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Southwest Staff Attorney 

About the Organization At the Center for Biological Diversity, we believe that the welfare of human beings is deeply linked to nature - to the existence in our world of a vast diversity of wild animals and plants. Because diversity has intrinsic value, and because its loss impoverishes society, we work to secure a future for all species, great and small, hovering on the brink of extinction. We do so through science, law and creative media, with a focus on protecting the lands, waters and climate that species need to survive.

We want those who come after us to inherit a world where the wild is still alive!  

The Center for Biological Diversity seeks a Staff Attorney to join our team of attorneys, scientists, campaigners who are working to protect America's public lands and imperiled species in Arizona and New Mexico. The Staff Attorney will work closely with our Southwest team and other Center program staff. Multiple locations will be considered including Tucson, Phoenix, Santa Fe and Albuquerque and Prescott.

General position overview: The position will focus on achieving our goals of protecting and restoring rivers and riparian habitat in Arizona and New Mexico.

The position will involve using applicable laws, including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Federal Land Policy and Management Act, National Forest Management Act, Administrative Procedures Act, as well as New Mexico and Arizona environmental statutes to protect rivers, streams, riparian habitat and imperiled species from potential threats from livestock grazing, off road vehicles, water diversions, mining and other harmful proposals.

This position will support ecologically-based restoration projects that will benefit riparian and aquatic wildlife and ensure that Forest Service and BLM management plans prioritize riparian restoration. The position requires an individual with experience in public lands law and litigation.

Main duties:

  • Track, analyze and comment on harmful proposals including plan amendments/revisions and site-specific projects as appropriate.
  • Engage in administrative advocacy, such as commenting on proposed plans, projects, and rulemakings and the preparation of petitions for rulemaking.
  • Litigate as necessary to challenge projects harmful to rivers and riparian dependent wildlife in federal and state court.
  • Conduct field visits to assess projects field-truth livestock grazing impacts on habitat and threatened and endangered species.
  • Design and oversight of citizen science riparian monitoring program.
  • Ensure compliance with Endangered Species Act, as appropriate.
  • Participate in strategic planning and execution of both legal and campaign strategies.
  • Develop cases to further the goals of the Center's Southwest Program.
  • Work with regional, local and national partners.
  • Work with scientists and other related experts.
  • Work with relevant staff to prepare external communications; deliver effective messages to the media; and give talks at relevant conferences.

Benefits Package:

  • Paid generous medical, dental and vision plan.
  • Paid STD and LTD.
  • 403(b) plan with opportunity for match.
  • Relaxed work atmosphere.
  • Salary is commensurate with experience.

Application process: Please apply on our website by submitting a cover letter, a resume, references and a writing sample as a single document. The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please. Only candidates selected for interviews will be contacted.

The Center for Biological Diversity deeply values, and is committed to sustaining and promoting, both biological and cultural diversity. We welcome, embrace and respect diversity of people, identities and cultures. We are committed to fostering an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion. The Center believes staff and board diversity is critical to saving life on Earth.

We are an equal opportunity employer.

Position Requirements

Essential qualities, qualifications and skills desired:

  • At least 2 years experience as an environmental attorney.
  • Experience developing strategic litigation and litigating under relevant federal statutes, specifically: ESA, NEPA, NFMA, FLPMA, APA.
  • Working collaboratively with peers.
  • Knowledge of federal laws relating to public lands and endangered species management and protection.
  • Knowledge of and experience in working on rivers and livestock grazing a plus.
  • General knowledge of water law.
  • Knowledge of or ability to quickly get up to speed on biology of, and threats to southwest public lands and imperiled species.
  • Exceptional verbal and written communication skills.
  • Strong organizational skills.
  • Member of a state bar and willingness to become barred in Arizona and/or New Mexico
  • A strong work ethic and excellent time-management skills.
  • An identity as a self-starter with the ability to work independently and as a part of a team.
  • Passion for public lands, imperiled species, and water stewardship.
  • Ability and willingness to travel in the Southwest region.
Full-Time/Part-Time Full-Time  
Location Tucson, AZ  
Program(s) Public Lands  
Open Date 2/13/2020  
Keywords Litigation, Attorney, Administrative Advocacy, State and Federal Legislation Analysis, Public Lands, Endangered Species, Rivers  
EOE Statement We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.  

This position is currently not accepting applications.

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