Website National Environmental Law Center

The National Environmental Law Center is currently seeking a staff attorney to join our environmental litigation team, to be based in our Boston office.


The National Environmental Law Center (NELC) is a nonprofit environmental litigation group founded in 1990 by Environment America and its state-level affiliates.  NELC represents local, state, and national citizen and environmental organizations in public interest enforcement actions against some of the nation’s worst polluters and many of the world’s largest corporations.

NELC’s litigation is primarily in federal court.  NELC attorneys have brought over 60 cases nationwide under the citizen enforcement provisions of the federal Clean Air Act, Clean Water Act, Endangered Species Act, and hazardous waste laws.  Through these cases, NELC has achieved far-reaching pollution reduction measures and secured record-setting civil penalty assessments, including the single largest penalty assessed in a citizen-initiated Clean Air Act suit.   NELC attorneys also write amicus briefs in federal circuit courts and the Supreme Court, and file federal regulatory challenges to countermand threats to environmental and public health protection.

NELC’s small staff of attorneys is dedicated to using our nation’s hallmark environmental laws to empower citizens to protect their communities from illegal pollution.  NELC investigates and litigates enforcement cases in a principled fashion, as part of the fight for a cleaner and more just society.  Penalty monies from NELC’s successful citizen suits are often directed to local environmental and public health projects to further remediate the affected areas.

Job Description

The litigation attorney will take responsibility for all aspects of NELC’s federal court litigation.  Although supervision is always available, there will be ample and immediate opportunity for considerable individual responsibility.  Working in conjunction with more senior staff, the litigation attorney will be responsible for:

  • Case development – including investigating facilities suspected of violating federal environmental statutes, and meeting with affected community members;
  • Legal research and drafting pleadings, briefs, and memoranda;
  • All facets of discovery and motion practice;
  • Working collaboratively with other NELC attorneys and staff, local counsel, clients, and lay and expert witnesses;
  • Preparing for and participating in hearings and trials;
  • Negotiating settlement agreements.


Candidates for this position should ideally have two to five years’ litigation experience.  Federal clerkship experience is also preferred.

Additional relevant experience, such as scientific, engineering, political, policy, legal, journalistic, or government experience, is a plus.  Advanced degrees in related fields may count toward a candidate’s professional experience.

Candidates should possess initiative, strong analytical ability, excellent writing and research skills, an excellent academic record, good judgment, the ability to work independently, and a strong commitment to environmental protection and corporate responsibility.  A healthy sense of humor, willingness to travel, and the ability to work collaboratively with a small group of dedicated, experienced attorneys are also essential.

Salary & Benefits

The salary for this position, though modest, is commensurate with pay scales within the public interest legal community and is based on relevant professional experience.  An outstanding benefits package includes health care coverage, educational loan assistance, a retirement plan, paid vacation and sick days, parental leave, and a dependent care assistance program.

To Apply:

Please send a compelling cover letter and resume to  Please specify the position for which you are applying in the subject line of the e-mail, and be sure to mention where you saw our job advertised.

The National Environmental Law Center (NELC) is an equal opportunity employer and will not discriminate against any employee or applicant on the basis of race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, age, sex, disability, pregnancy or veteran status.

To apply for this job email your details to