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Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC)

NEDC Staff Attorney Position

May 02, 2017





The Northwest Environmental Defense Center (“NEDC”) is seeking a full-time staff attorney to help carry out the organization’s mission of protecting natural resources and the environment in the Pacific Northwest.  The attorney’s primary duties will be developing and litigating federal and state cases, and representing NEDC in agency meetings, public hearings, and administrative proceedings.  This work typically includes Clean Water Act enforcement actions against polluters, and challenging unlawful regulatory permits.  The attorney will also assist with air quality research and advocacy, including working to reform air toxics regulations in Oregon.   


While NEDC is an independent 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, students and professors at Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon, launched the organization in 1969 and are integral to the organization’s work and success.  Student volunteers work on substantive projects, serve on the staff and board of directors, and help with fundraising events.  The attorney will supervise students, including a student law clerk, and help them develop projects, review files, draft public comments, conduct legal research, and work on discrete litigation tasks.  The attorney is expected to work from NEDC’s office at the law school and be accessible to students.


The ideal candidate is a self-starter who is confident working independently and as part of a team.  The attorney will handle some pre-litigation and litigation tasks on his or her own, such as developing notice letters, engaging in settlement negotiations, and filing complaints.  However, NEDC largely relies on outside counsel to handle its cases, so the attorney will frequently serve as an in-house liaison and may assist or co-counsel with other attorneys on some cases.  NEDC allows for a healthy amount of autonomy and encourages its staff to think creatively and craft innovative advocacy and legal strategies.  As with most small non-profit organizations, the attorney will engage in media, administrative, fundraising, and communication activities.   




  • A law degree and three or more years of relevant litigation experience;
  • Admission to any state bar and a willingness to be licensed in Oregon within one year;
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills;
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest environmental advocacy; and
  • A passion for and experience with supervising law students on substantive projects. 




NEDC offers a salary that is competitive at the local level, health insurance reimbursement, four weeks of paid vacation, a bike and dog-friendly office space, and flexible working arrangements.




Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references as a single PDF to Applications will be accepted until the position is filled.