Position Title: Legal Assistant

Location: Washington, DC 

Reports To: General Counsel/Other Senior Attorney

Application Deadline: Rolling until filled; we will begin reviewing applications on July 28, 2021

Summary Description

EarthRights seeks a highly organized and motivated individual to assist its U.S. legal team in our litigation and other work on behalf of communities around the world. Under the supervision of EarthRights’ attorneys, the Legal Assistant will perform administrative and support tasks for litigation and other projects, as well as non-legal and paralegal research as needed. The Legal Assistant will be based out of EarthRights’ Washington, D.C., office, but may work in coordination with legal staff in other offices in Peru and Southeast Asia. The Legal Assistant will learn about EarthRights’ legal work in defending human rights and the environment around the world, some details about the mechanics of litigation, and substantive knowledge about EarthRights’ ongoing projects.

Roles and Responsibilities

NOTE: All in-person tasks are contingent on public health conditions.

  • Maintaining and organizing files and databases related to legal cases, legal advocacy projects, and other organization-wide projects.
  • Maintaining task lists and monitoring deadlines for litigation and other complex projects.
  • Proofreading, cite-checking, formatting, developing tables of contents for, printing, and filing legal documents as needed.
  • Developing systems and tools for the better functioning of EarthRights’ legal team.
  • Interpretation or translation (if appropriate to skills).
  • Supporting hiring processes for positions on the legal team. 
  • Performing non-legal and paralegal research about issues relating to ongoing lawsuits and legal claims; drafting internal memos based on findings.
  • Completing general administrative and writing assignments to support EarthRights’ various advocacy campaigns and legal work.
  • Providing accompaniment to visiting clients and partners. 
  • Visiting libraries and courts to obtain materials related to legal projects as needed.
  • Assisting other Washington D.C. office staff on an as-needed, project-by-project basis.

Qualifications and Experience

  • Strong organizational and time-management skills, including ability to anticipate needs and manage up as necessary
  • Strong attention to detail 
  • Proficiency in standard computer programs, such as Word and Excel
  • Excellent online research skills
  • Professionalism, responsiveness, innovative and creative thinking skills, and the maturity and judgment to contribute to work that may be confidential and sensitive in nature
  • Commitment to protecting human rights and the environment
  • The ability to multi-task and prioritize projects from multiple people/teams based on importance, urgency, etc.
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills
  • Ability to work with others in a dynamic, flexible team environment

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Spanish language skills, including oral and written translation ability, strongly desired; other relevant languages may include Chinese, Gujarati, Myanmar, Thai, Vietnamese, Portuguese and French
  • A passion for and commitment to justice and representing clients fighting powerful adversaries
  • Experience working with civil society organizations and a diverse range of people and groups
  • Experience working with attorneys and with legal documents
  • Media, advocacy, and/or campaign experience
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Access
  • Notary Public certification

Work Authorization

  • United States (Required)


  • Employer-sponsored medical insurance (dependent coverage available)
  • 100% employer-paid dental and vision insurance coverage (dependent coverage available)
  • 14 weeks paid maternity/paternity leave for eligible employees
  • 15 days of vacation & 12 sick days per year
  • 12 paid federal holidays; office closed from December 24 – January 1
  • Flexible Spending Plan (FSA)
  • Generous employer non-elective retirement contribution
  • Employee wellness benefits and transportation benefits
  • A casual environment


Full-time for at least one year. As with many nonprofit jobs, this position is funded by grants; we hope for long-term funding but that is not currently guaranteed.

How to Apply


Candidates should send an email with the subject line “Legal Assistant 2021” to apply-us-legal@earthrights.org with the following documents, in MS Word or PDF format. You must use the designated subject header, or your application may not be received:

  • One-page cover letter, which should provide some answer to these questions: Why do you want to work for EarthRights International? What are your career goals?
  • Resume or CV (no longer than 2 pages)
  • The names and contact information for two references, who should have some knowledge of the relevant skills required.
  • Once your application has been submitted, please go to this link and fill out the demographic survey questions: https://forms.gle/CDfQSYnCowWk9iAM9 

This information will not be linked to your individual application in any way, but helps EarthRights evaluate our efforts at recruiting a diverse set of candidates.

We will acknowledge applications received, although the acknowledgement may not be immediate. We will contact those candidates selected for the interview stage. Due to the volume of applications, not all applicants will receive an interview. Additional materials may be requested at later points in the process.

EarthRights International is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices, and actively encourages people of color, women, people with disabilities, and LGBTQI people to apply.