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Senior Attorney, Financial Strategies

Center for International Environmental Law

Center for International Environmental Law

Accounting & Finance, Legal
Washington, DC, USA
Posted on Friday, July 7, 2023

POSITION TITLE: Senior Attorney

PROGRAM: Climate & Energy

FOCUS AREA: Financial Strategies

SUPERVISOR: Climate & Energy Program Director


SALARY RANGE: $94,000-114,000


The Center for International Environmental Law (CIEL) uses the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL’s Climate and Energy (C&E) Program advances innovative legal strategies to protect human rights and the planet from both the drivers of and the responses to climate change; to accelerate the transition away from fossil fuels and shift public and private finance, by highlighting the risks of fossil fuel investments and holding State and corporate actors accountable for their role in the climate crisis; and to center human rights in solutions to the climate crisis.

The Senior Attorney for Financial Strategies is a seasoned attorney and advocate with significant experience in the fields of finance, corporate, and/or securities law and a demonstrated commitment to working in the public interest to confront the climate crisis. The Senior Attorney will produce cutting edge legal analysis, design legal strategies for litigation and non-litigation advocacy; develop and implement education and advocacy campaigns to raise awareness among financial actors, media, and decision-makers; and mobilize financial actors and institutions to mitigate climate risk, including by reducing their support for fossil fuels.

In collaboration with the Program Director and other members of the Climate & Energy team, the Senior Attorney will develop and deliver legal advocacy strategies designed to compel financial actors to address climate-related financial risk and align their conduct with a rapid and equitable transition to a fossil-free future. Day-to-day, this looks like: sharing leadership in and execution of campaigns that target key financial actors, such as institutional investors, banks (private and public), and insurance companies; researching and writing legal and policy analyses, briefing papers, expert comments, and public-facing materials; engaging in advocacy with diverse stakeholders (in both the finance and regulatory spaces); representing CIEL in coalitions, public meetings, and workshops; establishing and maintaining effective working relationships with civil society partners, relevant financial organizations, and government agencies; and ensuring highest quality work product.


Programmatic Responsibilities:

  • Strategy development and implementation
    • Help lead CIEL’s strategies aimed at accelerating the shift away from fossil fuels, including by identifying potential litigation pathways to hold corporate and financial actors accountable for their contributions to climate change and related harm
    • Advise on and help implement financial advocacy strategies in support of campaigns to halt oil and gas expansion projects
    • Maintain a working knowledge of subject matter related to the Program’s work, including knowledge of relevant financial developments, political, legislative, and regulatory frameworks, and monitor ongoing activities affecting Program goals
  • Legal research and writing
    • Prepare legal and policy analyses, briefing documents, written comments and educational materials for submission to courts, financial institutions, governments, civil society partners, and the media
    • Assist in the development of reports, briefing papers, fact sheets, press releases, and other public-facing online and print materials to educate, inform, and engage CIEL funders, supporters, press, target institutions, and the public
  • Partnerships and communication
    • Establish and maintain effective working relationships with personnel of partner organizations and networks, as well as relevant agencies and intergovernmental organizations, to advance CIEL’s Program goals
    • Represent CIEL in public meetings and workshops, hearings, and other processes as assigned
  • Teamwork and internal collaboration
    • Coordinate with relevant staff within the team and in other CIEL programs to ensure consistency and integration across programs in support of CIEL’s organization-wide strategic priorities
    • Support information flow within the team and among CIEL staff
    • Perform other job-related duties as requested or assigned by the Program Director


  • Meet deadlines, prioritize tasks, and ensure high-quality work product
  • Meet periodically as requested, with supervisor and other team members
  • Support fundraising during proposal, renewal, and reports processes, and other communications
  • Participate in weekly staff and team meetings and other organizational activities, including performance evaluations and monthly timesheets.


Minimum Qualifications:

  • J.D. or equivalent law degree
  • 5-7 years’ experience in litigation or legal practice involving securities law, corporate law, and/or financial transactions, including at least two years in a public interest context
  • Demonstrated experience in and comfort with non-profit, public interest legal advocacy, and corporate accountability campaigns
  • Familiarity with developments in climate law and policy, including ongoing climate litigation, state action, and commitments from corporate and financial actors
  • Exceptional research, writing, and communication skills; demonstrated ability to write clearly and compellingly for a variety of audiences, including corporate and financial decision-makers, policymakers, and the general public
  • Demonstrated ability to conduct complex legal and policy analysis
  • Ability to work both independently and collaboratively, in close coordination across teams
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to manage and deliver multiple priorities on deadline;
  • Acute attention to detail and accuracy
  • Highly effective oral and written communication skills with the ability to adapt to a wide range of communication styles
  • Understanding of how your words and actions affect others, openness to and respect for others’ perspectives
  • Active membership in at least one bar association; and eligible for membership to D.C. Bar within 1 year
  • Ability to travel periodically and for extended periods, public health conditions permitting

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with international, environmental, and/or human rights law or similar fields
  • Public speaking experience
  • Ability to communicate effectively in one or more languages in addition to English
  • Experience with Google Suite (including Docs, Sheets, Forms, and Chat) and Asana

This is a full-time, exempt position based in the United States. CIEL offers a strong benefits package including employer-subsidized health, dental, and vision; paid vacation, sick, and parental leave; a 5% contribution of gross annual salary into a 403(b) retirement account; a relocation stipend; dedicated professional development funding; and paid sabbatical leave after 7 years. CIEL is a 501(c)3 nonprofit in the US, and full-time employees qualify for the US Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program.

Application instructions: Applications will be considered on a rolling basis; the first application review will take place on July 17, 2023. Desired start date: As soon as able. Please submit a cover letter, resume, and any other required materials or responses. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. No telephone calls, please. Note that CIEL does not sponsor visas of any kind. You must have prior authorization to work in the United States in order to be considered for this position.

Anonymous Demographic Survey: Please complete this anonymous demographic survey as part of your application to CIEL. The survey will only be used to help us evaluate our efforts to recruit a diverse pool of candidates. Your answers will not in any way be linked to your application, and the answers to the survey will not be handled by anyone on the hiring committee for the role.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with CIEL’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, CIEL requires US candidates to furnish proof of full COVID vaccination status in order to be hired for this position. ​​If you are not eligible to be vaccinated against COVID-19 or vaccination is contraindicated by a licensed medical professional, you must provide documentation verifying this ineligibility or contraindication.

About CIEL: For 30 years, CIEL has used the power of law to protect the environment, promote human rights, and ensure a just and sustainable society. CIEL’s dynamic team of international attorneys and experts work together in a collaborative and supportive work environment to tackle some of the most interesting and challenging issues facing people and the planet.

We are an equal opportunity employer, actively committed to the principles of multiculturalism and building an organization that is as diverse as the communities we serve around the world. We know that diversity and inclusion make us stronger, and we actively encourage qualified applicants with various backgrounds, identities, perspectives, and (dis)abilities to apply. If you need an accommodation or assistance with this application, please contact Human Resources at jobs[at]ciel.org.