The Environmental Law Institute (ELI) is an internationally recognized, independent research, publishing, and education center working to strengthen environmental protection by improving law and governance worldwide. The Institute brings together science and policy to deliver just and practical legal and policy solutions for 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 Senior Attorney to work on environmental law and policy projects addressing critical environmental challenges domestically and internationally. It is expected that this Attorney would conceptualize, develop, and raise funding for projects related to their expertise, and also collaborate with other staff on their existing projects. ELI has numerous focal areas, and this Attorney could specialize in any one (or more) of them, such as energy, climate, water, environmental justice, sustainable development, air, land use, and/or others.  The Attorney would engage in nonpartisan research and maintain the highest standards for integrity while analyzing important current issues.


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, scientists, and policy analysts 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 collaborate to 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 the Research & Policy division. The division engages with government, nongovernmental, and private sector stakeholders to help them improve the legal and institutional frameworks governing sustainable development at the international, national, and subnational levels.  Current initiatives cover a wide range of topics, from educational programs on the Clean Water Act’s total maximum daily load program, to educating judges about the latest climate science, to the sustainability of small-scale fisheries in Southern Africa, to tracking and disseminating recent movement at the state and federal levels relating to environmental justice; and these initiatives involve varying tasks, from in-depth research to convening small- and large-scale events.



  • Serve as a subject matter expert and perform extensive legal and policy research and analysis in a professional, timely, and self-directed manner as well as communicating on areas of expertise to support partners or external communications.
  • Serve as a project manager by designing, developing, and managing projects, consistent with ELI’s mission and project parameters. This includes performing, assigning, and supervising delegated project tasks, and ensuring adherence to project budgets and timelines.
  • Manage and mentor staff assigned to their projects.
  • Develop outputs on law and policy topics in a range of formats and for many audiences.
  • Facilitate and coordinate meetings and communications with partners and other stakeholders and represent the Institute publicly as needed to communicate and foster programs and projects.
  • Develop (and assist others with) grant and contract proposals and provide other development support to secure sufficient funding that supports high-quality programs and projects.
  • Be available to external parties and partners and engage when there are opportunities to broaden or deepen understanding of key issues or key aspects of ELI’s work.
  • Periodic travel to domestic and international destinations as projects require.


  • D. or equivalent degree.
  • A minimum of 10 years of post-law school experience in the environmental law and policy field.
  • A track record as a recognized thought leader in one of ELI’s areas of interest.
  • 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 $90,000, 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 on a rolling basis. 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.