Staff or Senior Attorney – Energy Program

The Southern Environmental Law Center is seeking a Staff Attorney or Senior Attorney to join our Energy Program, reporting to SELC’s Energy Program Lead Attorney. The preferred locations for this position are Charlottesville, VA; Atlanta, GA; or Charleston, SC; although other SELC offices can be considered, except for our Richmond, VA office. 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.

The ideal candidate will bring at least 5 years of relevant work experience along with the ability to manage concurrent fast-paced projects, strong attention to detail skills, and is collaborative, open, and engaging in both internal and external relationship building.

SELC 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:

  • Advise state-level attorneys on Energy Program priorities, potentially including regulatory and permitting issues, policy and legal considerations related to emerging technologies, clean energy technology tax credits, other Inflation Reduction Act programs and funding streams, and their application to utility resource planning, siting, and procurement decisions (working with outside experts as needed).
  • Engage in legal and policy research, analysis, and advocacy in various settings, including federal and state judicial, regulatory and legislative forums.
  • Engage with renewable energy advocates, business leaders, environmental groups and other public interest organizations, policy makers, legislators, and regulators to overcome barriers to emissions reduction efforts and to ensure that the renewable energy transition is just, equitable, and benefits the health and economy of all communities.
  • Cultivate strong relationships with SELC’s clients, partners, and external stakeholders.
  • Support SELC’s collegial, collaborative, and inclusive approach.

Required Qualifications:

  • At least five years of relevant work experience.
  • Strong commitment to addressing the causes of climate change and advancing clean, sustainable energy resources in the South.
  • Experience with energy and climate change policy and utility regulation.
  • Background in environmental law.
  • Effective written and oral communication skills, including the ability to translate technical and legal issues into plain English.
  • Excellent communication and interpersonal skills and an ability to build and maintain effective relationships with a diverse set of clients and partners, as well as legislators, regulators and business leaders.
  • Strong independent initiative and the ability to contribute effectively and to collaborate as a member of a team.
  • Oral advocacy experience and comfort speaking in varied settings, legal and non-legal alike.
  • A strong personal commitment to SELC’s mission
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. You have a genuine interest in and commitment to helping SELC create and foster a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace. You engage in ongoing personal learning and are eager to contribute to our organizational efforts to be a more diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace.

Desired Qualifications:

  • Experience with grant writing, tax policy, energy siting and permitting.
  • Experience practicing before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission and/or state utility regulatory commissions.

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

Compensation & Benefits:

SELC offers salaries competitive with other leading environmental nonprofits nationally and provides an excellent benefits package. The minimum salary for this position is $103,283. We will consider a wide range of experience for this position; thus salary is negotiable, commensurate with experience, in order to align with target and market salaries of more experienced Attorneys.

SELC is a PSLF (Public Service Loan Forgiveness) eligible employer.

SELC will also provide relocation reimbursement for those relocating for an SELC position, up to a specific dollar amount and contingent on the move being at least 50 miles from the current primary address. 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, resume, law school transcript, one writing sample, and three professional references. The initial deadline for receipt of complete applications is 03/01/2024.

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.