Position: Senior Attorney, Climate Litigation and Policy

Schedule: Flexible hybrid

Job Status: Full-Time

Experience: 7+ years 

Salary: $150—175k/year, based on experience, plus a generous benefits package

Reports to: Chief Counsel, Legal Department

Location: Washington, D.C.

The Niskanen Center

Named “the most interesting think tank in American politics” by Time magazine in March 2023, the Niskanen Center is a public policy think tank and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening liberal democratic governance and promoting widespread prosperity and opportunity. Our vision of market liberalism is rooted in an effective public sector and a competitive private sector, and is committed to upholding the principles of a pluralistic and open society that encourages engagement, cooperation, discussion, and learning. Our expertise covers a diverse range of urgent policy issues including energy, immigration, housing, and criminal justice.

Position Description

The Niskanen Center seeks an experienced Senior Attorney to play a key role in guiding our legal work through representation of stakeholders in administrative proceedings, federal court, and advancing policy advocacy initiatives. A central priority of the legal team is the enactment and implementation of meaningful, efficient, and evidence-based federal decisions, policies, and processes to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy. Our work focuses on permitting and siting (including opposing unneeded fossil fuel projects and promoting much-needed transmission development), low-carbon energy innovation, and regulatory reform for clean energy infrastructure, among other things. We aim to push the courts, as well as political, regulatory, and industry leaders  to provide essential public goods and infrastructure, foster market competition and innovation, invest in state capacity, and not impede productive enterprise. The legal team also supports and collaborates on broader coalitional policy work, including on Niskanen’s climate and immigration initiatives. The Senior Attorney’s docket will include cases before the D.C. Circuit and other federal courts.

The ideal candidate has a successful record of developing and litigating cases, conducting independent legal research and writing, and navigating complex legal and policy matters. Experience with government relations, managing other legal staff, and/or written advocacy (whitepapers, etc.) is preferred but not required. This full-time, senior-level position reports to the Chief Counsel. The Senior Attorney will be a part of Niskanen’s managerial team to help supervise and professionally develop legal department staff. This position can be in-office or hybrid remote.

Minimum Qualifications

  • A commitment to the Niskanen Center’s mission;
  • At least seven years of litigation or relevant legal experience;
  • Possess a J.D. degree;
  • Passed the bar in any U.S. jurisdiction, D.C. Bar license is preferred, but not required;
  • At least three years of more senior-level legal experience, including developing and trying own cases;
  • Superior oral communication skills and comfortability engaging outside individuals (including clients) and organizations;
  • Excellent writing and public speaking skills;
  • Strong strategic leadership;
  • The ability to manage independently long-term projects from conception to completion, and a willingness to collaborate with other Niskanen colleagues and stakeholders;
  • A high degree of autonomy and personal drive; and
  • A multi-year commitment to growing Niskanen’s legal team.

Benefits and Diversity Commitment 

The Niskanen Center offers a comprehensive employee benefits package, including health, dental, and vision insurance, federal holidays off, unlimited paid leave, a 403(b) plan, relocation assistance, and commuter benefits for D.C. area employees.

The Niskanen Center is committed to creating a diverse environment and is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. In recruiting for our team, we welcome the unique contributions that you can bring in terms of education, opinions, culture, ethnicity, race, sex, gender identity and expression, nation of origin, age, veteran status, color, religion, disability, sexual orientation, and beliefs, and we strongly encourage you to apply.

How to Apply

Applications are accepted on a rolling basis beginning May 9, 2023, and the position is open until filled. Please include a cover letter, resume, and two writing samples combined into one pdf. Be prepared to present additional materials during the interview process. Use the button below to apply. No phone calls, please.