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Staff Attorney

Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.
Santa Monica, California, US
Closing date
Dec 13, 2021

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Consultancy/Private Sector
Conservation science
Environmental Justice
Salary Type
Employment Type
Full time
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The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.

Position Summary:

NRDC is seeking a Staff Attorney in our Santa Monica office. Working as part of the Southern California Ecosystems Project ("Project") team within NRDC's Nature Program, this person will advocate to increase access to nature for people living in park-poor communities, especially low-income BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) communities; support and expand our oil and gas advocacy at the local, state, and national levels; and work to maintain and expand biodiversity and protected areas in Southern California. Working collaboratively within diverse coalitions, prioritizing equity and lifting up frontline and BIPOC community voices, and maintaining and managing multiple campaigns and projects simultaneously are critical parts of this person's job responsibilities. Successful candidates will have demonstrated both strong independent initiative and the ability to contribute effectively as a member of a team and collaborate across organizations. The role further calls for a combination of leadership and advocacy skills with the flexibility, diplomatic, organizational and communication skills necessary to facilitate coalitions of organizations and allies around different issues.

Since March 2020, NRDC's offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until circumstances allow us to fully re-open, we will continue to support staff with remote working arrangements. Upon formal re-opening, fully-remote arrangements are not guaranteed and will be (i) limited and (ii) based on institutional objectives.


Develop and implement advocacy, litigation, media, lobbying, and grassroots strategies to increase access to nature in park-poor communities, protect communities from the adverse health impacts of oil drilling, and challenge unsustainable development projects in and around Southern California.

Build and participate in coalitions and work with diverse stakeholders to develop and carry out such strategies.

Prepare reports, comments, and analyses for submittal to agencies, media, and the public.

Engage the environmental, environmental justice, labor, and other important stakeholder communities by building and maintaining relationships with institutions, organizations, and individuals, including policy advocates, organizers, and lawyers at local, state, and national organizations working in Southern California.

Use NRDC's platform to lift up and empower frontline community voices, especially BIPOC and other historically underrepresented voices.

Communicate with NRDC's members and the general public through blog postings, press interviews, op-ed pieces, and direct contact at community meetings and hearings.

Contribute to fundraising efforts by collaborating with membership and development staff, assisting in the creation of grant proposals and reports, and attending member events.


J.D. required

A minimum of 3-5 years experience

Excellent written and oral communications skills

Outstanding interpersonal skills and ability to think strategically

Ability to manage and prioritize a heavy workload while working as a member of a team

Demonstrated interest in environmental protection or background in environmental science is a plus

Commitment to NRDC's

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. Salary minimum is $110,000; salary midpoint is $120,000. Salary may be higher as appropriate for the selected candidate, with internal equity considerations taken into account.

To apply, please visit (url removed)/careers and upload your resume and cover letter through our online portal. We would like you to upload any additional papers or project work that you think would showcase your abilities. Due to the high volume of applications NRDC receives, we will only contact candidates we would like to progress through the search process. Please no phone calls, emails, faxes, or in-person resume drop-offs. Please reference where you saw this posting. NRDC is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing (phone number removed).

For further information about NRDC, please visit .
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