Staff or Senior Attorney – Clean Air Act

The Southern Environmental Law Center is accepting applications for an experienced Clean Air Act practitioner to serve as a Staff Attorney or Senior Attorney. It is anticipated that this attorney will serve as a regional Clean Air Act expert for SELC’s Clean Air & Energy program. The preferred location for this position is in SELC’s Birmingham, AL office, but other locations, as well as remote work, will be considered. Please state any office preferences in your cover letter. If located in Birmingham, this attorney may also have the opportunity to work on complementary clean air and energy work within Alabama.

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 South and the nation. This position is open to practicing attorneys with three or more years of experience, and the start date is as soon as possible.

SELC currently has a hybrid work model of at least 3 in-office working days and up to 2 at-home working days per week. We require all staff to be vaccinated and provide proof of vaccination. This is a full-time position.

About the Position: 

The primary goal of SELC’s Clean Energy & Air program is to fight climate change by bending down the arc of greenhouse gas emissions in the South’s electric power sector while ensuring that the new clean energy economy will relieve, not reproduce, the environmental and financial disparities of the old one. We work across a range of venues, including state and federal court, state utilities commissions, environmental regulatory agencies, and legislative bodies. We also collaborate with allied groups with different perspectives in pursuit of shared policy goals and speak in public settings. 

Primary Responsibilities:

SELC’s new Clean Air Attorney will:

  • Assist with identification and litigation of enforcement actions under the Clean Air Act across SELC’s footprint.
  • Identify new opportunities and implement creative strategies to: combat industrial and transportation emissions that burden communities in the South with harmful air pollution; advance cleaner solutions; reduce disproportionate energy burdens on citizens and take on the region’s biggest polluters.
  • Participate in administrative proceedings before regulatory agencies, including researching and drafting comments and engaging in public speaking.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with SELC’s clients, partners and external stakeholders.
  • Work closely with our Communications team to develop and deliver public messaging about our work to combat air pollution.
  • Develop and maintain expertise in federal law and policy related to clean air, as well as analogous state law and policy within SELC’s footprint.
  • Support SELC’s collegial and collaborative approach.

Required Qualifications:

We are seeking a talented, multi-faceted lawyer with:

  • At least three years of advocacy experience as a Clean Air Act practitioner.
  • Exceptional candidates will have advocacy experience from a variety of settings, including participation in regulatory rulemakings, administrative review processes, and litigation.
  • Excellent academic credentials.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills in both legal and non-legal settings.
  • Interpersonal skills and an ability to build productive relationships with a diverse set of clients, partners, and governmental officials and staff.
  • Organization and project management skills.
  • Experience working with technical experts for the preparation of reports or testimony.
  • Ability to identify and prioritize strategic objectives. 
  • A demonstrated capacity to work collaboratively across teams and offices of a multi-faceted organization.
  • A demonstrated commitment to SELC’s mission
  • 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. For more details about our benefits package, please visit our Careers page.

To Apply:

SELC has partnered with an executive search firm to facilitate this hiring process. Interested applicants should send a resume and a statement of interest to Jessica Martinez, Partner with ThinkingAhead Executive Search: [email protected]

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.