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Senior Attorney

Oakland, CA

Senior Attorney

California, DC, or Gulf Coast preferred, remote.

Application Deadline:

May 15, 2024 (early preference), and May 24, 2024 (all applicants)


The Center for Biological Diversity seeks an experienced full-time staff attorney for our oceans program. The staff attorney will work as part of a team using law and advocacy to address threats and increase marine wildlife and habitat protections. The oceans program leverages our bedrock environmental laws to protect coral reefs, sea turtles, whales and other marine animals. The attorney will work primarily on cutting edge and novel approaches to address offshore drilling, including fierce advocacy to hold agencies and operators accountable for the impacts of oil and gas pollution. The ideal candidate will have excellent leadership, writing, and public speaking skills with an ability to think strategically and creatively.


  • Develop and litigate cases in state and federal court targeted at offshore oil and gas to gain results that will protect marine species and habitats.
  • Build relationships and work with policy leaders, conservation organizations, and frontline communities to advance initiatives to phase out and clean-up offshore drilling developments.
  • Advocate for administrative and legislative policies through scientific and legal comments, oral testimony, policy analysis, petitions for rulemaking, and effective communications.
  • Communicate with the media, decision-makers, the public, allies and opinion leaders through writing, outreach and public speaking.
  • Develop expertise in the technical aspects of energy policy, oil production and decommissioning obligations, corporate law related to environmental accountability and compliance, state and federal regulatory bodies and oversight.
  • Investigate and monitor offshore drilling activities to watchdog that government regulators and industry operators are adhering to requirements.


We are seeking a relentless, proactive advocate who excels at taking a leadership role in complicated initiatives and building relationships to advance a rapid phase out and clean-up of offshore oil and gas activities.

  • Strong leadership skills that can produce results through strategic thinking, self-motivation, project management, and inspiring the action of others to achieve impactful outcomes.
  • At least eight years of civil litigation experience, environmental law preferred, and member of the California, District of Columbia, or other relevant bar.
  • Excellent writing, communication, research, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Strong work ethic and time management skills with an ability to manage a busy docket while engaging in a variety of other advocacy efforts.
  • Ability to work independently and as a part of an effective team.
  • Ability to work in cross-cultural settings, with competency in diversity and inclusion.
  • Demonstrated commitment and passion for securing wildlife and environmental protections.


This position is available for remote work, but it will require travel for meetings, site visits, public speaking, and court appearances.


  • 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 online by completing our application and submitting a cover letter, resume, and reference list. The position will remain open until filled. The desired start date is as soon as possible. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please.

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