Jobs and Internships

Baykeeper defends San Francisco Bay and the health of the watershed from the biggest environmental threats and holds polluters accountable. For 35 years, we’ve used science, advocacy, and law to achieve hundreds of legal and policy victories that have reduced industrial pollution, sewage spills, fossil fuel contamination, and toxic pollutants to protect the Bay’s wildlife and community health. Our efforts are featured in local, state, and national media – Baykeeper is “one of the region’s most active and most effective defenders” of the environment.

The following positions are currently available at San Francisco Baykeeper:

Associate Attorney

Baykeeper is a growing organization with a bold mission tied to fighting for justice in partnership with communities around the Bay Area who have the right to clean water and healthy neighborhoods protected from corporate polluters and government wrongdoing. Our team values integrity and respect, including in how we treat our employees. We are committed to continuously building on our collaborative workplace environment, and we support the physical and mental health of our employees, as well as a positive work-life balance. We are a passionate results-oriented staff with an engaged community of donors and volunteers, and we are excited to expand our team with this new position. 

The Associate Attorney will join Baykeeper’s existing legal team, made up of a Managing Attorney, two Staff Attorneys, and an experienced legal volunteer. Baykeeper maintains an active legal docket of 10-15 high-impact cases aimed at achieving justice for the Bay’s communities and wildlife.

The Associate Attorney will work with our staff of attorneys, scientists, and outside partners using advocacy and litigation to move our mission forward. Specifically, the Associate Attorney will work to ensure state and federal water quality regulations protect endangered species, native fish, ecosystems, and communities throughout the Bay’s watershed. The Associate Attorney will also be responsible for working within Bay Area communities to investigate industrial and municipal pollution and develop litigation to reduce the pollution burden on our neighborhoods.

Essential responsibilities include:

  • Investigate.
    • Support and work with science staff and outside experts on potential lawsuits against polluters.
  • Litigate.
    • Prepare notice letters, complaints, legal memos, and motions related to our litigation docket.
    • Negotiate and draft Consent Decrees under the Clean Water Act to reduce pollution to the Bay.
    • Monitor enforcement of existing Baykeeper legal settlements.
  • Advocate.
    • Analyze regulatory orders, permits, and legislation.
    • Help to build and utilize administrative records to support litigation.
    • Prepare comment letters and provide oral advocacy to regulatory agencies.
  • Collaborate.
    • Work with science staff to ensure our work is based upon the best available evidence.
    • Partner with grassroots and community groups to ensure our efforts are making a difference.
    • Assist communications, fundraising, and HR staff with requested information, as necessary.
    • Contribute to a cohesive and collegial Baykeeper team.

Required qualifications:

  • Law school graduate with 0-3 years of legal experience.
  • Admitted to, or willing and eligible to apply for admission to, the California State Bar.
  • Academic, policy, or legal experience related to environmental law, environmental justice, administrative advocacy, or litigation, including administrative agency litigation.
  • Strong written and oral communication skills.

Preferred qualifications include:

  • Knowledge of federal and state environmental laws, including Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.
  • Experience meeting deadlines under pressure and approaching work with integrity and a problem-solving mindset while maintaining respect of others in stressful situations.
  • Ability to integrate complex information into legal and policy advocacy and work collaboratively with a diverse set of partner organizations.
  • Willingness to attend meetings around the Bay Area, Stockton, and Sacramento, and conduct research in the field, including in inclement weather and occasionally outside of normal business hours.
  • Strong work ethic and a demonstrated commitment to advancing equity in the workplace.
  • Desire to engage at a collaborative, inclusive, and effective organization and be part of long-term legal advocacy and litigation fighting for ecosystems and communities throughout the San Francisco Bay watershed.

*Note to potential candidates: Baykeeper is committed to building a diverse and inclusive organization, so we would strongly encourage you to apply, even if you don’t believe you meet every one of the preferred qualifications described.

Work Location (Bay Area, hybrid) 

The Associate Attorney is primarily a remote work position, though the employee must live in the Bay Area or be willing to relocate at their own expense. Exceptions may be made for candidates who live in the Bay’s greater watershed and are willing to travel to the Bay Area as needed for in-person meetings, hearings, and events. Baykeeper’s office is in downtown Oakland, convenient to public transit, and is open for individuals who prefer not to work remotely. 

Physical Demands

The physical demands of this position include utilizing computer equipment, traveling to and actively participating in public meetings, verbal communications with partners, counsel, media representatives, and others both in person and by video and telephone, occasional travel by boat to conduct visual and sensory inspections on and around the Bay. These demands are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Baykeeper is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate in employment opportunities or practices. We are committed to a diverse, equitable, and inclusive workplace where we learn and work together to protect the Bay and Bay Area communities. We strongly encourage women, people of color, gender-diverse individuals, people with disabilities, and other applicants from underrepresented backgrounds in the environmental movement to apply.


This is a full-time, exempt position reporting to the Managing Attorney. The salary range for new staff in this position is $85,000 to $95,000, depending on experience, with an expectation to work 40 hours per week (typically, Monday through Friday 9am – 5pm).

Benefits Package

  • Generous paid time off every year:
    • 17 vacation days per year, which accrue up to a maximum cap of 25 days
    • 12 sick days to care for yourself, family members or pets, may be used as mental health days
    • 12 holidays with flexibility for diverse religious/cultural observances
    • 2 days for volunteerism or social justice activism
    • Birthday holiday for employee, and
    • Extra time off during winter holidays, typically the days between Christmas and New Year’s
  • Fully paid medical, dental, and vision insurance premiums for employees
  • As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Baykeeper is currently a qualifying employer under the federal Public Service Loan Forgiveness program.
  • 401(k) plan with employer contribution (as the budget allows) following one year of employment
  • Flexible spending accounts for medical, transit, and dependent care costs for employee contributions
  • Paid basic life insurance policy for employees
  • Full access to Employee Assistance Program
  • Paid Cal Bar Membership dues and professional development opportunities, including relevant conferences, trainings, and MCLE fees


If you are interested in joining our team, please send a cover letter, resumé, and recent legal writing sample (no longer than 25 pages) in PDF format to [email protected], subject line “YOUR LAST NAME, Associate Attorney.” Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and interviews will be scheduled starting the week of June 3, 2024.

Please note: Your cover letter is critical to the application process because it helps our hiring team assess your writing skills and your genuine interest in the position. In your 1-page cover letter, please briefly describe: 1) Why are you interested in working for Baykeeper, 2) What interests you or connects you to the issues of watershed and ecosystem protection, freshwater flows, and Clean Water Act enforcement, and 3) What experiences make you a good fit to serve as Baykeeper’s next Associate Attorney?   

We want to ensure that people with a wide range of lived experiences and backgrounds hear about and apply for this position.

Law Clerk

San Francisco Baykeeper is seeking law clerks to work on our citizen enforcement program in San Francisco. Baykeeper defends San Francisco Bay against its biggest threats and holds polluters accountable. Law clerks will assist Baykeeper attorneys on all aspects of our enforcement program under the Clean Water Act and other state and federal environmental laws. Tasks include investigating pollution complaints, legal research, drafting legal documents, attending hearings and public meetings, and patrolling the Bay on the Baykeeper boat.


Litigation and Enforcement

  • Research and investigate new pollution cases;
  • Research and draft memos on case law, statutes, and regulations;
  • Assist in-house attorneys and outside counsel in drafting legal documents;
  • Attend court hearings and settlement negotiations as appropriate;
  • Assist with filing, correspondence, or document review as needed. 

Administrative Advocacy

  • Represent and advocate on behalf of Baykeeper at local agency hearings;
  • Research and prepare comments on agency regulations and permits;
  • Draft memos on technical and legal aspects of water quality regulations;
  • Assist with press releases, outreach efforts, and public events


  • At least one year of law school;
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills;
  • A solid academic record;
  • Ability to thrive in a friendly, informal setting;
  • Demonstrated commitment to environmental protection;
  • Significant knowledge of environmental and administrative laws a plus.

How to Apply

We accept Law Clerk applications on the following rotating schedule:

  • Summer application period: August 1 to January 10; 
  • Fall application period: February 1 to July 30; 
  • Spring application period: August 1 to October 31. 

To apply, prepare a cover letter, resume, a current transcript, and a 5-10 page legal writing sample to [email protected].

Please, no phone calls or emails to the office regarding this position.