Solar Energy Associate Attorney

The Southern Environmental Law Center is accepting applications for an associate attorney position working on solar energy law and policy. The position will be based in SELC’s Charlottesville, VA office. Start date is as soon as possible.

This is an excellent opportunity to be part of an organization that is successfully addressing some of the most important and challenging energy and environmental issues in the Southeast and the nation. This attorney will advocate and litigate on solar energy policies at the state and federal level, including before public utilities commissions.  Two or more years of relevant experience strongly preferred.  The term for an associate position is two years, with the potential for a third year.

About SELC: With nine offices across the region (Charlottesville, VA; Chapel Hill, NC; Atlanta, GA; Charleston, SC; Washington, DC; Birmingham, AL; Nashville, TN; Asheville, NC; and Richmond, VA), SELC is widely recognized as the Southeast’s foremost environmental organization and regional leader. For over thirty-three years, SELC has worked on a full range of environmental issues to protect the South’s natural resources and the health and well-being of its people. Although our regional focus is the Southeast, much of our work is national in scope and impact.

SELC works in Congress and state legislatures to inform environmental laws; in regulatory agencies to implement environmental laws and policies; and in the courts to enforce the law, stop the worst abuses, and set important precedents. The organization works collaboratively with more than 100 national, state, and local groups to enhance their efficacy and achieve common conservation goals. The organization currently has a staff of over 150 individuals, with over 75 attorneys, including some of the nation’s leading experts in their respective fields. Additional information regarding our work and staff is available at www.southernenvironment.org.

SELC believes that a broad range of ideas, life experiences, and backgrounds enriches our workplace, drives innovative thinking, and attracts highly talented people who seek a work environment that values the unique contributions of individual team members. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this belief. We still have much progress to make, but our goal is to create and maintain a staff that, at every level, reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of the communities where we work and the clients that we serve. SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and committed to fostering a transparently inclusive workplace environment. We are looking for people to join us in this effort. Persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.

About the position: Given the South’s abundant sunshine, there is vast potential to increase the use of solar energy across the region. SELC’s Solar Initiative was launched to help the Southeast reap the many benefits of solar power and reduce our dependence on outdated fossil fuels.

Virginia offers special opportunities to advance these goals, especially with the passage of sweeping legislation in 2020 to tackle climate change and promote cleaner energy. Working closely with SELC’s regional Solar Initiative team and with our Virginia-based energy attorneys, this attorney will: 1) advocate in state and federal administrative and judicial proceedings, including in matters before the commission that oversees Virginia utilities; 2) engage in policy development and analysis in various settings at the state and federal level, including state regulatory and legislative matters; 3) engage with solar energy advocates, business leaders, environmental groups and other public interest organizations, policy makers, legislators, and regulators to overcome barriers to solar expansion and to ensure that the renewable energy transition is just, equitable, and benefits the health and economy of all communities. While this position focuses on solar energy advocacy, as Virginia embraces a new approach, this attorney will have the opportunity to work on complementary matters to ensure the Commonwealth’s transition towards solar and other renewables and away from fossil fuels, such as utility integrated resource planning, renewable portfolio compliance plans, or rate design.  Just as this rapidly evolving work spans a broad field of solar and energy matters, it also involves various types of advocacy.  For example, SELC solar attorneys regularly litigate before commissions or courts, collaborate with allied groups with different perspectives in pursuit of shared policy goals, and speak in public settings.

Qualifications and Compensation: We seek an attorney with vision and a strong commitment to advancing clean, sustainable energy resources in the Southeast; a strong academic background and multi-faceted advocacy skills; and a strong work ethic and sense of initiative. The term for an associate attorney position is two years, with the potential for a third year. The ideal candidate will have two or more years of relevant experience; excellent academic credentials; a background in solar matters and environmental law; experience advocating before public service commissions or other commissions or courts; strong communication and interpersonal skills; demonstrated ability to work well in a collegial setting; and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission. We value a genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace, and we value a demonstrated commitment to working with communities of color and other vulnerable communities. The salary range is $72,000 – 82,000, depending on experience, and SELC offers an excellent benefits package.

Applications: To apply, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below to be directed to an online application process where you may upload your application materials.  Applicants must submit a cover letter, resume, writing sample, law school transcript or grade report (with date of birth and social security number redacted), and three references. 

There is no deadline for applications. We intend to fill this position as soon as possible and will accept and review applications until the position is filled.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer and strongly encourages applications from persons of all backgrounds.