The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) brings science and policy together to make law work for people, places, and the planet. We envision a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law. We support just and practical law and policy solutions to spurs environmental, economic, and social progress across the United States and around the world.


ELI’s staff aims to:

  • Build the skills and capacity of tomorrow’s leaders and institutions
  • Research and analyze complex and pressing environmental challenges
  • Promote and disseminate the best thinking through print and electronic media
  • Work with partners to develop and implement laws, policies, and other means to protect the environment and society
  • Convene people with diverse perspectives to build understanding through robust dialogue

For more information on ELI’s programs, visit


ELI is seeking an experienced Attorney to work on our portfolio of uniquely positioned environmental law and policy projects addressing critical environment and sustainable development challenges domestically and internationally. It is expected that this Attorney would focus particularly (but not exclusively) on ELI’s water and ocean programs.


ELI’s Research & Policy experts assemble interdisciplinary teams to improve environmental law and its implementation.  ELI staff work on today’s most challenging issues, including climate change; environmental justice; natural resource management; land conservation and smart growth; biodiversity loss and habitat destruction; and air, water, and soil pollution. A hallmark of the Institute’s work is its longstanding record of working closely with government agencies at all levels and with communities and non-governmental organizations to support achievement of their environmental, sustainability, and justice goals.

ELI Attorneys work together to develop and carry out projects that respond to the urgent environmental issues of today and anticipate tomorrow’s challenges. This includes identifying how to use existing law to solve new problems, building the capacity of each sector to better undertake its role, and promoting effective public participation in environmental decision making. We help one another execute varied project and program tasks including, but not limited to, research, analysis, writing, outreach, and program development. Our attorneys are skilled researchers, widely published authors, well-respected experts in their areas of focus, inspiring and supportive colleagues, and dedicated to making a difference.

We are currently seeking an Attorney who will work within Research & Policy generally but spend a significant portion of their time collaborating with ELI’s water and ocean programs. These programs engage with government, nongovernmental, and private sector stakeholders to help them improve the frameworks governing our freshwater and marine ecosystems.  Current initiatives cover topics ranging from implementation of Clean Water Act 303(d) programs to the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in Southern Africa and involve efforts ranging from in-depth research to both small- and large-scale convenings.

The Attorney need not have extensive background in both water and ocean governance, but experience and/or interest in at least one of them is preferred.



  • Perform extensive legal and policy research and analysis in a professional, timely, and self-directed manner.
  • Develop written products on law and policy topics in a range of formats and for ELI’s many audiences.
  • Carry out projects and programs consistent with ELI’s mission and project parameters.
  • Facilitate and coordinate meetings and communications with partners and other stakeholders and represent the Institute publicly as needed to communicate and foster particular programs and projects.
  • Assist with project grant and contract proposals and provide other development support to secure sufficient funding to carry out high-quality programs and projects.
  • Contribute to the development and management of projects. As project managers, Attorneys are responsible for performing, assigning, and supervising delegated project tasks, and for adhering to project budgets.
  • Attorneys may have project-related managerial roles with junior staff, including other Attorneys, Research Associates, and Interns.
  • Periodic travel to domestic and international destinations as projects require.


  • D. or equivalent degree with a strong academic record.
  • A minimum of 2 years’ post-law school experience in the environmental law and policy field, preferably with experience and/or interest related to freshwater or oceans.
  • Excellent skills in policy and legal research, analytical writing, and verbal communication.
  • Ability to become proficient in new issue areas and contribute to creative, rigorous, analytical approaches to address them.
  • Well-developed collaborative and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrated self-awareness, cultural competency and inclusivity, and ability to work with colleagues and stakeholders across diverse cultures and backgrounds.
  • Well-developed judgment to assess needs, develop strategy, establish priorities and effectively manage multiple tasks at the same time with moderate supervision.


Compensation starting at $60,000, and commensurate with experience. We also provide excellent benefits including:

  • Health/Dental/Vision insurance
  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Employer paid life insurance & disability insurance
  • Long Term Care insurance
  • Pre-tax transportation benefit
  • Fitness Incentive
  • 403(b) Retirement Savings Account with employer match
  • Paid time off


To apply, submit an application package via ELI’s online application system at Note that your submission must contain the following uploaded documents (Word or PDF format), as follows:

  • Cover letter
  • Current CV or resume with dates for all listed experience
  • List of 3 references
  • A legal writing sample

ELI will accept applications for this position until 11:59 pm EST, Monday, November 21, 2022. Applications will be reviewed, however, on a rolling basis and the post may be filled prior to the closing deadline. You must use ELI’s online application system; ELI cannot accept applications submitted by email, USPS or other shipping service, or hand delivery.


Please note that to ensure the health and safety of the ELI workforce, any offer of employment from ELI is contingent on candidates providing proof of full vaccination against COVID-19.  ELI management will consider requests for religious or medical exceptions, consistent with applicable law.


ELI is an equal opportunity employer firmly committed to achieving an inclusive, diverse workforce that values every individual. We firmly believe that hiring individuals with varying perspectives and backgrounds contributes to our success as an organization, and we strive to create an environment that fosters inclusiveness. As such, minority candidates and candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are encouraged to apply.