiative, good judgment, a collegial work style, strong work ethic, and interest in continued professional growth.
    • Strong interpersonal skills, including the ability to work well collaboratively both inside and outside the organization.
    • Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media and funders.
    • Ability to work independently and in collaboration with client partners and leading a litigation team.
    • Strong skills in communicating litigation and advocacy goals and messages to the media and funders.
    • Ability and willingness to travel as needed, including for case work, court appearances, and meetings with clients and partners.
    • Commitment to serving the public interest and a passion for Earthjustice and its mission.
    • Commitment to growing a diverse, equitable, and inclusive work culture that encourages and celebrates differences.
    • Demonstrated awareness and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
    • Willingness and ability to effectively supervise and mentor early career staff in connection with litigation and advocacy projects, and to help foster an inclusive and nurturing work environment.
    • Experience in supervising other attorneys and litigation assistants.
    • Ability to effectively manage and lead a diverse team with emotional intelligence (self-awareness and understanding of the impact of their behavior).
    • Understanding of the need for additional learning about different cultures, backgrounds and orientation and implementation of that learning in daily management practices.
    • Ability to give and receive regular formal and informal feedback in a timely, constructive, respectful, and consistent manner and to incorporate debriefing into the team’s operations.
    • Strong team mentorship and communication skills.
    • Understanding of the individual and team strengths and areas for development and develops plans accordingly.
    • Commitment to and experience in developing team skills and talents to meet the evolving needs of an organization.

    We offer a mission and employee-focused work environment and a competitive compensation package including excellent benefits. We compensate our senior attorneys based on their geography and years of legal experience. Salary range for remote work locations will be determined as appropriate.

    Salary is based on experience and location. Salaries reflect updated FY23 ranges

    Salary range in Chicago, IL for 8+ to 20+ years of experience: $160,000 - $182,700

    Salary range in Remote Midwest locations for 8+ to 20+ years of experience: $143,700 - $164,000

    To Apply

    Earthjustice has retained the services of ThinkingAhead Executive Search. Please submit your resume and expression of interest to: Chris Spagnola, Partner, at cspagnola@thinkingahead.com and Jessica Martinez, Partner, at jmartinez@thinkingahead.com. The application screening process is ongoing until a candidate is hired.

    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.

Accommodation

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 jobs@earthjustice.org.

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