Climate Defense Project (CDP) is seeking a full-time staff attorney to support its criminal defense and fossil fuel divestment programs, and to develop new programs in alignment with CDP’s mission, philosophy, and capacity. CDP is a small 501(c)(3) nonprofit that uses a movement-centered approach to climate-legal advocacy and promotes under-recognized arguments with the potential to be transformative. CDP began by advancing the climate necessity defense through collaborative representations of climate protesters; since then, our work has expanded to include partnering with student-led campaigns to file “divestment complaints” with state attorneys general — which outline potential violations of charitable fiduciary laws by colleges and universities invested in fossil fuels — and advising climate activist campaigns on subjects related to civil disobedience, nonprofit incorporation, and risk management.
Job duties may include the following:
- Remote and in-person criminal defense trial support for climate-related civil disobedience actions scattered around the country, including direct legal representation and collaborative work with partner attorneys (this work may include writing briefs, recruiting expert witnesses, and occasionally traveling to places where protest actions and/or trials are scheduled to take place)
- “Know your rights” trainings for climate protesters
- Support for fossil fuel divestment campaigns, including introductory Zoom calls, collaborative writing of complaints, and regular email correspondence
- Support for fossil fuel divestment-related civil litigation in a small number of jurisdictions
- Development and implementation of new program areas in consultation with CDP’s executive director and existing staff attorney
- Supervision of interns, volunteers, and/or fellows
- Public speaking and writing, including presentations, interviews, and articles for the popular press
- Various nonprofit administrative tasks, including expense-tracking, fundraising activities such as grant-writing and reporting, and regular communication with CDP’s board
- At least five years of experience as a movement lawyer, preferably with a focus on criminal defense; other relevant movement-focused legal experience also considered
- Fluency with concept of intersectionality and importance of diverse voices in climate movement, particularly voices from under-represented racial and economic backgrounds
- Strong research and writing skills
- Demonstrated track record of creative legal thinking and interest in developing relatively novel climate-legal theories
- Openness to occasional work-related travel
- Residence in greater San Francisco Bay Area (or willingness to relocate there) strongly preferred
- Bar license in California (or willingness to become barred in California) preferred
Benefits: We offer a 401(k) plan. We do not have an employer-sponsored health plan; for CA residents, health insurance may be obtained through Covered CA.
More info about CDP: CDP is an LGBTQ-friendly employer with transparent compensation, a relatively flat hierarchical structure, and an informal culture. We began as three friends who met in law school and decided to do something different after graduating; six years later, we retain two of our original co-founders and hope to welcome someone new to our team. We are grant-funded and do all of our work on a pro bono basis. You can learn more about CDP here.
How to apply: Interested candidates may send a resume, cover letter, writing sample, and list of three references to email@example.com.