Staff Attorney – Environmental Justice

January 7, 2022

Job Opportunities, News

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 reforming New York City’s waste infrastructure and systems to reduce the burdens on low wealth communities and communities of color, varied efforts to reduce New York City and New York State’s greenhouse gas emissions, and pressing for a Just Transition from fossil fuels in a way that centers impacted communities and creates quality local jobs.

About the Role

The Staff Attorney will join NYLPI’s multidisciplinary practice, working with other attorneys, community organizers, and communications and lobbying experts to 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 Staff Attorney will have the opportunity to identify and propose new campaigns, litigation, and legal advocacy.



  • 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
  • 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, legal research, analytic, interpersonal, and public speaking skills
  • Excellent strategic judgment and the drive to originate and effectuate dynamic 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 experience with regulatory or administrative law, and/or litigation experience in state or federal court
  • Experience (or interest in gaining experience) in infrastructure project finance, energy and public utility regulatory law, and climate justice

Salary ranges from $69,000 to $75,000, depending on experience. 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.  

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, with interviews starting as early as January 17, 2022. Please email applications to [email protected] with the subject line “Attention:  Environmental Justice Staff Attorney Position.” Applications must include:

  1. Detailed cover letter explaining how you learned of this position, 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.
  2. Resume
  3. 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, national origin, disability, socioeconomic background, sexual orientation, and gender identity.


For more than 40 years, NYLPI has been a leading civil rights advocate partnering with communities fighting a legacy of marginalization based on 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 secure environmental justice for disadvantaged communities, create equal access to health care, achieve equality of opportunity and self-determination for people with disabilities, ensure immigrant opportunity, and strengthen local nonprofits. To learn more about NYLPI, visit

A PDF of the Job Description can be viewed here.

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