Position Description

Associate Attorney
Location Oakland, CA; Washington, DC
Job Code 103-19
# of Openings 1
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Job Title: Associate Attorney

Duration: 2 years

Department: ELP/Programs

Reports To: Managing Attorney

Location: Washington, DC or Oakland, CA

Context: Sierra Club enforces environmental laws and targets the nation’s most pressing environmental issues through strategic legal advocacy at the federal, state, and local levels. Attorneys in the Environmental Law Program litigate cases in support of Sierra Club’s national campaigns. For more information, visit us at

Scope: The Sierra Club Environmental Law Program seeks an associate attorney to work at Sierra Club national headquarters in Oakland, California, or at our legislative office in Washington, DC. Working with senior and staff attorneys, the associate attorney will track and analyze state and local climate policy initiatives, focusing on legal defensibility, equity, and effectiveness; provide legal and strategic advice regarding the adoption and implementation of such policies to Sierra Club chapters throughout the country; and serve as counsel in regulatory proceedings involving such policies. This position involves close coordination with Sierra Club’s climate policy experts and analysts, as well as staff focused on community partnerships, environmental justice, and labor.  The associate attorney will also participate as counsel in climate litigation matters.



  1. Track and analyze state and local climate policy initiatives, focusing on legal defensibility, equity, and effectiveness.
  2. Advise Sierra Club chapters on the adoption, implementation, and defense of state and local climate policies.
  3. Serve as counsel in regulatory proceedings involving state and local climate policies.
  4. Serve as a core member of Sierra Club’s climate law and policy team and coordinate closely with environmental justice, community partnerships, and labor staff members.
  5. Litigate climate lawsuits under the supervision and mentorship of senior and staff attorneys.
  6. Help develop and execute work in a manner that promotes equity, justice, and inclusion, and intentionally addresses the history of inequitable environmental and economic burdens carried by communities overburdened by pollution and harmed by climate change.



  • J.D. degree and license to practice law or awaiting bar exam results.
  • 0–3 years of post-law school graduation experience.
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills.
  • Strong interpersonal and consensus building skills, including the ability to work collaboratively with clients and colleagues from diverse backgrounds.
  • Passion for the Sierra Club’s mission to protect and restore the quality of the natural and human environment.
  • Demonstrated commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Knowledge of environmental law or climate policy.

In 2015, Sierra Club formalized its vision for an internal transformation to become a more equitable and inclusive organization. Sierra Club and its Environmental Law Program recognize that the environmental movement and the field of law have historically been white, wealthy, and male-dominated, and given that history, we are committed to creating a workplace where people from all social identities and backgrounds feel welcome. We strive to become an organization that attracts, retains, and celebrates people from all avenues of life who share our values. The Sierra Club has adopted the Jemez Principles, a set of guidelines designed to help people from different cultures, communities, politics, and organizations work together in solidarity. The Environmental Law Program strives to conduct litigation in accordance with the Jemez Principles and in furtherance of Sierra Club’s vision of becoming a more equitable and inclusive organization. For more information about our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice, please visit:

To Apply: Please visit to apply for this position. The hiring committee will review applications on a rolling basis. The position will remain open until filled. Please attach a cover letter, resume, three references, writing sample, and law school transcript to the online application. In your cover letter, please address how your background has prepared you to contribute to Sierra Club’s mission—particularly its commitment to advancing equity, inclusion, and justice —and aspects of your background that demonstrate your ability to work with diverse clients and colleagues.

The Sierra Club offers competitive salary package commensurate with skills and experience plus excellent benefits that include medical, dental, and vision coverage, and a retirement savings 401(k) plan.

This is a category 5 exempt position.

Sierra Club is a 501(c)(4) non-profit organization. Sierra Club employees are not eligible to participate in the Federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.  Sierra Club does not sponsor H1B visas.

The Sierra Club is an equal opportunity employer committed to workforce diversity.

Explore, enjoy and protect the planet.

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