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Staff Attorney – Open Position

Job title: Staff Attorney

Location: Hackensack, NJ and Keyport, NJ

Education requirements: JD

Employment type: Full Time

Professional level: Admission to NJ & NY bars

Job function: Legal, advocacy

Area of focus: Environment, Water Quality

Date of Publication: January 2017

Job description:

Hackensack Riverkeeper and NY/NJ Baykeeper, founding members of the Waterkeeper Alliance and the primary advocates for clean water and public access in the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary and urban North Jersey, seek a shared staff attorney. Our small, scrappy non-profit organizations’ shared mission is to preserve, protect and restore the NY-NJ Harbor Estuary, the Hackensack River, the New Jersey Meadowlands, Raritan and Jamaica Bays and the waters that flow into the harbor, including the Passaic, Raritan, East and Lower Hudson Rivers.

Hackensack Riverkeeper and NY/NJ Baykeeper offer a collegial environment allowing a dedicated advocate the opportunity to have a significant impact on water quality in a target-rich environment. Our offices are about an hour apart with separate but compatible cultures that offer a collegial work environment. Our organizations value diversity and encourage qualified candidates of all backgrounds to apply.

The ideal candidate will be self-directed, organized and possess strong grounding in environmental law and policy necessary to further our shared goals of fishable and swimmable waters for all. Experience with the Clean Water Act, Administrative Procedure Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response Compensation and Liability Act and relevant New Jersey and New York state law is desired; familiarity with these acts is required.


  • Develop and continue legal strategy to improve water quality in the world’s most urbanized estuary.
  • Attend NJ and NY State and federal regulatory meetings to advocate the organizations’ position on matters relating to our mission.
  • Testify at State legislative hearings on relevant proposed legislation.
  • Prepare and submit comments on proposed state and federal actions.
  • Develop cases for litigation, both as primary counsel and as liaison for outside counsel.
  • Draft appellate documents and present oral arguments in state appellate court.
  • Serve as media contact for the organizations to regulators, courts, funders, the public and the media.


  • Education and, ideally, experience in environmental law and policy, particularly as relates to water quality, hazardous substances and public access.
  • Timely admittance to the New Jersey and New York Bars, if not already admitted.
  • Excellent research and writing skills.
  • Solid academic record in environmental law and policy.
  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental protection.
  • High degree of independence, organization, strategic thinking and self-motivation.


  • Salary range: $45,000 – $50,000.
  • Position includes employee health benefits and retirement contribution.
  • Paid holiday, personal days and sick days
  • Payment of NJ and NY bar dues and continuing legal education

Application Procedure:

Interested candidates should submit a cover letter, resume, legal writing sample (a legal brief, comment letter or research memorandum), a law school transcript, and three legal references. We will accept applications until we have filled the position. Please, no phone calls or drop-ins. Send application materials to with “Staff Attorney” in the subject line.