Job Announcement: Staff Attorney
California Coastkeeper Alliance (CCKA) unites local Waterkeeper organizations to advocate for swimmable, fishable and drinkable waters throughout California. CCKA and Waterkeepers work together to develop, implement and defend water and ocean policies for the benefit of California’s communities and ecosystems. CCKA is a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, an international network of water advocates with more than 300 organizations.
CCKA seeks an experienced Staff Attorney to lead our new Clean Water Enforcement program. The Staff Attorney will provide in-house counsel for CCKA Waterkeepers to conduct Clean Water Act enforcement. The Staff Attorney will identify and develop enforcement cases within the Waterkeepers’ regions, and act as in-house counsel or co-counsel from investigation through settlement or litigation. The Staff Attorney will report to the Executive Director and will work remotely or in CCKA’s Sacramento office.
- Identify and manage Clean Water Act enforcement cases from investigation through settlement/litigation and monitoring compliance, including drafting notices of intent to file suit, pleadings and briefs; negotiations/mediations; interviewing witnesses and drafting declarations.
- Manage team of outside counsel and technical experts supporting litigation.
- Coordinate with enforcement staff from other Waterkeeper organizations, and work with Waterkeepers to support other existing and new cases in state or federal courts.
- Once an established enforcement program exists, work with the Executive Director and CCKA Waterkeepers to develop more precedent setting cases and campaigns.
- Work with CCKA’s Executive Director to provide strategic direction on the organization’s legal work.
- Supervise full-time, summer legal interns and fall/spring externs as needed.
- Draft and submit Revolving Fund Litigation grants for court and expert fees.
- Chair CCKA’s Legal Committee, schedule meetings, prepare agenda and meeting materials, and lead Committee meetings.
Qualifications & Requirements
Applicants must be law school graduates admitted to the California bar. Candidates must have at least 3 years of Clean Water Act enforcement litigation experience. He/she/they must be extremely organized and detail oriented, with strong research, analysis, writing and oral advocacy skills, and project management experience. Candidates must have experience in administrative and pretrial proceedings (e.g., regulatory comments, discovery, motion practice); experience with evidentiary hearings and appellate litigation a plus. Knowledge of the Clean Water Act and prior experience with Clean Water Act Section 505 lawsuits is required. Some background in science a plus.
Applicants must possess initiative, good judgment, a strong work ethic, be tenacious in advocating for CCKA’s agenda, and have a demonstrated commitment and passion for conservation and environmental protection.
The position can be based anywhere in California, working either remotely or in CCKA’s Sacramento office. The job entails typical office environment work (sitting at computer, on phone, etc.) and use of standard office equipment. Ability to travel to various meetings and sites throughout the state is needed. Ability to undertake site visits and some fieldwork (which can entail some physical exertion, exposure to weather, odors, dust and pollen) is required.
CCKA is an equal opportunity employer and actively recruits to promote diversity in our workforce. This is a full-time salaried position, with health, dental, and vacation benefits. California Coastkeeper Alliance is based in Sacramento, but the position is based anywhere within California and will be expected to travel statewide.
Please email a resume and cover letter to with the subject line: “Staff Attorney Application – (last name, first name).” Applications will be considered on a rolling basis.
View a PDF of this job description here.
Associate Director Natalie Caulk provides operational leadership and manages the ongoing implementation of programs and partnerships of CCKA.