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Staff Attorney, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Posted 2 years ago

July 2021

WHO WE ARE: The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy has been the leading legal and scientific voice for Minnesota’s environment since 1974. We work in the courts, regulatory agencies and at the legislature to defend clean water and to create a livable climate for our children. MCEA is a rapidly growing nonprofit that seeks to supports its employees through a commitment to a living wage, a good benefits package, and regular opportunities for professional growth and development. MCEA is proud to have been featured on the 2021 Best Nonprofits to Work For list by the Nonprofit Times. We value diversity, equity, an inclusive culture, and respect in the workplace.

POSITION SUMMARY: We seek a staff attorney with zero to three years of experience who is committed to justice, equity, and the environment to join our team of top-notch lawyers. The Staff Attorney will litigate in state and federal courts and administrative agencies and provide legal advice to MCEA and other clients.  In addition, as appropriate, the Staff Attorney will assist with legislative advocacy, act as a liaison to outside pro bono counsel, law clerks, concerned citizens and other advocacy organizations, work with the Legal Committee of MCEA’s Board, and provide assistance to MCEA’s Chief Legal Officer.


  1. Work with Chief Legal Officer and program staff to serve MCEA’s legal needs, including analyzing potential cases, researching and developing legal strategies, litigating, and providing day to day legal advice.
  2. Represent MCEA and other client organizations in administrative and court actions.
  3. Engage in legislative and administrative advocacy, including reviewing proposed legislation and rules, meeting with legislators and agency staff, and providing written and oral testimony.
  4. Work independently and as member of project teams, assuming responsibility for project leadership as well as tasks as assigned. Exhibit superb work discipline, including planning and implementing strategic actions, meeting internal and external deadlines, using good time management and organizational skills, and meeting all professional obligations and office requirements.
  5. In conjunction with the Director of Public Engagement, devise and implement appropriate media strategies for cases and other advocacy projects.
  6. Stay abreast of emerging trends in environmental law and significant environmental cases.
  7. Assist development staff as needed in communicating with funders.
  8. Work with the Legal Committee of MCEA’s Board of Directors as required by MCEA policy.


  1. Sound judgment with the ability to balance independent action with adequate communication to Chief Legal Officer and project team members.
  2. Good working relationship with MCEA staff, other clients, partners, outside counsel, and affected communities.
  3. Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of individuals from diverse cultures, backgrounds, and orientations.
  4. Positive contribution to the creation of a diverse, equitable, inclusive team-oriented work environment that celebrates differences.
  5. Clear, logical, and focused analysis and synthesis of issues and ability to identify and implement strategies that are practically and politically feasible.
  6. Creativity in addressing legal and policy problems and the ability to be reflective in assessing one’s own performance and growth.
  7. Excellent writing ability.


  1. J.D. degree and license to practice law.  (Current member of MN bar, or ability to promptly gain admission by motion or exam, required.)
  2. Zero to three years of legal experience.  (Environment and/or energy law experience and interest preferred.)
  3. Desire to litigate.
  4. Excellent writing and analytic skills.
  5. Commitment to public interest environmental advocacy and environmental justice.
  6. Commitment to creating a diverse and inclusive workplace and culture that values differences.

SALARY & BENEFITS: The salary range for this position depends on experience and starts at $67,500 annually. MCEA offers a great benefits package and generous paid time off.

REPORTS TO: This position reports to the Senior Supervising Attorney.

MCEA strives to create a mission-focused work environment that is equitable and inclusive. We offer a competitive nonprofit salary, including excellent benefits. MCEA highly values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer.


Please send cover letter explaining qualifications and interest, résumé, law school transcript, writing sample and references to by Monday, July 26, 2021.  You must submit materials directly to this email address. No applications via third party website (such as Indeed) will be accepted. Please include your name in the subject line of your email and also let us know how, or where, you learned of this opportunity.  

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