The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is an environmental law, science, and policy center that makes law work for people, places, and the planet. We envision a healthy environment, prosperous economies, and vibrant communities founded on the rule of law.  Our mission is to foster innovative, just, and practical law and policy solutions to enable leaders across borders and sectors to make environmental, economic, and social progress.

ELI is seeking a Staff Attorney to work on our portfolio of uniquely positioned environmental law and policy projects addressing critical environment and sustainable development challenges domestically and internationally.


ELI’s Research and Policy experts assemble interdisciplinary teams to develop innovative legal and governance solutions to challenges in areas such as climate change, environmental justice, natural resource management, land conservation and smart growth, biodiversity loss and habitat destruction, ocean resource management, and air, water, and soil pollution. One hallmark of the Institute’s work is its long-standing track record working at the state and local level, where it assists state and local governments that bear primary responsibility for implementing and enforcing environmental protection laws. ELI’s international programs are marked by staff engaging with local partners in building capacity of citizens and governments, developing legal mechanisms to protect the environment, assisting nongovernmental organizations and government agencies on policy development, judicial education, and promoting public participation and advocacy in environmental decision making.

Together, 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

Staff Attorneys carry out varied project and program assignments under the direction of more senior research and policy staff including, but not limited to, research tasks, writing, outreach, and support for program development. Our Staff Attorneys are skilled legal researchers and are committed to sustainability, justice, and advancing the environmental rule of law. They must be able to work independently but also enjoy working as part of a collaborative team and must be strong communicators, able to communicate with colleagues and to public audiences both orally and in writing.


  • 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.
  • Follow direction from senior staff in developing and carrying 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 proposals and provide other development support to secure sufficient funding to carry out high-quality programs and projects.
  • On occasion, Staff Attorneys may be granted responsibility to direct ELI projects. As project managers, Staff Attorneys are responsible for performing, assigning, and supervising delegated project tasks, and adhering to project budgets. Staff Attorney project managers will collaborate with senior staff to secure project funding.
  • Staff Attorneys may be required to have limited project-related supervisory roles with junior staff, including Research Associates and Interns.
  • Periodic travel to domestic and international destinations as projects required.


  • D. or equivalent degree with a strong academic record.
  • A minimum of 3 years’ post-law school experience in the environmental law and policy field.
  • Excellent skills in policy and legal research, analytical writing, and verbal communication to present findings related to research programs.
  • Broad knowledge of and experience in environmental, energy, or natural resource law and policy, or related field.
  • Ability to become proficient in new issue areas and contribute to creative, rigorous, analytical approaches to address them.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Well-developed collaborative and interpersonal skills.
  • Demonstrates 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.
  • Demonstrated proficiency or fluency in French or Spanish is highly desirable; other language skills appreciated.


Compensation starting at $55,000, and is 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
  • List of 3 references
  • A legal writing sample

Applications must be submitted no later than August 15, 2021. You must use ELI’s online application system; ELI cannot accept applications submitted by email, USPS or other shipping service, or hand delivery.

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.