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6 May 2020

Full-Time Staff Attorney – Marine Wildlife (Location Flexible)

Sea Shepherd Legal – Posted by Ocean Law Anywhere

Job Description


Sea Shepherd Legal is a growing nonprofit environmental law firm passionately committed to saving marine wildlife and habitats by helping to enforce, strengthen, and develop protective laws, treaties, policies, and practices worldwide. We firmly believe that it is our duty to provide a voice for marine wildlife. We uphold that duty by working to combat the mounting threats jeopardizing the vitality of the oceans.

Our core team consists of attorneys and policy specialists who are supported by multi-disciplinary and sectoral allies, including scientific advisors, investigators, law school environmental programs, and government officials.  We share an overarching mission with our sister organizations, Sea Shepherd Conservation Society and Sea Shepherd Global.  However, rather than employing direct action techniques, we accomplish our goals using legal and policy tools – for example, by helping government partners develop stronger laws for marine wildlife and litigating against agencies to ensure appropriate application of policies.

Working extensively on both international and domestic fronts, Sea Shepherd Legal has a developed a unique and multifaceted docket. General examples include:

  • Engaging in litigation in the United States and abroad to encourage the enhancement and proper application of sound environmental policy.
  • Combating marine wildlife crime in multiple countries by assessing relevant domestic and international law and providing training, briefing, and other support to government officials.
  • Actively participating in projects to help implement and strengthen international regimes such as CITES and CMS, by collaborating directly with relevant Secretariats and Member States.


Sea Shepherd Legal is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney who strongly shares our passion for the wild. The Staff Attorney is required to be based in the United States and will focus primarily on domestic litigation and policy.  However, there will likely be opportunities for the Staff Attorney to be involved in some of our extensive international work, which may require travel.   When not traveling, the Staff Attorney will likely fulfill their duties by telecommuting/working remotely.

The Staff Attorney will work to enhance protections for marine wildlife and habitats by participating in litigation, policy development, and associated public outreach.

Primary Duties of Position

  • Track, analyze, apply, develop, and enhance domestic legislation and regulations.
  • Litigate cases under state and federal laws including the APA, ESA, MMPA, and NEPA.
  • Comment on proposed rulemaking and preparation of petitions for rulemaking before federal and state agencies domestically, and via comparable avenues in foreign jurisdictions.
  • Engage with agency officials, UN body representatives, partner NGOs, and the general public.
  • Speak publicly at hearings, conferences, and other events.
  • Prepare communications such as press releases, blogs, position papers, and other materials.
  • Travel domestically and internationally.

Required Qualities, Qualifications, and Skills of Applicant

  • A demonstrated strong commitment to environmental protection.
  • A minimum of three years of legal experience, with a preference for a candidate with a litigation background, ideally complemented by environmental policy expertise.
  • Admitted to practice law in one or more jurisdictions within the United States.
  • Experience in application of the APA, ESA, MMPA, and NEPA.
  • Scientific literacy and a keen understanding of natural processes.
  • Excellent research, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Ability to manage a project docket and work well independently and with others as part of a team.
  • While not required, some familiarity with international/regional legal regimes, such as CITES, CMS, CBD, UNCLOS, and RFMOs, would be a plus.

Salary is commensurate with experience and competitive with comparable nonprofit positions.

Sea Shepherd Legal offers the following benefits package: Employer-paid medical, dental, and vision insurance; 403(b) retirement savings plan; state bar licensing and continuing education fees; generous time-off policies; unique travel and educational experiences; and a positive and congenial work atmosphere.

How to Apply

Application Process Please apply electronically by submitting all of the following documents via email to: Sea Shepherd Legal Executive Director, Catherine Pruett, at [email protected]
  1. Cover letter
  2. Resume
  3. List of three references
  4. Writing sample (10 pages or less, excerpts from larger works will be accepted)
The position will remain open until filled. No telephone calls, please. We will only contact candidates whom we have selected for interviews, and we will only consider candidates who provide all requested application materials. Sea Shepherd Legal deeply values diversity and is an equal opportunity employer. We cultivate an engaging work-life balance structure to ensure that our staff can remain refreshed and committed to our critical cause – Securing Justice for the Sea.

Job Categories: Conservation. Job Types: Full-Time.

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