New York Lawyers for the Public Interest (NYLPI), a community-driven civil rights organization, seeks a Staff Attorney in our Environmental Justice program.
NYLPI fights environmental racism, works to eliminate the unfair burden of environmental hazards borne by low-income communities and Black, Indigenous, Latinx, Asian, and other communities of color, and seeks to create a more equitable and sustainable city. In partnership with community-based organizations, advocacy groups, and residents, our Environmental Justice team builds campaigns, pursues strategic litigation, and shapes policy. We support local leadership and strengthen communities’ ability to assert their right to a healthy and sustainable environment. Current campaigns include, but are not limited to, reforming waste management in New York City to cut local pollution drastically, reduce New York City and New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions, and create quality local jobs; advocating to support a restorative justice policy of converting Riker’s Island into a hub for renewable energy and sustainable infrastructure while pushing to close old, fossil fuel power plants disproportionately situated in disadvantaged communities; and addressing indoor environmental hazards in the City’s public schools.
About the Role
The Staff Attorney will work both independently and in collaboration with other attorneys, community organizers, and communications and lobbying experts, and will engage in legal, policy, and administrative analysis and advocacy, as well as community organizing and outreach, coalition-building, and media work to further environmental justice goals. The role also includes substantial responsibility, in collaboration with the Director of Environmental Justice and Senior Supervising Counsel, for identifying, managing and advancing new campaign and litigation opportunities.
The following skills and qualifications are sought for this position. However, NYLPI welcomes applications from candidates with a broad set of background and experience that can demonstrate a commitment to our mission and objectives, as well as a willingness to acquire new skills and grow collectively with our staff.
- Attorney in good standing, licensed to practice law in the State of New York or eligible for admission to the New York Bar at the time of hiring.
- Two to five years of relevant experience in litigation, policy and/or administrative advocacy.
- Commitment to community lawyering, community organizing, racial justice, environmental justice, and equitable development work rooted in the 1996 Jemez Principles for Democratic Organizing.
- Excellent writing, analytic, interpersonal, and public speaking skills.
- Excellent strategic judgment and the drive to originate and effectuate challenging campaigns.
- Ability to relate to and communicate effectively with a diverse group of clients, community partners, and staff, as well as nonprofit, government, judicial, and business communities.
- Experience working in coalitions of community-based and advocacy organizations.
- Experience in community organizing.
- Experience with and knowledge of environmental, civil rights, and administrative laws.
- At least one year of litigation experience in state and/or federal court.
For more than 40 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate partnering with communities fighting a legacy of marginalization on the basis of race, immigration status, poverty, neighborhood pollution, and disabilities. NYLPI pioneered the practice of community lawyering in the five boroughs of New York City. These communities shape our priorities, and their struggles for justice demand innovative solutions. Our interdisciplinary teams of advocates use every tool available – community organizing, impact litigation and individual representation, policy advocacy, media, pro bono partnerships, and public education – to solve seemingly intractable problems, develop leaders, and build collective power to achieve justice. We strive to create equal access to health care, achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, ensure immigrant opportunity, strengthen local nonprofits, and secure environmental justice for disadvantaged communities. To learn more about NYLPI, visit www.nylpi.org.
Salary $70,000 – $80,000, DOE. NYLPI offers comprehensive employer-paid benefits, including health insurance, short- and long-term disability and life insurance, an outstanding retirement savings plan, fifteen (15) days of vacation during the first year of employment, and a holiday swapping policy to allow for the observation of holidays of your choice.
Interviews are currently in-process, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Please email applications to [email protected] with the subject line “Attention: Environmental Justice Staff Attorney Position.” Applications must include:
- Detailed cover letter explaining your interest, passion, and experience, with a specific answer to the following required question: How have your background or experiences, professional or otherwise, prepared you to contribute to our commitment to cultural competency and diversity, equity, and inclusion? Feel free to think broadly about your response to this question, applying various aspects of your life and personal experiences. Please also reference in your cover letter where you saw this posting.
- Legal writing sample
We strongly encourage candidates fluent in multiple languages and candidates from historically oppressed groups to apply. We are committed to advancing social justice and civil rights in our advocacy, and we value the dynamism and perspective that staff diversity, equity, and inclusion bring to the work and culture of our organization. We strive to promote behaviors, attitudes and policies that enable us to work inclusively and effectively in cross-cultural situations with clients, co-workers, and community partners. We actively recruit and seek to grow and maintain a staff that is diverse along many axes, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, and national origin; disability; socioeconomic background; and sexual orientation and gender identity.