Staff Attorney

View a more easily readable PDF of this job description here. 

About Oregon Wild: 

Oregon Wild is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect and restore Oregon's wildlands, wildlife, and waters as an enduring legacy for future generations.  

Founded in 1974, Oregon Wild’s victories include safeguarding over 1.8 million acres of Wilderness and 1,800 miles of Wild & Scenic Rivers through federal legislation, protecting hundreds of thousands of acres of old-growth forests, and the preservation and recovery of numerous endangered species, from coho salmon to gray wolves. Oregon Wild enjoys a national reputation as a groundbreaking organization that is both highly strategic and effective, with strong policy expertise. Oregon Wild is consistently included in Oregon Business magazine’s “100 Best Nonprofits to Work For in Oregon” list, based on survey results from our staff.

Commitment to Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion: 

Oregon Wild is committed to building a more equitable, diverse, and inclusive organization and society, and we are actively recruiting and encouraging applicants from a broad range of backgrounds and communities to apply for this position. We recognize that important voices have been missing from the environmental movement for far too long and the need to create a more welcoming environment at Oregon Wild and in the conservation community. Our organization believes that by embracing, respecting, and valuing individuals regardless of their race, sex, sexual orientation, religion, national origin, ancestry or any other factor, we can become a stronger, more effective defender of Oregon’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters. Read more about our organizational values here: www.oregonwild.org/values

General Position Summary:

The Staff Attorney will have a leadership role in Oregon Wild’s work to defend our state’s wildlands, wildlife, and waters through citizen enforcement of state and federal environmental laws. Oregon Wild has a 50-year record of accomplishment in using strategic litigation as a tool to protect old-growth forests, roadless wildlands, endangered species, and free flowing rivers. Working with our Conservation Director and Conservation and Restoration Coordinator, and other team members across the state, this position will build on that legacy and address current and future threats to Oregon’s public lands, wildlife habitat, and our climate.

The Staff Attorney will manage the Oregon Wild litigation docket and coordinate with conservation partners and external counsel to achieve our goals. The person in this position will also work to link our defensive work to our proactive campaigns to strengthen environmental safeguards, turning defense into offense. As necessary, the Staff Attorney will represent Oregon Wild directly in litigation. This position reports to the Conservation Director.

Qualifications:

The successful candidate will have at least two years of experience in litigation and public lands defense, and have the following professional characteristics:

  • Law degree and admitted to the bar in Oregon, or the ability and willingness to promptly pursue bar certification
  • At least 1-2 years experience representing clients in litigation, preferably conservation litigation in federal court
  • Expertise in state and federal Administrative Procedure Act and environmental laws, including the Endangered Species Act, National Environmental Policy Act, National Forest Management Act, and Northwest Forest Plan
  • Experience tracking federal projects, participating in the NEPA process, and negotiating settlements
  • A deep commitment to the mission of Oregon Wild

Core Duties and Responsibilities:

Litigation

  • Develops and brings legal challenges to timber sales and other projects that threaten federal public lands, at times working with partner organizations.
  • Develops and brings legal challenges to protect threatened and endangered species and their habitat, using both federal and state laws.
  • Conducts ongoing research of statues, rulemaking, case law, and legal precedent to develop legal and administrative strategies to address failures of state and federal environmental policies.
  • Supports Oregon Wild’s state-level wildlife and forest advocacy with legal analysis.
  • Coordinates with partners at public interest law firms and independent attorneys to maximize impact and efficiency of litigation efforts.
  • Working with other staff, develops comprehensive political, legal, and communications strategies to support litigation.
  • Maintains membership in the Oregon State Bar and stays up to date with continuing legal education requirements.

Public Lands Defense

  • Works closely with the Conservation and Restoration Coordinator to ensure effective NEPA watchdogging, public comments, objections/appeals and building administrative records useful in litigation.
  • Spearheads recruitment and supervision of legal interns to support NEPA commenting and litigation efforts.
  • Coordinates with the Conservation and Restoration Coordinator and Oregon Wild field staff to ground truth projects, establish standing, and develop potential litigation strategies.
  • Creates strategies and tactics to connect forest defense and wildlife work with proactive, protective campaigns (turning defense into offense).

Coalitions and Partners

  • Represent Oregon Wild in coalitions focused on the Northwest Forest Plan, old-growth defense, O&C lands, and other key regional conservation issues.
  • Represent Oregon Wild in national coalitions and campaigns to defend bedrock environmental laws, such as NEPA, ESA, and NFMA.

Pay and Benefits:

This is a full-time exempt position with flexible geographic location within Oregon with a preference for the Portland, Eugene, or Bend areas. The salary range for this position is $65,000 to $72,000 per year. Benefits include paid medical, dental, vision, alternative care, and life insurance; 403(b) retirement plan option; and generous vacation and other paid time off including 10 paid holidays, an initial four weeks of vacation that increases with tenure, and sabbatical eligibility after five years.

Instructions for applying:

Please fill out the form below and separately submit a cover letter, resume, and references consolidated into a single PDF or Word document to attorney@oregonwild.org. Review of completed applications will begin on May 18 and continue until the position is filled.

Important Note About COVID-19

Oregon Wild is a fully vaccinated workplace, and COVID-19 vaccination is required upon hire unless a reasonable accommodation is requested and granted. We have extensive paid sick leave that can be used for vaccination appointments and possible side effects from these vaccines. Please be aware of this requirement upon applying for this position.