Staff Attorney – Brazil Project

Home / About Us / Careers / Staff Attorney – Brazil Project

Staff Attorney – Brazil Project

Location: Washington, DC, Peru

Position Title:  Staff Attorney – Brazil Project

Location: Washington, DC, or Lima, Peru

Reports To: Supervising Attorney or Amazon Program Director

Start Date: February 2021 or as soon as possible

Salary: Dependent on location

Application Deadline: Rolling; we will begin reviewing applications after December 15, 2020

EarthRights International, a nongovernmental, nonprofit organization that combines the power of law and the power of people in defense of human rights and the environment, is seeking a U.S. law school graduate for a Staff Attorney position in our Washington, DC or Lima, Peru, office starting in February 2021 or as soon as possible.

Summary Description

EarthRights International (EarthRights) is now seeking applications for a Staff Attorney to focus on outreach, network-building, and development of legal strategies arising out of Brazil. The Staff Attorney must be fluent in Portuguese; Spanish fluency is also desirable. The position may be located either in EarthRights’ Washington, DC  office, or our Lima, Peru office. A U.S. law degree (J.D. or LL.M.) is required.

Over the past 20 years, EarthRights 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. Our cases have set legal precedents, brought millions of dollars of compensation to survivors of human rights violations and industrial pollution, and changed the behavior of corporations and international institutions.

EarthRights’ current strategic plan focuses on Climate Justice & Accountability, Corporate Accountability, and Earth Rights Defenders. Our Brazil project focuses on each of these key areas. With respect to climate change, the Staff Attorney will be building relationships with Brazilian partners and exploring potential legal strategies, including potential litigation in the United States to support legal strategies in Brazil. On corporate accountability, the Staff Attorney will be working with established partners on corporate interference regarding food and beverage and public health policy in Brazil. The Staff Attorney will also be working to support environmental human rights defenders in Brazil (“earth rights” defenders), and working to include Brazilian advocates in EarthRights’ network of legal advocates in South America.

The position will begin as a 100% telework position until public health conditions permit returning to EarthRights offices, which will not be prior to July 2021. Travel to Brazil is expected once the public health situation allows this, and may include travel to indigenous communities as well as cities. Travel to and within the United States may also be necessary.

This is a grant-funded position with funding guaranteed through 2021, with continuation dependent on grant renewals.

Roles and Responsibilities 

  • Outreach to and development of relationships with partners in Brazil.
  • Under the supervision of more senior members of EarthRights’ legal teams, development and implementation of legal strategies relating to climate change and corporate accountability in Brazil.
  • Work on U.S. litigation, especially discovery actions under 28 U.S.C. § 1782, to support cases in Brazil.
  • Support for earth rights defenders in Brazil and integration of these partners into EarthRights’ networks.
  • Communicate EarthRights’ work through web content and media contacts.

Responsibilities may also include

  • Assistance with other aspects of legal and advocacy work in EarthRights’ U.S. and/or Amazon legal program.
  • Travel in the U.S. to attend court hearings and appear in court on behalf of clients.
  • Travel in Brazil, including potentially to Indigenous communities, to meet with partners and clients.
  • Speaking on behalf of EarthRights in various venues, including presentations at EarthRights trainings.
  • Collaborating on EarthRights publications and assisting  with EarthRights events.
  • Supervision of legal fellows or law student interns on legal research projects.
  • Assisting with other EarthRights programs as needed, including shared administrative, development, and communications tasks.

Required Qualifications and Experience

  • A U.S. law degree (J.D. or LL.M.)
  • Fluent Portuguese language skills
  • At least 1-2 years of experience using the law on issues of climate change, corporate accountability, environmental protection, human rights defenders, international law, Indigenous peoples’ rights, and/or related fields
  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to work in teams
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion 

Desired Skills and Experience

  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Experience with civil law jurisdictions, especially Brazil
  • Experience with U.S. litigation
  • Experience with the Inter-American human rights system
  • Strong research and writing skills
  • Good judgment and initiative

Work Authorization

Authorization to work in the U.S. or Peru (EarthRights will cooperate in obtaining work authorization where necessary, but this is the responsibility of the applicant)

Benefits

Some benefits depend on whether the position is located in the United States or Peru, but in either case will include:

  • 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, 9 sick days and 3 personal days per year
  • Medical leave benefits
  • 12 paid holidays in addition to office closure from December 24 – January 1
  • Retirement plan
  • Employee wellness benefits and transportation benefits

How to Apply

PLEASE FOLLOW ALL INSTRUCTIONS CAREFULLY.

Candidates should send an email with the subject line “Staff Attorney – Brazil Project” to apply-us-legal@earthrights.org with the following documents, in MS Word or PDF format, each attached separately. You must use the designated subject header, or your application may not be received:

  • Cover letter, which should be written specifically for this position, between 250-500 words, and include the following:
    • Brief description of any prior experience in or with Brazil or South America
    • Explanation of your interest in at least one of EarthRights’ three key issue areas: Climate Justice and Accountability, Earth Rights Defenders, and Corporate Accountability
  • Resume or CV (no longer than 2 pages)
  • Transcript from U.S. law school (unofficial transcripts are okay), if you are within 3 years of your law school graduation (otherwise, this is optional). If there is anything on your transcript that you believe would benefit from further explanation, you may also submit an optional supplementary explanation (no more than 250 words).
  • Do not send references. These may be requested at a later point in the process.

We will acknowledge applications received, and will contact those candidates selected for the interview stage starting in early-January. Interviews will be conducted in January. Due to the volume of applications, not all applicants will receive an interview. Additional materials may be requested at later points in the process. It is our intention to make initial offers by late February.

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.

For more information on the work of EarthRights International visit www.earthrights.org