The Associate Attorney position is a three-year position with the opportunity for extension. Many Associates have gone on to other positions within Earthjustice and with other public interest organizations. The Associate Attorney program is designed to help attorneys who are in the early stages of their careers to develop into thoughtful, professional, and effective advocates skilled in the various phases of public interest litigation. As Associate Attorneys gain experience, they gradually take on more independent responsibility for their cases, but Associates work throughout their tenure under the supervision of a Senior Attorney or the Managing Attorney.
The work of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is at the heart of Earthjustice’s mission to defend the right of all people to live, work, and raise children in a healthy environment. The attorney selected for this position will work closely with other professionals (attorneys, scientists, policy analysts, communications experts) seeking to protect families, communities, and populations—especially those most exposed or susceptible to harm—from toxic chemicals in the workplace, in consumer products, in the built environment, and in the outside environment. The attorney also will partner with Earthjustice staff who focus on securing clean air, clean water, and sustainable food and agriculture.
Exposure to toxic chemicals is linked to chronic diseases and health conditions, many of which are on the rise as toxic exposures have increased. The goal of the Toxic Exposure & Health Program is to use litigation and other legal advocacy to ensure that all people have safe workplaces and neighborhoods, access to safe drinking water and food, and live in homes that are free of hazardous chemicals. In recent years, attorneys doing this work have won a groundbreaking lawsuit requiring EPA to improve its lead hazard standards, successfully petitioned the Consumer Product Safety Commission to ban a toxic class of flame retardants in consumer products, prevailed in a challenge to rules that would have allowed EPA to ignore the risks posed by legacy uses of toxic substances, such as lead in drinking water pipes, when it conducts chemical risk evaluations, and sued the United States Department of Defense for incinerating toxic PFAS chemicals without environmental review.
Our goal is to produce the highest quality legal work in a diverse, inclusive, supportive, and collegial environment.
Due to Covid-19, Earthjustice staff are currently working remotely from approved locations through April 27, 2022.
Associate attorneys perform a range of litigation and advocacy-related tasks that can include:
- Work closely with Earthjustice attorneys, scientists, and professional staff to develop litigation and support policies that serve a diverse set of clients.
- Participate in the full range of tasks involved in administrative advocacy and complex litigation, including factual investigation, legal research, memo writing, briefing, and oral advocacy.
- Develop and engage in other forms of legal advocacy, including drafting and reviewing legislation; drafting rulemaking petitions, comments to agencies, letters, fact sheets and other materials; and participating in coalition meetings and events.
- Interact with clients and work with experts to develop a clear understanding of the facts involved in each case and, ultimately, to support our litigation goals.
- Represent Earthjustice on telephone calls and at meetings with clients, partners, co-counsel, and experts.
- Handle other legal work to further the goals of the Toxic Exposure & Health program
- Develop skills required to serve as spokesperson with print and other media.
- Assist with hiring and supervision of student law clerks.