Waterkeepers Chesapeake (WKC) seeks a junior to mid-level attorney for its Legal Program, reporting to the Executive Director. The Staff Attorney will contribute to Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s legal and policy presence and effectiveness in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays watersheds.  As part of the legal team, the Staff Attorney will advance Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s policy goals of fishable, swimmable waterways, and clean drinking water through litigation, and advocacy. WKC is looking for a qualified environmental attorney with an exceptional commitment to the environment and a strong academic and experiential-learning record. The position requires some travel throughout the Chesapeake region, and a commitment to attend meetings and appointments that may be outside of normal business hours. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is an equal opportunity employer and highly values diversity.

Detailed Description of Tasks:

  • Legal Work & Enforcement
    • Manage a docket of active cases, working with outside counsel, that may include environmental citizen suit litigation, permit challenges, challenges to environmental reviews, etc.
    • Conduct legal research and formulate strategies for citizen enforcement, including assisting member Waterkeepers with factual investigations and compliance sweeps of facilities subject to the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws.
    • Coordinate with the 17 member organizations on policy and legal enforcement issues in the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays watersheds.
    • Commence and advance enforcement lawsuits with partners and outside counsel.
    • Formulate settlement positions and monitor post settlement compliance.
    • Draft comments on administrative matters, including proposed rulemakings, TMDL milestones, permit applications, and environmental review documents.
    • Monitor Environmental Notice Bulletin and other relevant notices.
    • File local, state and federal information requests.
  • Policy Development and Strategic Planning
    • Establish and enhance Waterkeeper Chesapeake presence and effectiveness in the region by:
      • Leading Legal Program efforts on campaigns and policy initiatives to protect and
        restore the environment, such as work on the Fair Farms Campaign, Conowingo actions, and improving standing.
      • Reviewing bills, lobbying, testifying at public hearings, developing policy papers, etc.
      • Initiating, maintaining and expanding strategic relationships with constituency groups, environmental organizations, private advocates and funders.
      • Participating in government and administrative process to develop an awareness of issues and advocate and advance Waterkeeper Chesapeake priorities.
      • Reaching and actively engaging the public through meetings, public events, and public speaking.
      • Travelling within the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays to organize and attend
        meetings with elected officials, law enforcement, regulators and the public.
    • Work with development department to create and expand relationships with donors and foundations.
    • Work with communications department to develop content for the website, respond to press inquiries, and maintain relationships with the public and reporters.
    • Serve as spokesperson for campaigns, represent Waterkeepers Chesapeake at regional and national conferences, forums.
    • Coordinate with the Executive Director and Deputy Director to explain legal actions to the Board for approval.
    • Oversee policy contractors and legal interns

All candidates must:

  • Be admitted to practice law in Maryland, Virginia or the District of Columbia, or be qualified to be admitted upon motion, or sit for the next administration of one of these bar exams if necessary;
  • Have a strong commitment to Waterkeepers Chesapeake’s mission and goals and possess a general familiarity with non-profit environmental organizations;
  • Demonstrate familiarity with federal and state administrative and environmental law;
  • Have at least 2-5 years of relevant legal experience;
  • Have excellent writing, research and communication skills;
  • Be energetic, creative, well organized, independent, hard-working, personable, and have a sense of humor; and
  • Be able to maintain a flexible work schedule, work independently, be willing to work some evenings, and travel throughout the Chesapeake region for meetings.

Preference will be given to candidates that have:

  • Training or experience in environmental policy and/or litigation;
  • Training or experience in public oral advocacy;
  • Training or experience with the Clean Water Act, Administrative Procedures Act (or state equivalents) RCRA, and/or NEPA.

Waterkeepers Chesapeake

 Waterkeepers Chesapeake is a coalition of seventeen independent Waterkeeper programs working to make the waters of the Chesapeake and Coastal Bays swimmable and fishable. We amplify the voices of each Waterkeeper and mobilize our organizations to fight pollution and champion clean water.

The position is in the Washington, DC metro area and includes telecommuting as well as shared office space in Takoma Park, MD. A car will be necessary for meetings throughout the Chesapeake Bay region. Will require some evening and weekend hours.

Salary range for this position is $45,000 – $65,000. Position includes a generous benefits package. The position is available immediately. Waterkeepers Chesapeake is an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, disabled people, and transgender or gender non-conforming applicants strongly encouraged to apply.

Please submit a resume, cover letter indicating your specific interest in this position, and a writing sample to info(at)waterkeeperschesapeake.org with subject line: LAST NAME – Staff Attorney application.