Director, Tennessee Office

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking an attorney with 10 or more years of experience to serve as the Director of our Tennessee Office in Nashville, Tennessee. The Tennessee Office Director is responsible for managing a multidisciplinary team and for all aspects of the office and its success. The position reports to SELC’s Deputy Director. This is an excellent opportunity to join a highly successful, nationally recognized organization that is effectively addressing some of the most pressing and challenging environmental issues throughout the South and the nation.

SELC opened its Nashville office in 2012 to provide environmental leadership and high-quality legal advocacy across Tennessee. Known for producing cutting-edge legal advocacy and far-reaching results, the office currently includes seven attorneys, along with communications and development specialists and high quality administrative and legal support staff. We are seeking an Office Director to work alongside and lead this team. The ideal candidate for this position is an attorney with significant environmental practice experience, excellent leadership and management skills, an ability to build and lead coalitions of diverse clients and partners, and a strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission and values, including a deep commitment to fostering a welcoming, diverse, equitable, and inclusive organization.

SELC currently has a hybrid work model that offers employees the flexibility to work remotely up to two days per week. This is a full-time, exempt position.

Primary Responsibilities:

The responsibilities for this position include:

  • Serve as SELC’s leader and principal spokesperson in Tennessee.
  • Direct and lead the legal advocacy program of the Tennessee office, including litigation, policy advocacy, and public outreach and education.
  • Work closely with attorneys and communications staff to ensure strategic, effective, well-coordinated, high-quality work that gets results.
  • Work with the Deputy Director, Program Director, and Litigation Director to develop and implement goals and priorities for SELC’s program work in Tennessee that reflect the organization’s regional and institutional priorities and focus on the greatest needs and opportunities in Tennessee. 
  • Hire, supervise, and mentor attorneys and other staff to ensure they have the training, resources, feedback, and support to maximize their performance and development.
  • Foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
  • Work in close partnership with SELC’s development team to cultivate, maintain, and expand major donors and foundations based in, or connected to, Tennessee.
  • Build and maintain effective relationships with partner organizations in Tennessee.

Required Qualifications:

We are seeking a talented, multifaceted lawyer who is a recognized leader and manager capable of both steering our work internally and building positive relationships with the environmental community and key community, state, and regional leaders in Tennessee. The ideal candidate will be an excellent lawyer with 10 or more years’ experience and:

  • Significant litigation, policy advocacy, or environmental practice experience.
  • Excellent management skills, including the ability to manage and lead a diverse team and to foster and strengthen the collegiality, trust, compassion, passion for our shared mission, integrity, and excellence that define SELC’s culture.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills and an ability to build and maintain effective relationships with a diverse set of clients and partners.
  • An interest in and ability to participate effectively in fundraising efforts and to develop and maintain strong and enduring relationships with donors.
  • A strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission.
  • A strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion, with a genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC create and foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.

About SELC:

The Southern Environmental Law Center is one of the nation’s most powerful defenders of the environment, rooted in the South. With a long track record, SELC takes on the toughest environmental challenges in court, in government, and in our communities to protect our region’s air, water, climate, wildlife, lands, and people. Nonprofit and nonpartisan, the organization has a staff of over 200, including more than 100 attorneys, and is headquartered in Charlottesville, VA., with offices in Asheville, Atlanta, Birmingham, Chapel Hill, Charleston, Nashville, Richmond, and Washington, DC.

At our core, we are place-based, rooted in our region, and connected with the communities and clients we serve. We believe in an equitable and inclusive workplace that reflects the rich racial and cultural diversity of our region and allows diverse perspectives to come to the forefront. We approach our work with the highest level of integrity, holding ourselves to high standards with an emphasis on honesty, accountability, and thoughtfulness. We value collaboration and camaraderie, realizing we are strongest when we work together and knowing that everyone has a critical role to play. We strive for impact through a strategic, bold, pragmatic, and ambitious outlook that is dedicated to achieving powerful results. We believe in these values and in the power of SELC. We hope you consider joining us. Learn more at


SELC offers salaries competitive with other leading environmental nonprofits nationally and provides an excellent benefits package. The starting salary range for this position is $156,362 – $181,921, commensurate with experience. For more details about our benefits package, please visit our Careers page.

To Apply:

To apply, click on the ‘Apply Now’ button below to be directed to an online application where you may upload your application materials. Applicants must submit a cover letter and resume. The initial deadline for receipt of complete applications is October 13, 2023. However, applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

SELC is an Equal Opportunity Employer committed to fostering an inclusive workplace environment. We are eager to welcome new team members who share this commitment. 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. Persons of all backgrounds—including people of color, women, people with disabilities, veterans, and LGBTQ candidates—are strongly encouraged to apply.