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Company Name:
Approximate Salary:
Not Specified
Berkeley, California
Job Type:
Position type:
Full Time
NGO and Non-Profit
Environmental Law
Experience level:
3 - 5 Years
Education level:
Other Advanced Study

General Counsel

Earth Island Institute




Earth Island Institute (EII) is seeking to hire a General Counsel for leading non-profit organization which acts as fiscal sponsor for more than 75 grassroots environmental projects, operates the acclaimed New Leaders Initiative and publishes the award winning Earth Island Journal.  Founded by environmental pioneer David Brower, and located at the beautiful Brower Center in downtown Berkeley across the street from UC Berkeley, Earth Island is a leading-edge organization involved in the crucial environmental issues of the day.


       Position overview:


In the spirit of David Brower, Earth Island Institute leads in supporting grassroots leaders who provide effective solutions to environmental problems at all levels.  We believe that individual innovators have always played a key role in environmental problem solving and in setting the activist agenda, bolstered by organizational resources that can multiply individual efforts.  The General Counsel will be a Director-level member and oversee all legal and governance matters within the organization and act as legal advisor to Earth Island Network Services, as well as provide counsel where appropriate to the projects.  She or he will oversee Earth Island Advocates, the litigation arm of Earth Island, and sit on the organizations Legal Committee of the Board of the Directors. He or She will supervise the work of pro bono attorneys and law students in connection with environmental advocacy and litigation and, along with the Board of Directors and other senior staff, devise and implement the organization’s litigation strategies.  The General Counsel will be charged with helping to grow Earth Island Advocates in terms of participation, funding and staffing.


         Areas of responsibility:


  • Manage pro-active litigation strategy and litigation involving Earth Island Network Services and Earth Island’s projects. Work with appropriate executives to define strategies whether as plaintiff or defendant, including appropriate settlements. Build and supervise a network of pro-bono attorneys, law students and consultants who work on Earth Island litigation and regulatory matters;

  • Provide strategic advice and consultation to EII Leadership on all legal matters   concerning the operation of the organization;

  • Serve as Corporate Secretary;

  • Assist the President of the Board and the Executive Director in connection with governance and the operation of the Board of Directors;

  • Engage in contractual and employment law issues;

  •   Participate in the definition and development of policies, procedures and programs and provide continuing counsel and guidance on legal matters and on legal implications of all matters;

  • Assume responsibility for ensuring that the company conducts its business in compliance with applicable laws and regulations;

  • Advise on legal aspects of organizations financing, including assessing and advising on current and future business structures and legal entities.


The ideal candidate has:

  • A strong academic background with at least five years of litigation experience in state and/or federal courts;

  • Is admitted to the Bar of the State of California or to the bar of another state and is willing to sit for the California bar;

  • Creative litigation skills;

  • A passion for the environment and good team skills;

  • Willingness to learn legal substantive areas as applied to 501(c)(3) organizations, including governance, contract, employment and other day-to-day matters to the extent not already conversant.


    This position will be supervised by the Executive Director.



    Competitive non-profit salary, $90k - $95k DOE.

    Comprehensive employee benefits package, including medical, dental, and vision coverage, and generous vacation.



    Full-Time. 40 hours per week. Monday - Friday schedule typically, with occasional activities on nights and weekends days.



    To apply for this position, please send your cover letter and résumé no later than August 17, 2017, to jobs@earthisland.org and be sure to include “General Counsel” in the subject line. 


Earth Island Institute provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, genetic information, marital status, amnesty, or status as a covered veteran in accordance with applicable federal, state and local laws.

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