Staff Attorney & Supervising Attorney, Univ. of Michigan Environmental Sustainability Law Clinic

  • National Wildlife Federation
  • Ann Arbor, MI, USA
  • Mar 23, 2018
Full time Advocacy and Policy Communication - Public Outreach Environmental & Energy Law

Job Description

The mission of the National Wildlife Federation is to unite all Americans to ensure wildlife thrive in our rapidly changing world. The organization's programs focus on conserving wildlife, restoring habitat and waterways, expanding outdoor opportunities, connecting children with nature, and addressing the causes and consequences of climate change. To support our mission, we are seeking applications to fill a staff attorney position teaching and supervising in the University of Michigan Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic.  The position will be based in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Since 1983, the NWF's Great Lakes Regional Center has been engaged in a highly effective partnership with the University of Michigan Law School. This partnership has provided hands-on, practice-based legal education to hundreds of Michigan Law students and spawned a generation of engaged lawyers and countless advances for resource protection in the courtroom and beyond.

The NWF Great Lakes Regional Center staff attorney is responsible for pursuing NWF's mission while delivering a high quality clinical law experience to students. There are two primary areas of responsibility. First, developing, coordinating, and pursuing strategic legal theories and litigation in federal and state courts on the most pressing wildlife conservation and environmental issues in the Great Lakes region and beyond, in support of NWF's overall mission and its specific program areas, including, but not limited to:

  • Great Lakes restoration and protection;
  • Harmful algal blooms;
  • Urban issues and Environmental Justice;
  • Irresponsible resource extraction and oil pipeline impacts;
  • Water quality and quantity; and
  • Wildlife and habitat protection

In addition, the position will work directly with NWF policy staff to advocate for scientific wildlife conservation and environmental protection in the Great Lakes region and across the country.

Second, the staff attorney position will direct and manage all aspects of the University of Michigan Law School Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic. This includes: (i) responsibility for directing all aspects of Clinic operations; (ii) designing curriculum for and teaching the classroom component; (iii) clinically supervising students on their casework. The Clinic is a 7 credit, one semester course enrolling 8 to 10 students per term.

Major areas of responsibility:

  • Teaching, supervising and managing operations of the Environmental Law and Sustainability Clinic;
  • Representing NWF and other clients in legal proceedings and policies;
  • Conducting state and federal rule-making and administrative work;
  • Participating in agency, Congressional, and other meetings;
  • Maintaining and developing organizational partnerships;
  • Working collaboratively with policy staff to provide legal analysis;
  • Pursuing specific policy outcomes


  • Juris Doctor degree
  • Admittance to State Bar of Michigan (or ability for admittance)
  • Minimum of four years of experience in environmental litigation (administrative/environmental law);
  • Experience in conservation policy, grassroots organization leadership, engaging partners, and working with non-profit boards, government, and corporate entities;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills.
  • Commitment to, and strong skills related to: collaboration, strategic thinking, interpersonal relational skills, teambuilding, technology, diplomacy, diversity and equity;
  • Strong communication and leadership skills as well as a demonstrated ability to supervise, collaborate, and coordinate effectively and efficiently across a large, geographically dispersed organization with individuals at a variety of organizational positions;
  • The ability to independently manage an impact litigation docket; 
  • A genuine and demonstrated commitment to the conservation legacy and overall mission of the National Wildlife Federation, especially the role of the State and Territorial Affiliate organizations and the bipartisan/nonpartisan, science-based, and collaborative approach of the Federation to achieve its mission and strategic plan outcomes;
  • A genuine and demonstrated interest in clinical teaching;
  • Self-motivation and willingness to do administrative tasks; and
  • The ability to work closely with others in small, team-oriented environment

The successful applicants actions are expected to reflect the staff values of the National Wildlife Federation: collaboration, mindfulness, empowerment, inclusivity, and mission focus. We aspire to be an inclusive multicultural organization that celebrates the rich dimensions of diversity such as race, ethnicity, gender identity, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, and physical abilities, religious and political beliefs. 

Travel Requirements:

Ability and willingness to travel to potential and current clients of the University of Michigan Environmental Sustainability Law Clinic, in the Great Lakes region and across the country. Ability and willingness to attend relevant conferences and workshops dedicated to clinical teaching. Travel likely approximately once per month.

The National Wildlife Federation offers excellent benefits, competitive compensation, and a family-friendly, flexible work environment.  Salary range for this position is commensurate with experience and aligned with the non-profit sector, within a range of approximately $75,000-90,000. We are committed to building a diverse team and strongly encourage candidates from all backgrounds to apply.  If you meet more than 75% of the qualifications of this description, we encourage you to submit an application.  A background check will be conducted on the selected candidate.

Interested candidates should submit both a cover letter and a resume or CV. Application review will begin on February 28 and will continue until the position is filled.

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