Staff Attorney

Seeking Staff Attorney to develop and execute Riverkeeper’s legal and policy work.

Job Announcement: Columbia Riverkeeper, Staff Attorney
join our team, staff attorney

Organizational Overview: Columbia Riverkeeper (Riverkeeper) is a successful nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting and restoring the Columbia River watershed. Riverkeeper has offices in Hood River and Portland, Oregon. Riverkeeper is a leader in high-profile campaigns to protect our region from fossil fuel infrastructure, toxic pollution, the Hanford Nuclear Site, and other threats facing Columbia River communities and salmon habitat.

Location: Hood River or Portland, OR; possibility of working remotely from Olympia or Seattle, WA.

Status: Full-time employee; Exempt Position.

Position Description: The Staff Attorney is responsible for working with Riverkeeper’s staff to develop and execute Riverkeeper’s legal and policy work, including representing Riverkeeper in litigation and administrative processes. The Staff Attorney’s work plan focuses on campaigns to protect the Columbia from fracked gas, oil-by-rail, and other fossil fuel infrastructure. The position is designed for an attorney with at least three years of litigation or staff attorney experience. Preference will be given to candidates who have experience with public interest environmental and land use litigation in Washington or Oregon and a demonstrated commitment to environmental justice. The position requires occasional evening and weekend work and travel.


  • Develop and Execute Legal and Policy Strategies to Advance Campaigns: The Staff Attorney will work with Riverkeeper’s staff of attorneys, community organizers, and communications specialists to develop and execute campaigns to protect the Columbia River. This will include drafting correspondence to, and meeting with, agency and elected officials.
  • Litigate: The Staff Attorney will represent Riverkeeper in litigation. This may include researching and drafting memoranda, pleadings, motions, and briefs, as well as representing Riverkeeper in court.
  • Communicate Legal and Policy Work to Members and Public: The Staff Attorney will communicate Riverkeeper’s legal and policy work to Riverkeeper’s members and the public by helping to draft and edit newsletters, emails, fact sheets, issue papers, website posts, press releases, and other outlets.
  • Communicate with Tribal Agency Staff and Attorneys: The Staff Attorney will maintain regular communications with attorneys and agency staff at Columbia River tribes on ongoing campaign matters of interest to tribes, as well as emerging issues.
  • Supervise: The Staff Attorney will supervise and mentor volunteers and interns on a periodic basis. Depending on experience, the Staff Attorney may supervise other employees.
  • General Counsel: The Staff Attorney will occasionally conduct legal research on nonprofit organizational matters and will obtain and oversee input from outside counsel.
  • Development: The Staff Attorney will occasionally assist in fundraising, including applying for and reporting on grants for the organization.

Desired Qualifications and Skills:

  • Demonstrated interest in public interest advocacy and environmental justice.
  • Three years or more experience as a practicing attorney, including strong litigation experience.
  • Excellent writing, communication, research, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Attention to detail and time management skills, including demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Proven ability to work independently and in a team environment.
  • Understanding of and commitment to advancing equity, diversity, and inclusion.
  • Experience supervising staff or interns preferred.
  • Member of Oregon or Washington State Bar preferred.

Salary & Benefits: $50,000 to $65,000 starting annual salary, depending on experience. Benefits include full medical and dental coverage, a generous vacation package, paid federal holidays, 401k, paid state bar association dues, annual continuing legal education allowance, and an encouraging and flexible work environment.

To Apply: Email a cover letter, resume, at least three references, and a short writing sample that is entirely your own work to with the subject line “Staff Attorney Job.” If possible, please combine the cover letter, resume, references, and writing sample into a single PDF attachment titled “Last Name.First Name Staff Attorney.”

Application Deadline: February 6, 2019.

Start date:  Flexible, prefer immediate.

PDF of Job Announcement