Staff Attorney

PennFuture’s mission is to lead the transition to a clean energy economy in Pennsylvania and beyond. We protect our air, water, and land, and empower citizens to build sustainable communities for future generations. Working throughout the Commonwealth, PennFuture’s team of attorneys, policy experts, organizers, communications specialists, and advocates watchdog against polluters and environmental injustices, educate the public, and advance pro-environment policies.

PennFuture is one of the first statewide environmental organizations in Pennsylvania to employ a full-time legal staff to fulfill its mission. Entering its third decade as a force for environmental protection, PennFuture prides itself on employing some of the brightest, most determined and committed environmental lawyers. With legal tactics at the organization’s core, PennFuture lawyers are given substantial responsibility and independence to shape legal strategies that achieve outcomes and address priorities. The position offers a unique opportunity to use advocacy, regulatory, watchdog, and litigation skills to advance case law, shape and defend environmental policy, ensure environmental laws are enforced accordingly, and, ultimately, protect the environment. 

This Staff Attorney position will work on a variety of environmental issues in Philadelphia and the surrounding region with a prioritization of supporting PennFuture’s Keep Philly Green & Clean Campaign.  Through campaigns, coalitions, and other tactics, PennFuture is working aggressively to reduce water pollution in the Philadelphia region of the Delaware River watershed and elevate green stormwater infrastructure as a key environmental issue. As such, PennFuture seeks a qualified attorney to lead our legal and regulatory efforts, engaging with city, state, and federal agencies and undertaking important cases in furtherance of the campaign goals. Additional work supporting PennFuture’s regional or statewide legal undertakings may be required.


PennFuture knows that in order to achieve our mission, we need to ensure that all Pennsylvanians have equitable access to clean air, clean water, a stable climate, and a clean and sustainable economy. We are committed to ensuring diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice in our organizational culture, policies, practices, and programs. Like the environmental and conservation movement writ large, we have historically fallen short in our efforts to build a truly equitable Pennsylvania. Our vision is to center equity and justice in everything we do as well as to combat systems of oppression and injustices that have long harmed Pennsylvania’s environmental justice communities.


·       Researches, develops, and implements litigation in state and federal courts and before administrative tribunals on a wide range of environmental and related issues, including discovery, pre-trial motions, trials, and appellate work

·       Researches and prepares comments on local, state, and/or federal agency rules, policies, guidance documents, and permits, and engages with agencies on a variety of issues

·       Assists with development and coordination of enforcement and legal advocacy actions in collaboration with other PennFuture staff, environmental organizations, and coalitions, as appropriate

·       Provides legal counsel to and represents PennFuture as well as potential clients outside of PennFuture on a wide range of environmental issues

·       Provides internal support and leadership in the area of environmental law, particularly with respect to water quality issues

·       Assists with outreach to decision-makers and the general public about the importance of clean water protections, environmental, and environmental justice threats and how communities of color are disproportionately harmed without these protections

·       Assists with PennFuture’s other advocacy, fundraising, and communications efforts with substantive expertise and legal input

·       Functions as an expert in PennFuture’s legal program, including, as appropriate, interfacing with the media and decisionmakers on issues PennFuture is engaged in

·       3 to 6 years of experience in environmental or administrative law; Pennsylvania practice preferred

·       Admitted to the Pennsylvania Bar, eligible for admission upon motion, or eligible to sit for the next administration of the Pennsylvania bar examination, if necessary

·       Experience preferred in: urban stormwater, green stormwater infrastructure, or water quality issues; municipal decision-making or land use law/policy; and/or Philadelphia legislative or agency work, including but not limited to Philadelphia Water Department

·       Strong commitment to PennFuture’s mission and demonstrated commitment to advancing environmental protection with vision and results

·       Commitment to the values of diversity, equity, inclusion, and justice and employing that in all their work

·       General familiarity with non-profit environmental organizations

·       Entrepreneurial character with a proven ability to identify new opportunities to achieve objectives that meet PennFuture’s strategic goals

·       Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and proven ability to work collaboratively with diverse staff, clients, and communities

·       Proven ability to partner with organizations to achieve objectives and to maintain long-term relationships with clients and partner organizations

·       Ability to maintain a flexible work schedule, be willing to work some evenings and/or weekends, and occasionally travel, as needed

·       Training and/or experience with environmental policy preferred. Experience with environmental advocacy, public speaking, and media preferred


This position is based out of PennFuture’s Philadelphia office, though some telecommuting is an option for this position. Please note that depending on the COVID-19 pandemic restrictions, PennFuture’s offices will be closed through at least July 6, 2021.

This is a full-time, exempt position. Salary range is $70,000 – $80,000. Benefits package includes health care, dental, vision, paid vacation, paid sick leave, paid holidays, and a 403(b)-retirement plan.

PennFuture encourages applications from individuals underrepresented in the environmental community, including people of color, and persons with nontraditional work and educational experience. All applicants will receive consideration without regard to race, color, national origin, marital status, religion, gender, age, disability, sexual orientation, or political affiliation.


The deadline to apply for this position is Friday, April 23, 2021.

Please submit your cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and contact information for three professional references to [email protected] with the subject line “STAFF ATTORNEY”. Phone calls will not be accepted.

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