Senior Attorney

Senior Attorney

Center for Biological Diversity Website

The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a full-time senior attorney in our Climate Law Institute to halt climate-heating pollution and advance the urgently needed transition from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy. This position is located in Los Angeles or Oakland, California; or other locations considered on a case-by-case basis.


General position overview:

The Climate Law Institute wages innovative legal and grassroots campaigns to protect people, wildlife and ecosystems from climate change and the fossil fuel industry. We work at every level, from international climate negotiations to federal litigation to ballot measures, to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution and speed a just transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The Climate Law Institute is looking to add a senior attorney to its team, based in California. The new attorney will work on state and federal litigation, administrative and policy advocacy, and grassroots and media outreach. This position will work closely with other team members, including legal, science, organizing, and communications staff.


Main duties:

  • Work within our team to design and advocate for strong state and federal policies to phase out dirty fossil fuel energy and transition to clean, renewable energy.
  • Litigate cutting-edge cases under state and federal statutes including the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air Act.
  • Advocate in administrative processes, including but not limited to, commenting on proposed rulemakings and preparing petitions for rulemaking.
  • Analyze pending agency and legislative proposals and advocate for the Climate Law Institute’s priorities.
  • Prepare communications such as press releases, op-eds, fact sheets, and white papers, and respond to inquiries and interview requests from journalists.


 Essential qualities, qualifications and skills:

  • Licensed to practice law in California, or licensed in state in which attorney will be based.
  • Minimum eight years civil litigation experience for senior attorney position; applicants with fewer than eight years civil litigation experience may be considered for staff attorney.
  • Excellent legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a litigation docket, including experience as lead attorney on cases.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues and organizations with a wide array of goals, perspectives, and backgrounds. Committed to incorporating principles of justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the work.
  • Ability to supervise and mentor staff attorneys, legal fellows and clerks and/or paralegals.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and with a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and think creatively about policy and strategic campaigning.
  • Willingness to travel, at times on short notice.


Preferred qualifications, skills, and qualities:  

  • Experience with environmental statutes such as the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and Clean Air Act.
  • Existing relationships and experience working with organizations led by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color. We especially encourage candidates who hold first-hand experience or meaningful, trusted relationships with communities impacted by fossil fuel production and environmental racism.
  • Familiarity with the scientific literature on climate change.
  • Experience with media outreach and interviews.


Benefits Package:

  • Fully paid medical premiums for staff, and greatly discounted for families.
  • Fully paid dental and vision premiums for staff and their families.
  • Generous employer contribution to HSA and HRA’s.
  • Center paid premiums for Short Term and Long Term Disability provided for all staff.
  • Center paid premiums for Basic Life Insurance for all staff.
  • Discounted premiums for pet discount program.
  • 403(b) plan with employer match and increasing employer paid contributions.
  • Generous time off policies, including 13 paid holidays per year, 5 “personal” days per year and 10 paid sick days awarded each year.
  • Vacation accrual starts at 15 days annually, but it may be higher commensurate with experience.
  • Center Paid Time Off for parental leave, personal leave, caretaker leave and even pet caretaker leave.
  • After 5 years of service, all employees receive a 12-week paid sabbatical.
  • Relaxed work atmosphere and dress code.


Salary Range:

Senior Attorney: $85,000-$125,000 DOE

Staff Attorney: $69,000-$85,000 DOE


Application process:

Please apply online by submitting a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and 3-5 references with your application. The position will remain open until filled. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.


The Center for Biological Diversity deeply values, and is committed to sustaining and promoting, both biological and cultural diversity. We welcome, embrace, and respect diversity of people, identities and cultures. We are committed to fostering an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion. The Center believes staff and board diversity is critical to saving life on Earth.


We are an equal opportunity employer.

To apply for this job please visit

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