Staff Attorney & Legal Director

Friday Harbor, WA
Full Time
Practice Areas: Litigation Exp.: 2+ Years Salary: $80,000 Yearly
Friends of the San Juans’ Legal Director and Staff Attorney (“Legal Director”) leads our legal advocacy and litigation practice and participates in many other organizational activities, including policy analysis and advocacy, public outreach and education, fundraising, and coalition building. The Legal Director has a key role in implementing our mission to protect and restore the San Juan Islands and the Salish Sea for people and nature.

Job Responsibilities:
  • Identify, analyze, and comment on mission-relevant land-use and ordinance proposals in San Juan County to ensure compliance with environmental protections.
  • Review and comment on private and public local, state, provincial, and federal actions likely to cause environmental impacts or diminish the availability of natural resources in and around San Juan County. This includes engagement in public processes for on-the-ground projects as well as policy development and creation, rulemaking, and long-range planning.
  • When necessary, conduct litigation as sole attorney, including drafting the complaint and subsequent briefs, engaging in motion practice, identifying and preparing witnesses, taking depositions, and conducting direct and cross-examination.
  • Conduct closed and open-record legal appeals before the San Juan County Hearing Examiner, Growth Management Hearings Board, Shorelines Hearings Board, Pollution Control Hearings Board, and state courts.
  • Pursue strategic, impact-litigation opportunities in the Salish Sea region that advance organizational priorities, such as climate action and Southern Resident killer whale protection and recovery.
  • Cultivate new allies and collaborate effectively with partners.
  • Assist with communications, fundraising, and outreach activities, including campaigns and events.
  • Review Friends’ contracts and internal policies.
  • Draft articles for Friends’ outreach and education efforts, such as website and social media posts, the Annual Report, and e-newsletters.
  • Draft press releases for advocacy programs and serve as spokesperson as needed.
  • Communicate with Board and sub-committees as needed to ensure proper oversight of Friends’ advocacy efforts.
  • Recruit, hire, and supervise one to two legal interns each summer.

  • Law school graduate admitted to, or willing to achieve admission to, the Washington Bar.
  • At least two years of post-law-school, professional experience.
  • Litigation experience, including participation in administrative hearings.
  • Preference for knowledge base in land-use law concepts and state and federal environmental laws, including Washington’s Growth Management Act, Shoreline Management Act, Hydraulic Code, Land Use Petition Act, State and National Environmental Policy Acts, and Public Records laws, Treaty Rights of the Coast Salish Nations, and the federal Endangered Species Act, Clean Water Act, and Clean Air Act.
  • Preference for knowledge base in maritime law and other areas of the law related to marine vessel shipping.
  • Outstanding research, analysis, writing, and oral advocacy skills.
  • Commitment to fostering a diverse, equitable, inclusive, and just work environment — see below.
  • Strong initiative, thoughtful judgment, diligent work ethic, and skilled ability to communicate complex legal arguments and scientific concepts to members of all communities.
  • Ability to conduct a solo practice, including developing a litigation strategy, drafting written work product, preparing witnesses, and prosecuting litigation as sole chair.
  • Willingness to pitch in as needed within the organization, and to work occasional evenings and weekends (subject to the organization’s Flex Time policy).
  • Commitment to the public interest and a passion for Friends’ mission, and the ability to conduct themselves diplomatically in a variety of community settings.

$80,000 plus benefits for full-time employment, depending on experience

Friends’ benefits package for all salaried staff includes a modest health-care plan, paid contributions to a retirement plan, generous leave time, and flexibility in employee work schedules.

The office of Friends of the San Juans is in Friday Harbor, on San Juan Island, Washington. Our expectation is that our Legal Director will live in the San Juan Islands, in order to be an active and visible participant in our local community.

Closing Date: 31st July, 2021
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