Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc.

Managing Litigator

Job Locations US-DC-Washington
Posted Date 1 month ago(3/11/2021 4:58 PM)
Job ID
# of Openings
Litigation [103000]


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.


Position Summary


NRDC’s Litigation Team is seeking to hire a Managing Litigator to lead the Washington, D.C. office branch of the team. The Managing Litigator will work closely with the Litigation Director and other team managers to set NRDC’s overall litigation strategy. The Managing Litigator also actively litigates critical cases, and mentors and supports the development of other litigators.


The Team is a group of approximately 30 lawyers and 8 litigation and operations assistants who pursue litigation across a broad range of environmental and public health issues and in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including Black, indigenous, and people of color, and low-income and rural communities). We have filed lawsuits resisting the Trump Administration’s efforts to dismantle environmental protections, including cases defending national monuments, challenging the suspension of clean water safeguards, opposing offshore drilling and seismic exploration, and protecting energy efficiency standards. We also have a growing docket of environmental enforcement cases against government and private party polluters. This has recently included cases to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.


This position is based in Washington, D.C. Since March 2020, NRDC’s physical offices have been closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Until circumstances allow us to re-open our offices, we will continue to support staff with remote working arrangements.


Management (approximately 50%)

  • Supervises multiple attorneys on the Litigation Team, including by ensuring timely feedback, acting as a mentor, promoting career development and training opportunities, and helping to manage case assignments and workload.
  • Builds and sustains the morale and cohesion of the Litigation Team, particularly the Washington, D.C., branch of the Team.
  • Cultivates a culture of excellence, close collaboration, collegiality, and learning.
  • Actively advances NRDC’s goals of diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Works with the Litigation Director and other team managers to determine litigation strategy, direction, and policies for the Litigation Team and NRDC.
  • Collaborates with colleagues across NRDC, including the Programs, Communications, and Development teams, to support NRDC’s mission.

Litigation (approximately 50%)

  • Litigates significant cases on behalf of NRDC and its allies, with the ability to lead all aspects of a case from initial development through briefing, oral argument, and other court hearings.
  • Supervises the litigation of others, providing guidance and support to achieve the highest quality standards while fostering teammates’ growth and development.
  • Works with NRDC lawyers, co-counsel, and others to refine litigation strategy and to coordinate with non-litigation advocacy.
  • Develops and nurtures relationships with NRDC’s advocacy programs and outside allies to identify and develop potential litigation.


  • Juris Doctorate degree and at least nine years of litigation experience, including substantial practice in federal courts.
  • Admission to the bar of the District of Columbia, or willingness and ability to obtain such admission promptly.
  • The ability to lead and inspire teams, to mentor and support less experienced lawyers and staff, to build collaborative and respectful relationships within the Litigation Team and across NRDC, and to foster a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.
  • A demonstrated ability to work, with sensitivity and awareness, with people of different backgrounds and identities than the applicant’s own, including race, gender, sexual identity or orientation, age, class, and disability.
  • Exceptional legal writing, analytical, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Creativity, resourcefulness, and humility.
  • Ability to travel when necessary.
  • A demonstrated commitment to public service, equity, or social justice work.
  • Commitment to NRDC’s values and mission.

To apply through our online portal, please select “apply for this job online,” create a profile or log into your existing account, and upload your resume. Then use the “additional documents” prompts to upload a short cover letter, a writing sample that does not reflect editing by others, and a list of three references. In your cover letter, please tell us how you found out about this posting. This posting will be open until April 12, 2021. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply soon.


NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.


We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with skills and experience. The job grade for this role is Litigation-Guides 3 with a salary range starting at $140,000. Internal equity considerations and the average salary of the peer range will be reviewed before making a final offer.


If you have technical questions or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.


For further information about NRDC, please visit


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