Virginia Staff Attorney

The Chesapeake Bay Foundation seeks a Virginia Staff Attorney to be based at its Virginia State office located in Richmond, VA.

About the Chesapeake Bay Foundation

Established in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest regional nonprofit conservation organization dedicated to saving the Chesapeake Bay, its rivers and streams, and the wildlife that call it home through education, advocacy, litigation, and restoration. Since 2010, CBF has engaged in a focused effort to defend and implement the Chesapeake Clean Water Blueprint, a binding federal and state collaborative agreement aimed at reducing pollution to the science-based, legally-affirmed levels established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The Blueprint is expected to be fully implemented by 2025. If the states and the federal government achieve Blueprint goals, the Bay will finally—after decades of failed efforts—be removed from the Clean Water Act’s impaired waters list. Successfully implementing the Blueprint depends on a well-informed, engaged, active, and diverse constituency of members, advocates, and volunteers who speak up and take action to save the Bay.

CBF has a staff of approximately 190 employees working in offices in Annapolis, Maryland; Richmond and Virginia Beach, Virginia; Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; and Washington, D.C. as well as 15 field education program locations. Our staff and volunteer corps work throughout the region educating students and adults, advocating for clean water policies, restoring waterways, and litigating when necessary.

CBF's headquarters office in Annapolis, Maryland is the Philip Merrill Environmental Center, the world’s first U.S. Green Build Council’s LEED platinum building. In 2014, CBF opened the Brock Environmental Center—one of the world’s most energy efficient, environmentally smart buildings—in Virginia Beach, Virginia.

CBF has an annual budget of approximately $26 million and is supported by 300,000 members and e-subscribers. For more information on CBF, please visit

Context of the Position

The Virginia Staff Attorney will work with the State Office Executive Director, other Virginia Office staff, and Communications Office staff to formulate position statements and strategies on environmental legislation, regulations, and other related policies. Serves as legal advisor on all aspects of State Office policy and advocacy programs. Advocates CBF position to legislators, agencies, business/community decision-makers, other stakeholders, and the general public. Oversees all written testimony and draft language submitted by CBF for bills and amendments. Handles legal aspects of State Office policy and advocacy programs, including serving as a liaison to the Litigation Department, lobbying, compliance with IRS and State ethics requirements, and response to agency positions and activities.

Salary: $82,000 - $87,000 (negotiable)

Essential Functions

1. Initiates pro-active change in statute, regulation, or policy that furthers CBF goals/objectives; responds to others’ proposed changes in statute, regulation, or policy.
a. Monitors all regulatory/legislative developments that affect Bay’s health.
b. Interprets relevant codes, statutes, regulations, and case law.
c. Works with affected industry/community leaders, state government representatives and
personnel, and other concerned individuals to inform and advance CBF’s position on public policy issues.
d. Prepares synthesis/summary of issues and proposed solutions.
e. Prepares formal proposals, with advocacy materials, for new legislation, regulations, or policies.
f. As the need arises, serves on partner coalitions, legislative or executive task forces and issue-oriented work groups.

2. Monitors federal and state litigation activities within Virginia.
a. When other forms of negotiation have not been successful, assesses the need for litigation in consultation with the Virginia Executive Director, CBF’s Litigation Division, and other attorneys as the need arises.
b. In conjunction with the Litigation Division, assists in researching relevant case law and seeking pro bono or other outside counsel if needed.

3. As appropriate under the circumstances, handles various ad hoc Virginia Office legal issues that arise outside legislative or regulatory contexts. This may include referral to outside specialists.

4. Other:
a. Work to ensure that systems, organizational culture, and practices are aligned with CBF’s mission, values and commitments related to DEIJ.
b. Develop and refine programs and activities to ensure equitable practices and support the development of a diverse and effective team.
c. Ensure an inclusive working environments that supports diverse populations.

Professional Experience and Qualifications

Law degree and admission to the Virginia state bar, excellent public-speaking and written communication skills, and at least five years experience working on complex environmental issues. Educational background in environmental law, administrative law, science, ecology, or related topics. Helpful: knowledge of state and federal lobbying rules, Virginia legislative procedures, business and 501(c)(3) law; and lobbying experience for non-profit advocacy groups.

• Ability to communicate effectively with people from diverse backgrounds and experiences.
• Ability to receive and give supportive feedback to foster equity and inclusion in working relationships.
• Ability to recognize, nurture, and learn from strengths in co-workers.

How to Apply

Using the link below, please submit a cover letter and resume no later than March 15, 2020.

Apply Now

CBF offers a comprehensive benefits package to include: 20 vacation days, 10 sick days, health, vision, dental, life insurance, and a tax deferred retirement plan.

CBF encourages diverse candidates to apply and is committed to creating a diverse and inclusive environment. CBF is proud to be an equal opportunity employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, genetics, disability, age, or veteran status.

Decades of Success: The 1970s

Even as a young organization, our work was effective and got noticed. Find out what we did.

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Save the Bay

Founded in 1967, the Chesapeake Bay Foundation (CBF) is the largest independent conservation organization dedicated solely to saving the Bay.

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