ABOUT THE WESTERN ENVIRONMENTAL LAW CENTER

The Western Environmental Law Center (WELC) is a leading nonprofit, public-interest environmental law firm. WELC has been celebrated as an Outside Magazine Best Place to Work, Oregon Business Magazine Best Nonprofit, a Law360 Environmental Group of the Year, and a Better Business Bureau Torch Award winner for ethics. We envision a thriving, resilient Western U.S., abundant with protected public lands and wildlife, powered by renewable energy, defended by communities rooted in an ethic of conservation, and committed to equity, inclusion, and justice. We achieve this vision with steady, strategic, and bold legal advocacy that turns the wheels of power at all levels of government. WELC seeks an attorney who graduated the University of Washington School of Law in 2020 or 2021, or will graduate in 2022, to join us for the next two years as our second Diehl Fellow, beginning in September, 2022. We strongly encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ candidates to apply.

POSITION SUMMARY

Location: Seattle, Washington.

Timeline: Review of applications will begin on December 9, 2021 but the position will remain open until filled.

The Diehl Fellow is an exempt, full-time, two-year position, beginning in September, 2022.  The Fellow is responsible for the following areas of focus:

  • Provide legal resources and support for communities overburdened by the impacts of historic and ongoing environmental racism.
  • Implement legal strategies to improve water quality throughout Washington, in particular in the Puget Sound region.
  • Help sustain and expand respect and trust-based relationships with communities seeking to advance equity and justice at the confluence of social, economic, and environmental issues.

In furthering these areas of focus, the Diehl Fellow will provide a full range of legal services to WELC’s clients. In addition, the Diehl Fellow will be asked to research and stay current with of the legal, policy, and scientific developments relevant to the Diehl Fellow’s work. This includes attendance at and participation in relevant conferences, continuing legal education courses, research, and monitoring of such developments. The Diehl Fellow will also develop and maintain strong, trusting, and effective relationships with WELC clients, partners, and allies involved in the Diehl Fellow’s docket.

Further, the Diehl Fellow will have the opportunity to participate in organization-wide strategic planning and contribute to action to expand and deepen our commitment to equity, inclusion, and justice. The Diehl Fellow will also support and coordinate with WELC leadership, development, communications, and finance staff to further the organization’s mission, including through advocacy updates, occasional assistance with fundraising activities, and representation of WELC in public and private settings, including conferences, partnerships, and meetings with foundation staff, private donors, and government decision-makers.

The Diehl Fellow will also contribute to communications strategies with members of the media, public, elected officials, and others about WELC and the relevant matters under representation. The Diehl Fellow will be encouraged and supported to identify and seize opportunities to share perspectives internally and externally and to be a leader on federal public lands, wildlife, and Indigenous legal and policy issues.

QUALIFICATIONS

We are keenly interested in considering a range of applicants with diverse lived experiences and who approach the world with kindness, imagination, and vision. We will happily consider applicants who offer an equivalent or alternative set of qualifications to fulfill this position’s responsibilities with the exception of the first two qualifications that follow.

  • Graduated with a law degree from the University of Washington School of Law in 2020, 2021, or 2022, and is seeking their first job as a public interest attorney or has completed a judicial clerkship.
  • Admission to and good standing with the Washington state bar or willingness to obtain membership to Washington state bar at the earliest opportunity.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Strong interest in using the law to support and protect communities and the environment.
  • Lived experience within, or working in partnership with, historically marginalized, frontline communities, and a commitment to developing and implementing legal strategies that further equity, inclusion, and justice.
  • Ability and willingness to act as a lead attorney on cases and projects and use a complete set of legal advocacy tools including litigation, collaboration, administrative engagement, and policy development.
  • Experience or interest in working on issues with varied and diverse stakeholders.
  • Dynamic and empathetic skills to foster relationships with partners, agencies, and communities. Demonstrated ability to work in complex, potentially high-conflict, multi-dimensional arenas including effective work with a broad array of organizations, individuals, personalities, and interests.
  • A commitment to furthering WELC’s mission and strategies and the public interest.

BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION

Western Environmental Law Center is an equal opportunity employer. We offer a flexible, friendly, team-based environment with immediate opportunities to shape organizational strategies, competitive salaries (the base salary for this position is $70,000, with increases above the base available for 2020 and 2021 law graduates), and an excellent benefits package, including health, vision, dental, life, and disability coverage (with WELC paying 100% of an employee’s premiums), a 401(k) retirement plan with a 4% WELC match, 22 days combined of paid annual vacation and personal leave on top of 13 days of paid holiday leave, paid sick leave, and a paid long-term leave policy (3 months family/sabbatical leave for every 5 years of employment).

TO APPLY

We encourage people of color, persons with disabilities, women, and LGBTQ+ applicants to apply. In particular, we seek candidates with lived experience with and knowledge of Washington state and its communities. Please email the following as PDF attachments by December 9, 2021 to :

  • 1-2 page cover letter addressed to Andrew Hawley, Senior Attorney;
  • Resume;
  • 3-5 professional references; and
  • 1-2 writing samples (preferably under 10 pages each) with at least 1 writing sample involving a legal memorandum, brief, or filing. An additional, non-legal writing sample is also welcomed to illustrate the candidate’s background, views, or ideas.

In their cover letter, applicants are strongly encouraged to tell us who they are, why they care about public interest work, and why they are interested in this public interest fellow position.