Staff & Senior Attorneys - CA Oil & Gas (TWO Openings)

Center for Biological Diversity

Oakland, California

Job Type Permanent
Salary Details $69,000-$125,000 DOE


The Center for Biological Diversity currently has TWO attorney vacancies in our Climate Law Institute to advance legal strategies to reduce oil and gas pollution and decrease the damage this dying industry does in California on its way out the door. These are hybrid positions, located in Oakland, Sacramento, or Los Angeles, California; other locations considered on a case-by-case basis.

Staff Attorney (min 3 years litigation experience) salary range: $69,000-$85,000 DOE 

Senior Attorney (min 8 years litigation experience) salary range: $85,000-$125,000 DOE

General position overview:

The Climate Law Institute wages innovative legal and grassroots campaigns to protect people, wildlife and ecosystems from climate change and the fossil fuel industry. We work at every level, from international climate negotiations to federal and state litigation to local ballot measures, to eliminate greenhouse gas pollution and speed a just transition to 100 percent clean, renewable energy. The Climate Law Institute is looking to add two attorneys to its team, based in California. These attorneys will work on administrative and policy advocacy, state litigation, and grassroots and media outreach, to reduce oil and gas pollution and ensure the proper decommissioning and remediation of oil and gas infrastructure. These positions will work closely with other team members, including legal, science, organizing, and communications staff.


Main duties:

  • Work with our team and allies to develop and implement the most effective legal and regulatory interventions to reduce oil and gas pollution and ensure that polluters pay to properly decommission and remediate their oil and gas infrastructure in California.
  • Track, monitor, and influence legislation and regulatory and policy processes related to oil and gas pollution, including but not limited to commenting on proposed rulemaking and preparing petitions for rulemakings.
  • Advocate in administrative processes, including but not limited to, commenting on proposed oil and gas projects and rulemakings.
  • Litigate cutting-edge cases under the California Environmental Quality Act and other laws, including the National Environmental Policy Act, Endangered Species Act, and the Clean Air Act.
  • Build and maintain and open line of communication with regulatory agencies with the goal of advancing our policy priorities.
  • Build and maintain strong relationships with key allies and advocate common goals, including measures to achieve justice and equity in the energy transition.
  • Prepare communications such as press releases, op-eds, fact sheets, and white papers, and respond to inquiries and interview requests from journalists.
  • Work with team members to plan and coordinate campaigns.

Essential qualities, qualifications and skills:

  • Licensed to practice law in California.
  • Minimum three years civil litigation experience; minimum eight years civil litigation experience to qualify as a Senior Attorney.
  • Excellent legal research, writing and oral advocacy skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to manage a litigation docket, including, for Senior Attorney, experience as lead attorney on cases.
  • Demonstrated ability to work effectively with colleagues and organizations with a wide array of goals, perspectives, and backgrounds. Committed to incorporating principles of justice, equity, and inclusion into all aspects of the work.
  • Demonstrated ability to work both independently and with a team.
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and think creatively about policy and strategic campaigning.
  • Strong organizational skills and an ability to succeed in a fast-paced environment with a full workload where it is necessary to balance multiple tasks and deadlines.
  • Interest in climate policy, transportation and land use policy, and biodiversity protection.
  • Willingness to travel, at times on short notice.

Preferred qualifications, skills, and qualities:  

  • Experience with environmental statutes such as the California Environmental Quality Act, National Environmental Policy Act, Energy Policy Conservation Act, Endangered Species Act, and/or Clean Air Act.
  • Ability to supervise and mentor staff attorneys, legal fellows and clerks and/or paralegals.
  • Existing relationships and experience working with environmental-justice and community-based organizations. We especially encourage candidates who hold first-hand experience or meaningful, trusted relationships with communities impacted by fossil fuel production and combustion.
  • Familiarity with the scientific literature on climate change.
  • Experience with media outreach and interviews.


In-person req. (versus remote work) - Occasionally

Travel Required - Occasionally

Reading - Constantly

Typing - Constantly

Sitting - Frequently

Lift/Carry 0 – 25 lbs. - Rarely

Lift/Carry 25 – 75 lbs. - Never

Hiking - Never

Walking - Never

Speaking - Frequently


  • Fully paid medical premiums for staff, and greatly discounted for families.
  • Fully paid dental and vision premiums for staff and their families.
  • Generous employer contribution to HSA and HRA’s.
  • Center paid premiums for Short Term and Long Term Disability provided for all staff.
  • Center paid premiums for Basic Life Insurance for all staff.
  • Discounted premiums for pet discount program.
  • 403(b) plan with employer match and increasing employer paid contributions.
  • Generous time off policies, including 13 paid holidays per year, 5 “personal” days per year and 10 paid sick days awarded each year.
  • Vacation accrual starts at 15 days annually, but it may be higher commensurate with experience.
  • Center Paid Time Off for parental leave, personal leave, caretaker leave and even pet caretaker leave.
  • After 5 years of service, all employees receive a 12-week paid sabbatical.
  • Relaxed work atmosphere and dress code.


The Center for Biological Diversity deeply values, and is committed to sustaining and promoting, both biological and cultural diversity. We welcome, embrace and respect diversity of people, identities and cultures. We are committed to fostering an organizational culture of diversity and inclusion. The Center believes staff and board diversity is critical to saving life on Earth.

We are an equal opportunity employer. 


Please apply via the job posting on our website: https://biologicaldiversity.bamboohr.com/careers/87?source=aWQ9MzE%3D

When you apply, please indicate that you are responding to the posting on Conservation Job Board.

Category Policy And Law, Sustainability
Tags Permitting, Outreach, Climate Change