Staff Attorney – Climate & Energy

Remote (Colorado, United States) +5
Santa Fe, NM

Job Type: Full Time Exempt


Santa Fe, NM or Denver, CO

Remote work in other Intermountain West states will be considered depending on level of experience.

Position Summary

The American West with its millions of acres of public lands, incredible diversity of ecosystems, and vibrant healthy communities needs dedicated attorneys to protect it. At a time when so much of what we value is in peril, WildEarth Guardians seeks a dynamic and motivated public interest focused attorney to join our Litigation Team as a staff attorney. As part of the Guardians’ Litigation Team, the Staff Attorney will develop and litigate cases primarily for Guardians’ Climate & Energy Program.

Essential Duties & Responsibilities

  • Work with Guardians’ Climate & Energy Program to develop and implement legal strategies that meet the Program’s goals of exposing the true cost of oil and gas extraction and leverage environmental and health liabilities to support and sustain action to end fracking and keep fossil fuels in the ground.
  • Develop, evaluate, and implement Climate & Energy litigation by conducting factual and legal research, preparing and presenting technical administrative and legal comments, filing appeals challenging air pollution and other environmental permits for oil and gas facilities, and initiating and engaging in rule-making petitions related to the regulation of air, waste, and water.
  • Litigate cases in state court and at the administrative level, and assist in federal environmental enforcement actions with other staff attorneys.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with outside counsel representing Guardians and work cooperatively as co-counsel with outside counsel.
  • Manage and mentor legal interns and contract legal assistance when appropriate.
  • Willingness to travel within the United States for case-related matters. Guardians litigates in multiple western states including Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon, and Montana, as well as in the District of Columbia.

Knowledge, Skills & Qualifications

  • Current bar membership status in at least one western state or District of Columbia, required.
  •  5 years of experience in litigation or a combination of litigation-adjacent experience such as administrative appeals/advocacy, record review, commenting on agency actions, preferred.
  • Environmental and natural resources experience preferred. We will consider applicants with less than 5 years of litigation or litigation-adjacent experience where the applicant can demonstrate relevant, equivalent experience.
  • Ability to handle a busy litigation docket with a minimum of three cases pending at any given time.
  • Solid skills in organization; legal and non-legal writing, research, and analysis; and oral advocacy.
  • Passion for protecting the people, places, and the climate of the American West.
  • Demonstrated commitment to justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Proven ability to work independently as well as collaboratively.
  • Capacity to embrace conflict and cooperate without compromising Guardians’ values.
  • Emotional maturity and self-awareness.
  • Willingness to take calculated risks.
  • Integrity, kindness, and sense of humor.


$68,000 – 80,000 annual salary commensurate with experience.


WildEarth Guardians offers a flexible and generous benefits package for staff. Benefits for full-time staff include 100% medical and dental employee coverage paid for by the employer, vision, life, and disability coverage, a 403(b)-retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment, paid and unpaid health and family leave, a sabbatical policy, sick leave, three weeks paid vacation to start, and fourteen holidays including 5 floating holidays to be taken at any time. Benefits are prorated for part-time employees to correspond to the employee’s schedule: holiday, vacation, sick time, 403(b) retirement plan with a 3% match after 2 years of full-time employment. Part-time employees are not eligible for health coverage or sabbatical leave.

About WildEarth Guardians

Founded in 1989, WildEarth Guardians is a west-wide environmental advocacy organization headquartered in Santa Fe, NM. The organization has offices in Denver, CO, Missoula, MT, Boise, ID, Seattle, WA, Portland, OR, and Tucson, AZ, as well as several remote staff. We have a 33-year history of securing durable environmental protections that preserve endangered species and other wildlife, advance pioneering supply-side climate policy, ensure living rivers and protect public lands. We do this by pursuing innovative and sustained legal campaigns, bold and creative policy and legislative solutions at both the state and federal levels and by mobilizing grassroots and grasstops constituencies. All this work is in service of our mission to protect and restore wildlife, wild places, wild rivers, and health in the western U.S.

To Apply

Please apply by following the link on this page and fill out our application. You will be asked to provide 3 professional references.

You will also be asked to submit the following documents.

  2. A detailed COVER LETTER explaining (1) why you want to work for Guardians in general, and specifically on the Legal Team doing Climate and Energy work, (2) your experience litigating or developing litigation for environmental/natural resources cases (or equivalent experience in other areas of the law), and (3) your preferred office location;
  3. One LEGAL WRITING SAMPLE that is predominantly your work

No telephone calls, please. If you require assistance applying to this opportunity, please email

Deadline to Apply

Applications will begin being reviewed on 12/15/2022. All applications must be received by January 4th, 2023.

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