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Oct 23 / BARD CEP

General Counsel – Washington D.C.

Organization: Potomac Riverkeeper

Job Title: General Counsel

Location:Washington D.C.

Hours and Compensation: Full time

Application Deadline: applications accepted until filled

Posted on: October 22, 2013


Organization Overview:

Potomac Riverkeeper, Inc. is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to stop pollution and restore clean water in the Potomac and Shenandoah Rivers and their tributaries, encompassing some 15,000 square miles in Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, and the District of Columbia. PRK accomplishes its mission through two strategies: enforcement of existing laws and regulations andengagement of volunteers and citizen activists to be the “eyes and ears” of the river.

Founded in 2000, Potomac Riverkeeper currently has a staff of 9 and an operating budget of $800,000 (not including almost $1,000,000 in donated legal and expert services). Funding comes from foundations, corporations, and individuals. Potomac Riverkeeper is located in Washington, DC, with field offices in Boyce, Virginia and Bunker Hill, West Virginia. It is governed by a Board of 18 directors with a wide variety of skills and experience, and a deep commitment to restoring the health of the Potomac River. Potomac Riverkeeper is a proud member of the Waterkeeper Alliance. To learn more, go to


Potomac Riverkeeper 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 compensation and benefits package, which currently includes comprehensive medical and dental coverage for eligible employees with no employee premium contribution, an employer 403(b) contribution following one year, options for pre-tax flexible spending accounts for medical and dependent care costs, coverage of Bar dues, and generous paid time off.

Potomac Riverkeeper provides all people with equal employment opportunities and values a diverse workplace.


The General Counsel reports to the President/Riverkeeper. The successful candidate will:

  • Serve as in-house counsel on all legal issues affecting the organization.
  • Coordinate all “riverkeeping” activities throughout the Lower Potomac watershed, defined as the region from Harpers Ferry, West Virginia, to the Chesapeake Bay.
  • Provide legal representation for Potomac Riverkeeper in environmental citizen suits through all phases of litigation, including settlement negotiations, pleading, discovery, motion practice, briefing, hearing, and appeal.
  • Serve as spokesperson for legal issues affecting the organization and the watershed.
  • Identify and evaluate litigation priorities to further Potomac Riverkeeper’s program and policy objectives.
  • Coordinate, recruit, engage, and acknowledge PRK’s pro bono attorneys, including law firms, university clinics, and public interest organizations.
  • Oversee and manage the duties of legal fellow.
  • Provide leadership in programmatic and organizational planning.
  • Additional Responsibilities
    • Participate in work groups, coalitions, and other venues where PRK can add value or receive value in return.
    • Serve as primary staff and a resource for the Litigation Committee of the Board of Directors.
    • Provide support to fundraising and communications by providing timely information for proposals, newsletters, and other outreach materials.
    • Provide direction for Potomac Riverkeeper’s field investigations, boat patrols, public records reviews, and other legal research.
    • Help maintain a cohesive and collegial Potomac Riverkeeper team.


  • Two to five years legal experience, including significant experience with negotiations, brief writing, litigation, and oral advocacy.
  • Working knowledge of the Federal Clean Water Act, and state and federal civil procedure.
  • Admission to DC, Maryland, West Virginia, or Virginia bars.

Required Skills

  • Ability to serve as a credible and strong spokesperson for the watershed.
  • Ability to energize and effectively manage a small team of committed volunteers and advocates to achieve significant pollution reduction and habitat protection.
  • Ability to seamlessly integrate technical and scientific information into legal arguments and agreements.
  • Ability to manage numerous litigation deadlines.
  • Excellent communication skills with a focus on staff supervision, negotiations, brief writing, and oral advocacy.
  • Desire to investigate pollution cases on the ground and on the water.
  • Interest in taking a leadership role in a collaborative, visionary, and strategic organization.
  • Flexibility, a good sense of humor, and a passion for Potomac Riverkeeper’s mission.

How to Apply:

Accepted until filled, with position to begin immediately. Email a cover letter, resume, short writing sample, and three references, subject line “YOUR LAST NAME, General Counsel.” Only complete applications will be considered, and only those selected for interviews will be contacted – no phone inquiries please.

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