Managing Attorney

 (via Idealist)
San Francisco Baykeeper
San Francisco, CA, United States
Position Type: 
Organization Type: 
NGO/Civil Society
Experience Level: 
Mid-Level (5-7 Years)
Degree Required: 
Advanced Degree (Master's or JD)


Please note: this job post has expired! To the best of our knowledge, this job is no longer available and this page remains here for archival purposes only.

About San Francisco Baykeeper

Baykeeper defends San Francisco Bay from the biggest threats and holds polluters accountable. For 30 years, using science, policy, and law, we’ve achieved over 270 legal victories to stop pollution from industrial facilities, reduced sewage spills to the Bay by 75% from 10 cities, passed new state laws to keep fossil fuel pollution out of the Bay, and strengthened local regulation of toxic pollutants like mercury and selenium to protect the Bay’s wildlife and residents.  Recent press coverage called Baykeeper "one of the region's most active and most effective defenders of the marine environment." 

The Position

Baykeeper is seeking an exceptional Managing Attorney to lead our high-impact environmental enforcement and legal advocacy program. This position manages a docket of 10-15 cases, leveraging the Clean Water Act and other environmental laws to achieve concrete legal victories for the Bay and Bay Area communities. In addition to litigation, the Managing Attorney collaborates with our Senior Scientist to strengthen water quality policies through legal advocacy before regulatory agencies. This is a Director-level, leadership position instrumental to the continued success of Baykeeper’s legal program and our mission to help the Bay thrive.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

Environmental Enforcement

  • Advance Baykeeper’s mission to defend the Bay from its biggest threats and hold polluters accountable by identifying, evaluating, and implementing effective litigation and advocacy
  • Build and maintain a docket of 10-15 cases from case identification and investigation through settlement and/or litigation to compliance monitoring
  • Manage our involvement in external cases where Baykeeper serves as a co-plaintiff or co-counsel partnering with other organizations, including selecting and managing outside counsel and balancing resources to meet our overall litigation strategies
  • Develop and manage annual legal program budget, including fee recovery projections
  • Supervise the legal staff, currently comprised of two experienced Staff Attorneys, a legal fellow, and a seasonal law clerk. Assign projects and duties among team members to best utilize available expertise and resources and meet deadlines.

Program Management

  • Collaborate with the Executive Director and Senior Scientist to develop and execute multi-year strategic program plans that achieve measurable results
  • Coordinate with our science and policy team to advise pollution investigations and define policy advocacy priorities to ensure that our positions are supported by sound legal analysis
  • Bring a commitment to building a diverse, equitable and inclusive environmental movement to the recruitment and management of seasonal volunteer law clerks
  • Provide litigation and legal advocacy updates to assist communications staff with outreach materials and website; and draft position papers, as requested
  • Support fundraising staff with requested information for grant proposals and reporting
  • Contribute to a cohesive and collegial Baykeeper team

Organizational Representation

  • Serve as Baykeeper’s lead in-house counsel and provide strong legal representation for Baykeeper through all phases of litigation
  • Provide articulate and compelling public advocacy in meetings and hearings before regulatory agencies and state and local officials
  • Represent the legal program internally and provide well-informed updates on the status and merits of litigation to staff and Board
  • Speak with media, supporters, and others as necessary to further present Baykeeper’s program message.

Other duties as needed or required

Essential Qualifications

  • Admission to California bar
  • Minimum five years litigation experience, including developing and initiating cases, negotiating and drafting settlements, writing briefs, conducting oral arguments, and working with experts and outside counsel
  • Experience with federal and state environmental statutes – most importantly the Clean Water Act – and with state and federal civil procedure, citizen suit enforcement, and attorney fee recovery
  • Experience directly managing staff, preferably other attorneys, in a collaborative professional environment and contributing positively to an engaging, inclusive, and productive workplace culture
  • Experience working with litigation dockets involving multiple ongoing cases and multiple attorneys. Past direct responsibility for overall docket management and case development a plus. 
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills and the ability to integrate technical and scientific information into legal advocacy.  Strong legal research and analytical skills to support sound decision-making.
  • Proven ability to set and meet internal and external deadlines under pressure, organize and track progress on several short-term and long-term projects, and work collaboratively, take initiative, and follow-through to successfully complete projects
  • Ability to exercise sound judgment and reflect organizational values, even in stressful situations
  • Ability to create, manage, and adhere to a legal budget
  • Willingness to serve as an organizational spokesperson for external communications across a range of media and comfort with public speaking in a variety of advocacy venues
  • Comfort with traveling to meetings around the Bay Area, and investigating pollution reports and incidents in the field, including in inclement weather and occasionally outside of normal business hours
  • Strong team ethic and integrity, with a desire to play a leadership role at a collaborative, inclusive, and highly-effective organization
  • A demonstrated personal or professional passion for Baykeeper’s mission to protect the Bay 

Supervisory Responsibilities

This position will supervise other employees and volunteers

Physical Demands 

The physical demands of this position include utilizing computer equipment, traveling to and actively participating in public meetings, occasional travel by boat and small aircraft, and conducting visual and sensory inspections on and around the Bay. These demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Baykeeper is committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where we learn and work together to protect the Bay. We strongly encourage applicants from underrepresented backgrounds in the environmental movement to apply. Accommodations are available for applicants with disabilities in all phases of the application and employment process.

Compensation, Benefits, and Values 

This is a full-time, exempt position reporting to the Executive Director. The salary for this position ranges from $95,000 to $105,000 depending upon relevant experience and qualifications. Baykeeper places the highest value on its employees and employee retention and is committed to continuously building on our collaborative and flexible workplace environment. We value a healthy work-life balance and offer a competitive benefits package, which currently includes comprehensive medical and dental coverage for eligible employees with no employee premium contribution, an employer 401(k) contribution following one year, options for pre-tax flexible spending accounts for medical, transit, and dependent care costs, professional development opportunities and training, including coverage of California Bar dues and reasonable MCLE costs, and generous paid time off.


If you are interested in this position and meet a majority of the essential qualifications, please send a cover letter, resume, and recent legal writing sample (no longer than 10 pages) in PDF format to, subject line “YOUR LAST NAME, Managing Attorney.” If your materials indicate a potential match for our requirements, we will contact you. Please, no phone calls or emails to the office regarding this opening. Position open until filled; interviews to begin as soon as August 5, 2019 with an anticipated start date in September 2019.