Our Associate Attorneys help save the planet.
There is no better place to grow as a litigator. Our core values of justice, partnership, excellence and inclusion guide us in every aspect of our work.
What Our Associate Attorneys Do
Earthjustice is the premier nonprofit environmental law organization. We only take cases that serve the public interest by creating positive change for our planet and its people. We do our work in a wide variety of forums, including not only every level of federal and state judiciaries, but many other forums as well, ranging from public utility commissions to local administrative proceedings.
The day to day work of an Earthjustice associate attorney varies depending on the specific team to which they belong and their experience level. That work includes legal research and writing, developing facts, commenting on regulatory actions, interacting with clients, conducting discovery, working with expert witnesses, preparing for and participating in evidentiary hearings, drafting motions and briefs, and presenting legal arguments in court. Associates also work with our communications strategists and lobbying teams.
Hear From Our Team
On their experiences of working at Earthjustice
“After graduating from law school, I accepted a fellowship working in sustainable development on island nations. That experience allowed me to see the effects of climate change firsthand. I decided that I wanted to use my legal skills to fight climate change domestically and protect the marine ecosystem on which we all rely.
“I heard about Earthjustice’s associate attorney program and knew that was what I wanted: a program that would take people who didn't have much experience with environmental law and teach them how to be great advocates and lawyers.”
“I first learned about Earthjustice's work before I went to law school. I was living on Maui and working as a journalist covering cultural and environmental issues. I was assigned to report on an Earthjustice case challenging the production of genetically modified algae on Hawaiʻi Island, which posed harm to nearby ecosystems and cultural resources.
“It was really refreshing and inspiring to hear about people who were actually doing something about the environmental injustices taking place in Hawaiʻi. That prompted me to pursue environmental law.”
“Our clients are a really passionate, diverse set of organizations and people who are incredibly knowledgeable about the issues on the ground, and I've learned so much from them as a new lawyer.
“Collaborating closely with them has driven home for me that as excited as I am to be here, I’m just starting out on this work. I’m reminded every day that our clients are our guides and leaders, and the advocacy they’ve been doing for years inspires me and helps me understand what it means to be a great lawyer.”
“What makes me happiest is when I know I’m contributing to an overall movement — that it’s not just a legal case in isolation, that there are people on the ground working in their areas of expertise toward this common goal.
“When I get to work with community-based clients and folks who are directly impacted by environmental harms, I feel the most inspired.”
“I started with Earthjustice fresh out of law school, and I don’t think any other first job gives newer attorneys the ability to learn faster or have a greater impact. I'm not languishing in a research pit somewhere.
“Right now, I do work that gets filed under my name. I meet with clients and partners across Florida and Puerto Rico. I’ve testified before the Florida Senate. The responsibility I feel is really incredible.”
“I've been fortunate to have supervisors and managers who truly care about my development and my growth as a young attorney.
“They make a point to identify assignments and cases that will be a significant aid to my development. Working alongside these amazing attorneys, I’m able to learn from their wide range of experiences.”
“I am from North Carolina, where there are a host of environmental justice issues. I always imagined myself getting involved in that work in some way. At Earthjustice, I am not only fulfilling my purpose, but genuinely striving to make a difference in the lived experiences of people overburdened with institutionalized discrimination and other forms of oppression.
“It is unfathomable to me that some places are deemed sacrificial zones, and my daily work is doing something to chip away at that narrative.”
“One of the biggest things I’ve learned is that it's not enough to just identify a problem that you can sue over. You also need to have some sort of solution in mind. That’s not always easy to do.
“But Earthjustice has resources and expertise in such a broad range of perspectives that it's pretty easy to find the support you need to tackle those really difficult questions.”
What We Look For
We look for candidates who have excellent research and writing skills, a record of academic achievement, good judgment, a desire to take on challenges, and an ability to work well in a team environment with clients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds. We evaluate every Earthjustice job applicant to make sure they have the functional skills, cultural competency, and emotional intelligence to succeed.
While most associates come to Earthjustice with 0–4 years of legal experience, you should check our individual job listings for more details. Past environmental law experience or a demonstrated commitment to public interest work is a plus, but not required.
Salary and Benefits
We offer outstanding benefits and competitive salaries that range from roughly $68,000 to $100,000, depending on experience and geographic location.
Term of the Position
Associate attorney positions are 3-year terms with the possibility of promotion to a senior associate attorney position with an additional 3-year term. Earthjustice promotes some senior associates to staff attorney positions, while others take their experience and apply it in impactful careers outside of Earthjustice. Promotions depend on a number of factors including work performance, staffing needs, program priorities, and budgetary resources.