Litigation Attorney

The National Environmental Law Center is currently seeking a staff attorney with meaningful litigation experience, to be based in the Boston office.

The National Environmental Law Center (NELC) is a nonprofit environmental litigation group founded in 1990 by Environment America and its state-level affiliates.Working on behalf of local, state, and national citizen and environmental organizations, NELC files enforcement actions against some of the nation's worst polluters. NELC attorneys obtain court orders stopping illegal pollution and secure significant penalties against violators of environmental laws. Penalty monies are often directed to local environmental projects in and around affected areas.

NELC's litigation is primarily in federal court. NELC lawyers have filed suit -- under the federal Clean Air and Clean Water Acts, the Endangered Species Act, and federal hazardous waste laws – in the federal district courts of California, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Texas, and Washington. Collectively, NELC enforcement suits have won more than $200 million in court-ordered penalties and pollution-reduction measures against corporate and government defendants.  NELC attorneys also write amicus briefs in the federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court, and file federal regulatory challenges,to countermand threats to environmental and public health protection.

Job Description

The staff attorney will take responsibility for all aspects of NELC’s federal court litigation.  Working in conjunction with more senior staff, the staff attorney will be responsible for case development, legal research and writing, drafting pleadings, discovery and motion practice, working with lay and expert witnesses, and preparation for and conduct of trials. Although supervision is always available, there will be ample and immediate opportunity for considerable individual responsibility.


Candidates for this position should have at least two to five years’ litigation experience. Federal clerkship experience preferred. Additional relevant experience, such as scientific, engineering, political, policy, legal, journalistic, or government experience, is a plus. Advanced degrees in related fields may count toward a candidate's professional experience.

Candidates should possess initiative, excellent writing and research skills, an excellent academic record, good judgment, the ability to work independently, and a strong commitment to environmental protection. A healthy sense of humor, willingness to travel, and the ability to work collaboratively with a small group of dedicated, experienced attorneys are also essential.

Salary & Benefits
The salary for this position, though modest, is commensurate with pay scales within the public interest legal community. An outstanding benefits package includes health care coverage, educational loan assistance, a retirement plan, paid vacation and sick days, parental leave, and a dependent care assistance program.

To Apply: 
Please send a compelling cover letter and resume to nelc@nelconline.org. Please specify the position you are applying for in the subject line of the e-mail, and be sure to mention where you saw our job advertised.

The National Environmental Law Center (NELC) is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, sex, age, handicap, pregnancy, sexual orientation or veteran status.