PILC seeks an Environmental Justice Staff Attorney

Environmental Justice Staff Attorney

The Public Interest Law Center (“the Law Center”) is a nationally renowned public interest law firm whose mission is to use high-impact legal strategies to advance the civil, social, and economic rights of communities in the Philadelphia region facing discrimination, inequality, and poverty. We combine targeted litigation, legal advice, community education, advocacy, and organizing to secure people’s access to fundamental resources and services, including a high-quality education, health care, housing and community services, employment, a healthy neighborhood and the unencumbered right to vote. We accomplish our mission in partnership with a robust network of pro bono partners, community partners, volunteers and other essential stakeholders. The Law Center strongly values equity, inclusion, achieving racial and social justice, and empowering client communities through our high-impact work.

The Public Interest Law Center is seeking applications for a Staff Attorney to work in the Law Center’s environmental justice practice. In this practice area, we support low-income, historically disinvested communities and communities of color to ensure an equitable and meaningful voice in the health, sustainability, and future of the natural and built environment of their neighborhoods. You can learn more here.

The staff attorney will approach environmental justice from a community lawyering perspective. The staff attorney will work with communities to identify and develop high impact litigation and advocacy strategies to protect and improve the environmental health of communities. The attorney will also support the Law Center’s Garden Justice Legal Initiative, which works to preserve and create community gardens and green space and will support communities to ensure environmentally sound community development.

The Staff Attorney will work in close collaboration with a community organizer and Law Center lawyers working on environmental justice matters. The Staff Attorney will report to the Legal Director.

Preferred Qualifications

• At least five to eight years of legal experience in one or more or the following substantive areas: federal and state environmental law, land use, real estate, zoning or property law
• Excellent research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy skills
• Litigation or other dispute resolution experience
• Experience drafting public comment letters on projects, policies, and plans
• Policy advocacy and legislative advocacy on behalf of clients with government officials
• Experience working with clients of diverse backgrounds
• Initiative, creativity, and an entrepreneurial approach to new cases and strategies
• Collaborative skills and capacity for teamwork with colleagues and clients
• Well organized, sound workload management, persistence, and excellent follow up skills
• Enthusiasm for the Law Center’s mission and a commitment to racial and social justice

Core Responsibilities

• Develop and execute high impact litigation in federal and state court or before administrative agencies including factual investigation, developing legal theories, research, discovery, briefing, trial, appeals and enforcement
• Provide legal support to community gardens including transactional work
• Assist community clients in negotiations over land use and development
• Develop and execute effective policy and legislative advocacy strategies
• Community engagement and education, relationship building in affected communities, and establishing strategic and collaborative partnerships and coalitions

Work Environment

This position operates in a hybrid office environment as well as off-site locations. Applicant must be located in the Philadelphia area.
The Law Center does require that all employees, including new employees, be fully vaccinated. The Law Center will require proof of COVID-19 vaccination at time of hire. If you require more information on our policy, please contact us.

Compensation and Benefits

The salary range for this position is commensurate with the desired experience level in an ideal candidate. The typical range for an attorney with five to eight years of experience will be $77,000-$85,000, generally. The Law Center offers a generous benefits and leave package, including medical/dental insurance, short and long-term disability, a retirement plan with employer match, life insurance, ample paid time off (PTO), federal holidays, paid parental leave, and paid FMLA.

Commitment to Diversity, Equity and Inclusion

The Public Interest Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. We are committed to ensuring a workforce that embraces and embodies the values of inclusion, belonging, cultural humility and mutual respect. We are eager to receive applications from people of all diverse backgrounds including, but not limited to, people of color, people with disabilities, people who have experienced poverty or homelessness, and members of the LGBTQ+ community. The Law Center invites all applicants to include in their letter of interest a statement about how your unique background and/or experiences might contribute to the diversity, cultural vitality, and perspective of our organization and legal practice.

The Law Center is committed to protecting the safety of children.

How to Apply

Please submit via email a resume, a letter of interest that describes your relevant experience and why you would be a good fit for this position at the Law Center, a short legal writing sample of ten pages or less, and contact information for at least three professional references to: Leanne Almeida, Program Coordinator. If possible, please format your materials as a single PDF file.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis, with preference given to candidates who submit their application by January 6, 2023.