Clean Ocean Action (COA) is a non-profit regional coalition working to protect the marine waters off the NJ/NY coast. COA’s Policy Attorney defends the marine ecosystem from harm. The Policy Attorney thinks strategically, possesses strong communication skills and thrives in a fast-paced, multi-faceted environment. The Policy Attorney is result-oriented, environmentally-focused, and has a strong desire to protect and improve coastal waters. The Policy Attorney is required to hold a J.D. from an accredited law school.
The Policy Attorney is the primary legal and technical expert who defends the marine ecosystem from pollution, industrialization and climate change, and protects water quality in collaboration with the COA team. The Policy Attorney investigates issues, develops positions, identifies solutions, and creates outreach materials. The Policy Attorney is responsible for coordinating and participating in sensitive meetings with high-ranking local, state, and federal officials, advocates, and other experts; analyzing local, state and federal policies, legislation and research for impacts to marine water quality; and developing and implementing pro-ocean protection policies, strategies, and actions. The Policy Attorney will also track, coordinate, and participate in targeted advocacy campaigns throughout the region.
The Policy Attorney will report to the Executive Director. This position offers a significant level of responsibility and opportunity for advancement in a marine protection career.
While supported by the Executive Director, Staff Scientist and the COA team, essential duties and responsibilities of the Policy Attorney include but are not limited to:
- Shape regional and national ocean protection policies
- Monitor issues and respond proactively to protect water quality
- Garner support for strong ocean protection policies from elected leaders and decision makers
- Prepare and present testimony for municipal, state and federal legislation
- Identify, investigate, track and evaluate proposals, regulations, projects and issues
- Develop written products including comments, presentations, policy briefs, technical reports, position statements, and research memos that concisely and clearly describe complex analyses and policy options in defense of marine water quality
- Review proposals for compliance with applicable law
- Advocate, communicate, and coordinate technical and policy aspects of issues with a diversity of people including policy, legal, science and outreach experts, coalition members, media, students, citizens, agency representatives, and elected officials
- Consult with COA’s outside counsel to define and organize legal positions and actions, as needed
General Program Coordination
- Maintain focus and message on pollution prevention
- Stay current on state/federal policies, regulations and rules
- Update relevant programs and information on website, and write newsletter articles
- Manage email accounts
- Support and promote development efforts, including assistance with grant proposals and reports, and Annual Report
Qualifications and Qualities
- JD from an accredited law school. Bar admission is not required.
- Applicants with environmental science background a plus
- Strongly motivated to protect and improve coastal waters
- Knowledgeable about marine sciences, pollution, policy, and federal and state environmental regulations
- Familiarity with legal documents and compliance issues
- Knowledge of the political system and experience with members of congress and legislature preferred
- Preference given to candidates with NY/NJ coastal experience and knowledge
- Excellent interpersonal skills, including maturity; ability to work independently and in a team setting
- Efficient, organized work style; ability to prioritize quickly and confidently; ability to manage multiple deadlines
- Excellent research, writing, and editing skills, as well as an analytical mind
- Willingness to travel in the NY/NJ area and occasionally to Washington, D.C.
COA is committed to providing an environment of mutual respect where equal employment opportunities are available to all applicants and staff members without regard to race, color, religion, age, sex, national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state or local laws.
This position requires evening and weekend work on a periodic basis.
Annual Salary: Position is full time at the office in Long Branch, NJ. Salary is competitive and commensurate with education and experience.
Benefits: Health and dental insurance coverage are offered on a cost-sharing basis, paid holidays and PDO, employer paid professional workshops and trainings. Ability to grow with the organization is available and performance-based.
Application Instructions: Position currently open. Applications will be accepted until position filled. Please follow the directions below and submit the required documents to Projects [at] CleanOceanAction.org with “Policy Attorney_Your Name” in the subject line.
- Resume or CV, including GPA if a recent graduate and any volunteer activities and hobbies.
- Cover letter expressing your interest in working for Clean Ocean Action, why you enjoy this work, and why you are good at it. Please also include why you are considering leaving your current position and/or changing careers, if relevant.
- One writing sample that is indicative of your environmental passion and using the law to defend the natural world.
- Three references who can speak to the above two items (past or present direct supervisors required, not colleagues or personal friends). Include their name, position, affiliation/connection to you, and contact information (phone and email).
- Salary range expectation.
Clean Ocean Action is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization dedicated to protecting marine water quality in the New York Bight (those waters between Montauk Point, NY, and Cape May, NJ, and to the continental shelf). COA is a broad-based coalition of over 115 active boating, business, community, conservation, diving, environmental, fishing, religious, service, student, surfing, and women’s groups. COA identifies sources of pollution and takes actions to stop them using research, education, and citizen action. For more information about COA visit www.cleanoceanaction.org.