We're hiring a Resident Attorney! Deadline to apply: July 31, 2015

The Organization

Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit law firm designed to incubate legal services start-ups in the area of environmental law for underserved, modest means clients. The purposes of the organization include the education of attorneys in serving modest means clients, increasing equal access to justice, and community empowerment for the tri-state region of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and West Virginia. Fair Shake advances local, community decision-making about community health, environmental protection and cleanup, and development by providing access to justice for individuals and groups that are currently underserved. 

At Fair Shake, Resident Attorneys train in advanced lawyering skills and sustainable business practices. We provide on-the-job training to Resident Attorneys for 2-years to provide a solid foundation to start practices for modest means clients. The residency program is designed to put Residents in the context of the practice that they will run themselves. The business development curriculum includes practical skills growth in client development, financing a practice, billing and pricing, law office management, alternative practice areas and practice diversification, and budgeting.


Call for Applications for a Resident Attorney

Fair Shake is looking for bright, motivated, and entrepreneurial attorneys who want to build or join small or solo environmental law practices for modest means clients in the Appalachian Basin region. We are hiring attorneys interested in increasing access to justice in environmental matters and public participation in environmental decision-making.


Essential Functions of Resident Attorneys

Working under the direct supervision of a Senior or Managing Attorney, the Resident Attorney represents and counsels modest means clients in the tri-state region of Ohio, West Virginia, and Pennsylvania. While practicing law at Fair Shake, Resident Attorneys spend a substantial amount of time training in advanced lawyering skills, business planning, and alternative practice areas to prepare the attorney for a modest means law practice outside of Fair Shake. The Resident Attorney position involves client interviewing and counseling, legal analysis, factual investigation, trial preparation, collaborative case theory development, and problem-solving. The Resident Attorney will handle matters covering the full reach of environmental law practice.

Resident Attorneys will be part of a legal team in either Pennsylvania or Ohio dedicated to providing environmental legal services to modest means clients. Residents will build a client base geared toward their own environmental practice goals while training in the business of a law practice serving modest means clients. Resident Attorneys will spend time every week on both case development and business planning. Resident Attorneys are expected to work to start-up or join an environmental practice within the tri-state region of Ohio, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia to serve modest means clients in at least 50% of their practice after spending 2 years at Fair Shake ELS. Options will exist for continued support from the Fair Shake after their 2-year residency period.

Resident Attorneys will work on a diverse scope of environmental matters, but may focus in areas of desired practice development. Anticipated case matters include permit appeals, civil litigation, citizen suits, permit and rule comments, administrative petitions, land use hearings, gas lease reviews and negotiations, compliance counseling, community educational presentations, and opinion letter development.


Desired Skills and Qualities 

·       Training and experience in the full spectrum of environmental and administrative legal issues;

·       Training in client interviewing and counseling, administrative procedure, and trial advocacy;

·       Experience and training in legal drafting, research, and effective communication;

·       A strong interest in starting a small environmental legal practice in the tri-state region;

·       Demonstrated effectiveness in both collaboratively- and independently-produced work product and performances; and

·       A commitment to Fair Shake’s mission.


Minimum Qualifications

Candidates should possess:

·       A minimum of 1-3 years of legal practice experience (experience in a clinical program or working as a clerk or intern in a law office during law school may count as 1 year of experience in a legal practice);

·       Current Ohio or Pennsylvania Bar membership or willingness to become licensed in those states within 6 months from the date of hire.

Resident Attorneys must be willing to travel across the State or Commonwealth and to other Fair Shake offices as needed.


Compensation & Benefits

Fair Shake offers a competitive non-profit salary commensurate with skills and experience as well as a comprehensive benefits package that includes 15 days paid vacation; medical, dental, disability, and life insurance; and a retirement savings plan.


To Apply

To apply, please submit a letter of interest, your CV or résumé, and a writing sample to:

Emily A. Collins

Executive Director and Managing Attorney

3495 Butler Street, Suite 120

Pittsburgh, PA 15201



In your letter of interest, please address the following:

·       Your interest in entrepreneurship;

·       A proposed geographic scope that you would like to serve after your residency at Fair Shake;

·       The particular areas of environmental law in which you would like to focus;

·       Your practice goals;

·       The types of clients you would like to represent; and

·       Non-environmental areas of the law that you would consider adding to your practice.

Fair Shake Environmental Legal Services is an Equal Opportunity Employer. We are committed to diversity in our workforce.