We’re Hiring: Staff Attorney

Job Announcement: Staff Attorney
Application Deadline: Rolling until filled. Priority given to applications received by June 15, 2022.

Job Description: Upper Missouri Waterkeeper is hiring a Staff Attorney available to start Summer 2022. The Staff Attorney is responsible for working with Waterkeeper’s team to develop and execute environmental protection campaigns, including representing Waterkeeper in litigation, administrative proceedings, rulemaking proceedings, and state legislatures. The Staff Attorney’s work plan focuses on campaigns enforcing the Clean Water Act and state environmental, land use & public participation laws. The position is aimed at an attorney with at least two years of litigation experience who seeks to apply their legal skills to engage in both policy initiatives and litigation in a fast-paced, creative workplace providing excellent opportunity for work-life balance.

Preference will be given to candidates with experience working in public interest environmental, administrative, or land use litigation, relevant science backgrounds, or a demonstrated commitment to environmental justice. The position requires occasional evening and weekend work and travel.

About Upper Missouri Waterkeeper: We are a non-profit advocacy organization focused on defending water resources, community health, and ecological resiliency within some of the Lower 48’s Last, Best wild river systems.

We use a combination of strong science, citizen action, and the law to connect people across a 25,000 sq. mile river basin in advocating for fishable, swimmable, drinkable water, responsible land use, environmental justice, and lawful decisionmaking at the local, state, and federal levels. The Upper Missouri River Basin hosts approximately 1/3 of Montana’s population, a 1/3 its major cities including the state capitol, 8 primary river systems creating and forming the headwaters of our nation’s longest river (the Missouri River), and includes significant portions of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem and several world-famous blue ribbon trout fisheries.

Our staff are close-knit, the workplace casual, and the organization is focused on results and impact. We are headquartered in downtown Bozeman, an outdoors mecca centrally located within our geographic focus of the Upper Missouri River Basin with staff also located in Dillon, Ennis, and Helena.


  • Develop and implement legal and policy strategies to advance campaigns, including correspondence to, and meeting with, agency and elected officials, drafting and delivering public comments, developing strategies to advance rulemaking, and participating in a variety of government committees.
  • Litigate in federal and state venues representing Waterkeeper and its members. This work includes working with the Executive Director to develop impact litigation, as well as researching, drafting and filing claims, building records, pleading and all aspects of case management, including in-court appearances.
  • Communicate Legal & Policy Work to Members and the Public. In partnership with Waterkeeper’s Outreach team, the Staff Attorney will assist in communicating campaigns to the media and members through interviews, press releases, op-eds, emails, and website posts.
  • Supervise seasonal law clerks on a periodic basis through established relationships with top clinical programs

Required Skills & Qualifications

  • At least 2-years experience practicing law. Relevant experience including clerkships and outstanding work prior to obtaining a law degree will be considered.
  • Experience practicing, or relevant life experience in environmental, natural resource, land use, or administrative law.
  • Admission to and good standing in the Montana State Bar and U.S. District Court of Montana, or good standing in other state/federal venue and ability to gain admittance through reciprocity.
  • Strong research, writing, time and detail management skills, including demonstrated ability to meet deadlines.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest and environmental justice.
  • A Positive Mental Attitude.

Desired Skills & Qualifications

  • Degree or applied experience in environmental sciences, biology, natural resources management, or related field is highly desirable.
  • Experience with the federal Clean Water Act and citizen suit enforcement actions.
  • Experience with state or EPA approved sampling protocols/standard operating procedures for surface water, stormwater, and sediment sampling a plus.
  • Experience working at or supervising academic clinics/student researchers.
  • Flexibility to accommodate irregular work load demands, some weekend and evening work is required.
  • Reliable transportation and ability to work professionally in communities throughout western Montana.

*A note to potential candidates: Studies have shown that minorities, women, trans, non-binary, BIPOC, and other candidates from most-impacted communities are less likely to apply for jobs unless they believe they meet every single one of the qualifications as described in a job description. We are committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization. We would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the qualifications described.

Reports to: Executive Director.

Compensation:  $50,000-60,000 base salary, depending on experience, plus 30% of any attorney fee recovery. Benefits include a health care stipend, paid holidays and personal days, paid state bar association dues, annual continuing legal education allowance, and outstanding workplace flexibility. We support and encourage applicants that are pursuing Public Service Loan Forgiveness.

Location: Upper Missouri Waterkeeper’s headquarters are located in downtown Bozeman, MT. We currently use a hybrid model of working from home and in the office. The Staff Attorney is not a purely “remote” position; we will consider the top candidate’s preferred work location on a case-by-case basis. By its nature, this position requires in-person attendance at a variety of functions within Montana. Montana offers a vibrant outdoors culture and easy access to world-class recreational opportunities, opportunities that our team values and prioritizes in our work load. 100% of our team are vaccinated against CV-19 and we expect our newest employee to be, too.

Start Date: Flexible, prefer July 2022.

To Apply: Email a single PDF document containing the listed items below to info@uppermissouriwaterkeeper.org with the subject line “Staff Attorney Job.” If possible, please combine cover letter, resume, references, and writing samples into a single PDF attachment titled “LastName.FirstName.StaffAttorney.”

  • Cover Letter no longer than two pages that addresses at least the following subjects: (1) your legal skills; (2) your interest in our work; and (3) aspects of your background that show particular value to clean water advocacy in Montana and the Northern Rockies.
  • Resume.
  • Two Writing Samples, preferably legal brief or memoranda authored by you.
  • Three professional references.

Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. We anticipate initial interviews during late June with likely offers to visit for in-person interview to final candidates. No phone calls, drop-in visits, or hard copy applications, please.

Upper Missouri Waterkeeper strives to create a diverse work environment. All qualified applicants for employment will receive consideration without regard to race, color, religion, gender, national origin, age, otherwise qualified handicap or disability, or veteran status. We value an inclusive workplace based on respect and integrity.