Senior Attorney

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Senior Attorney

Location: Washington, D.C.

Position title: Senior Attorney

Location: Washington, D.C.

Reports to: General Counsel

Target start date: As soon as possible

Application deadline: Rolling until filled; we will begin reviewing applications on 2/9/2018


Summary Description:

Over the past 20 years, ERI has built a reputation as one of the leading legal organizations representing communities and individuals from around the world whose rights, livelihoods and homelands are harmed by corporations, financial institutions and governments.  Our lawyers have worked closely with our clients, co-counsel, partner NGOs, campaigners and others to bring groundbreaking lawsuits and pursue legal advocacy to provide remedies and ensure legal accountability.  Recently, the landscape of corporate accountability and power in the US has changed, and we are increasingly representing and defending US-based clients and communities.  In particular, the increase in aggressive legal tactics, including SLAPP and RICO suits by corporations against NGOs and activists, has required us to expand our programs to include legal defense as well as our traditional corporate accountability litigation.

To respond to these new threats and support our ongoing work, ERI seeks a seasoned litigator who is capable of advocating both inside and outside the courtroom, as well as managing and mentoring junior attorneys, to join our legal team.  The Senior Attorney will coordinate ERI’s US legal defense efforts, working with partner organizations to provide rapid response legal support, representing clients, providing legal advice and counsel, and coordinating with co-counsel and partner organizations. The Senior Attorney will be expected to supervise staff, represent clients, support litigation, cultivate and manage strategic partnerships, provide expertise internally and externally, and leverage a variety of legal, policy, communications, and coalition-building strategies to further our goals.


Roles and responsibilities:

  • Develop, oversee and support litigation, both proactive and reactive/defensive litigation, on behalf of ERI’s clients both in the U.S. and from around the world ensuring highest quality work product
  • Review, edit and supervise legal team work to ensure the consistent production of high-quality work product in all litigation and advocacy materials
  • Supervise and mentor staff attorneys, legal fellows, and other team members providing oversight and expertise on a variety of litigation, policy, and communications activities
  • Conduct and supervise discovery activities, including depositions
  • Help staff to meet goals and deadlines, providing timely feedback and fostering a highly functioning, innovative and collaborative team environment
  • Work with General Counsel and Director to coordinate new/emerging legal defense network for SLAPP litigation against NGOs and activists
  • Work with staff in other programs to facilitate information flow, maintain collaborative work relationships across the organization and to ensure consistency and integration in support of ERI’s strategic priorities
  • Draft and edit briefs, memos, briefing documents, written comments, blogs and other written materials
  • Represent ERI and our clients in court hearings, public meetings and workshops, and other processes
  • Develop and maintain a working knowledge related to corporate litigation, SLAPPs, and RICO and monitor relevant ongoing activities affecting program goals;
  • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with relevant co-counsel, NGOs, and personnel of partner organizations,
  • Assist Development Department to provide timely and compelling reports, proposals and updates to funders, including representing ERI at donor meetings and conferences
  • Work in collaboration with the Communications Team to develop and align strategic messaging, and persuasively articulate the mission and goals of ERI’s litigation and legal defense in written and oral presentations, including at conferences and the media.

Required skills and experience:

  • A demonstrated commitment to justice and representing clients fighting powerful adversaries
  • Licensed to practice law in U.S. with D.C. bar membership or the ability to waive into the D.C. bar
  • Minimum 7-10 years’ experience of U.S. legal practice, including 3-5 years of significant litigation experience required, preferably on corporate accountability issues
  • Practical experience and knowledge of legal and policy issues surrounding one or more of the following areas: corporate accountability, human rights, environmental justice, climate change, First Amendment, SLAPP and/or RICO suits
  • Excellent legal research, analysis, writing and communication skills
  • Minimum 3 years’ supervisory experience of full-time professional staff, including mentoring and training junior staff
  • Proven ability to work independently and experience leading small teams
  • Demonstrated ability to manage multiple tasks simultaneously, handle a heavy workload, and track record of getting results
  • Demonstrated experience working with civil society organizations and a diverse range of people and groups
  • Ability to travel periodically and for extended periods
  • Ability to work well with clients and partners from a diverse range of ethnic, geographic, and cultural backgrounds
  • Commitment to anti-bias and nondiscrimination

Desirable skills and experience:

  • Sense of humor
  • Media, advocacy, campaign experience
  • Experience coordinating movements, coalitions or networks
  • Demonstrated success with external fundraising to support project goals
  • Ability to communicate effectively in one or more languages other than English, especially Spanish

We offer:

  • a competitive, non-profit sector salary and benefits
  • medical and dental insurance coverage
  • retirement and metro benefits
  • a casual and fun work environment


To apply

Submit cover letter, resume, writing sample, and a list of at least three references to [email protected].  You must include the subject header Senior Attorney.

EarthRights International is an equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices.


About EarthRights International

EarthRights International (ERI) is a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of earth rights. We specialize in fact-finding, legal actions against perpetrators of earth rights abuses, training for grassroots and community leaders, community organizing and advocacy campaigns. Through these strategies, ERI seeks to end earth rights abuses, to provide real solutions for real people, and to promote and protect human rights and the environment in the communities where we work.

ERI was founded in 1995 along the Thai-Burma border, using innovative legal strategies and mechanisms in order to bring justice to indigenous Burmese communities abused by the military regime and its corporate partners in the name of development.  Today, ERI has offices in Chiang Mai, Thailand; Washington D.C.; Lima, Peru; as well as staff based in Yangon, Myanmar and Phnom Penh Cambodia. Our diverse staff of approximately 60 full-time members is comprised of environmental and human rights lawyers, local human rights investigators, teachers, international campaigners, and community organizers.