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Northwest Environmental Defense Center (NEDC)

NEDC Staff Attorney Position

January 08, 2019

The Northwest Environmental Defense Center (“NEDC”) is seeking a staff attorney to help carry out the organization’s mission to protect water, air, and other natural resources in the Pacific Northwest from pollution and inadequate regulation, while providing hands-on learning opportunities to Lewis & Clark Law School students. 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, and serve on the staff and board of directors. The attorney will supervise students, including a 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 fosters a healthy amount of autonomy and encourages its staff to think creatively and craft innovative advocacy and legal strategies. The attorney will also work on media, administrative, fundraising, and communication activities.

NEDC values diverse perspectives and experiences, and seeks candidates who will help foster an equitable and inclusive organization. NEDC encourages attorneys to apply who will contribute to an equitable and inclusive atmosphere regardless of differences based on race, ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical ability, marital or family situation and socioeconomic background.


  • 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 $50,000-$60,000 annual salary depending on experience, health insurance reimbursement, retirement plan options, four weeks of paid vacation, a bike and dog-friendly office space, and a flexible work environment. NEDC will consider requests for part-time or alternative work schedules from candidates with considerable litigation and leadership experience.


Applicants should submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references as a single PDF to Application deadline is Friday, February 1, 2019 at 5 p.m.