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About Coastkeeper

Orange County Coastkeeper is a non-profit organization that protects swimmable, drinkable, fishable water and promotes watershed resilience throughout our region. For over 20 years, we’ve had incredible success with our innovative programs in environmental education, advocacy, marine restoration, research, and water quality enforcement. Coastkeeper plays a significant role in developing local water policy, affecting issues such as water recycling and industrial stormwater permits. As a member of the California Coastkeeper Alliance and Waterkeeper Alliance, we also work on matters impacting the state, the country, and the world. By joining Coastkeeper, you would become a member of the community’s leading voice on water and coastal issues.

About the Role

Orange County Coastkeeper and its associated programs, including Inland Empire Waterkeeper, are seeking an experienced attorney to direct the organization’s litigation and legal advocacy program. Coastkeeper’s legal team works to protect water resources to ensure they are swimmable, drinkable, and fishable for present and future generations through advocacy and environmental litigation. The legal director will be responsible for directing all legal advocacy initiatives and litigation – particularly Clean Water Act enforcement. This is a full-time, exempt position reporting to the Executive Director.

  • Direct all litigation and environmental enforcement.
  • Coordinate litigation with outside counsel, expert consultants, and pro bono attorneys.
  • Litigate Clean Water Act citizen suit matters through all stages of litigation, including investigation, discovery, trial, appeal, settlement, and compliance.
  • Supervise staff attorneys, legal internship and externship programs, and all pro bono legal work.
  • Develop and manage departmental budget.
  • Draft comment letters on permits, policies, and regulations related to water quality and water supply issues.
  • Represent Coastkeeper organizations at administrative agency hearings.
  • Research and write grants to fund environmental advocacy.
  • Provide general in-house counsel, including drafting and reviewing contracts, reviewing grant contract compliance, assisting in environmental permitting for in-house restoration projects, and other corporate matters.
Required Qualifications
  • California Bar admission.
  • Willing to work in Costa Mesa, CA office in person.
  • Minimum 6 years of relevant legal experience, including 4 years of litigation experience.
  • Minimum of 4 years of experience supervising attorneys.
  • Must have substantial experience as lead counsel on litigation matters.
  • A commitment to public interest work and a passion for Coastkeeper’s mission.
  • Ability to work both independently and in collaboration with others.
Preferred Qualifications
  • Demonstrated experience in environmental litigation, permitting, and compliance (Clean Water Act experience preferred).
  • Working knowledge of California regulatory agencies.
Compensation & Benefits
  • This is a full-time, exempt position.
  • Compensation is commensurate with experience and ranges between $115,000 – $135,000 annually.
  • Health and dental insurance are provided at no cost to the employee.
  • Coastkeeper provides for 11 paid federal holidays, 6 days of paid sick leave annually, and paid time off.
  • 403(b) retirement plans with employer match available.
Equal Employment Opportunity

Coastkeeper is an equal opportunity employer, highly values diversity, and provides advancement opportunities to everyone. Employment decisions are based on merit, qualifications, and ability.

How to Apply

If you are interested in and qualified for this position, please send your resume and cover letter to, subject line “YOUR LAST NAME, Legal Director.” 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. Posting will remain open until filled.

Date Posted: January 31, 2023