Program Assistant - Litigation Team

Natural Resources Defense Council

Position Summary

NRDC’s Litigation Team is seeking to hire one or more Litigation Assistants to work in our offices located in San Francisco, Chicago and/or Washington, DC.


The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) is a non-profit environmental advocacy organization. We use law, science, and the support of 3.1 million members and online activists to protect the planet's wildlife and wild places and to ensure the rights of all people to clean air, clean water, and healthy communities. NRDC was founded in 1970 and our staff helped write some of America's bedrock environmental laws, including the Clean Water Act, and many of the implementing regulations. Today, our staff of more than 700 lawyers, scientists, economists, policy advocates, communications experts, and others work across the United States and internationally from our offices in New York; Washington, D.C.; Chicago; Santa Monica; San Francisco; Bozeman, Montana; and Beijing.


Litigation Assistants will join NRDC’s Litigation Team, which represents NRDC and coalition partners in complex civil litigation to protect public health and the environment. The Litigation Team is a group of approximately 30 lawyers and 8 Litigation and Operations Assistants across several NRDC offices. We pursue litigation across a broad range of public health and environmental issues, often working in collaboration with and on behalf of communities most impacted by environmental injustices (including people of color, indigenous, low-income and rural communities). We have filed numerous lawsuits resisting the Trump administration’s efforts to dismantle environmental protections, including cases defending national monuments, challenging the suspension of clean water safeguards, opposing offshore drilling and seismic exploration, and protecting energy efficiency standards. We also have a robust docket of environmental enforcement cases against government and private party polluters. This includes cases to protect the people of Newark, New Jersey, and Flint, Michigan, from lead in drinking water; to remediate toxic pollution in the Penobscot River in Maine, and in drinking water wells in Dickson, Tennessee; to abate mold in New York City public housing for residents with asthma; and to halt air pollution from a coal-fired power plant in Illinois.

Litigation support duties include:

Preparing, proofreading, and fact-checking documents for court filings and assisting with filing and service;
Researching and summarizing court rules;
Drafting and editing legal correspondence;
Maintaining extensive case files (electronic, hard copy, and archived off-site);
Conducting factual research to advance existing and develop new cases;
Reviewing documents produced by other parties in litigation;
Interviewing NRDC members and drafting declarations related to pending litigation.

Administrative support duties include:

Processing invoices and expense reports, and maintaining detailed budget trackers;
Proofreading, formatting, copying, scanning, mailing, and faxing documents;
Assisting in hiring and orienting interns;
Scheduling meetings, booking travel, and organizing retreats;
Assisting other Litigation Assistants, the Operations Assistant, and office Program Assistants as needed.

Bachelor’s degree required;
1-2 years of previous administrative or paralegal experience (or equivalent) preferred;
Demonstrated ability to perform or quickly learn tasks such as those listed above;
Ability to prioritize and efficiently execute multiple tasks, follow institutional procedures, and work independently with meticulous attention to detail;
Excellent written and verbal communication skills;
Superior editing, research, and data synthesis skills;
Commitment to accuracy and rigor;
Ability to maintain composure and sense of humor under deadline pressure;
Willingness and flexibility to work overtime;
Ability to maintain confidentiality and work discreetly with sensitive information;
High proficiency with Microsoft Office, including Word, Excel, and Outlook;
Minimum two-year commitment strongly preferred.

Application process

To apply through our online portal, please select “apply for this job online,” create a profile or log into your existing account, and upload your resume. Then, use the “additional documents” prompts to upload a short cover letter, a short writing sample that has not been substantially edited by others, a list of three references, and a college transcript. In your cover letter, please tell us how you found out about this posting, and please indicate whether you have a preference to be located in San Francisco, Chicago, or Washington, DC.

This posting will be open until June 12, 2020. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis, so we encourage applicants to apply soon.

NRDC is committed to advancing diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in our work and in our workplace. We believe that celebrating and actively welcoming a diversity of voices and perspectives is essential to solving the planet's most pressing environmental problems, and we encourage applications from candidates whose identities have been historically under-represented in the environmental movement. We are an equal opportunity employer and do not discriminate in hiring or employment on the basis of race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, marital status, sexual orientation, national origin, citizenship, age, disability, veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local law. Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance, we will consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest and conviction records.

We offer competitive salaries, excellent benefits, and a supportive working environment. Salary is based on a nonprofit scale and commensurate with experience.

If you are having technical difficulty while applying, or if you are a person with a disability and you need assistance applying online, please reach out to iCIMS Customer Care by dialing 1-800-889-4422.

For further information about NRDC, please visit

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