• Location: Canberra
  • Term: Permanent
  • Full Time
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 5-6: FTE $88,400-102,450 + 10.5% super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading  
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples are particularly encouraged to apply
  • Job title: Solicitor / Senior Solicitor

Reporting to: Managing Lawyer, ACT 

The Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is the leading environmental law practice in the Australia Pacific region delivering legal solutions for peoples, nature and our climate. We have a big vision, which is a world where nature thrives. We’ve got big ambition about the role we can play in delivering that vision and we’ve got an incredible team across the country working to achieve it. 

We are dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running ground-breaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy. Over our 30-year combined history we’ve developed a formidable track record of empowering communities and delivering effective protection of the environment through legal services.

As the region’s legal experts in our field, we aim to be a brave, unified, and focused team, committed to inclusion and excellence in all that we do. We strive to be a diverse and inclusive workplace supporting a highly skilled, engaged, and effective team, where everyone can feel that they belong.

The Opportunity:  

We’re looking for an experienced lawyer who is passionate about environmental justice and human rights. This position is part of the EDO’s Healthy Environment and Justice program, which aims to empower overburdened people and communities to fight for environmental justice. The ACT Practice focuses heavily on the intersection of human rights and environmental law, and in particular advocating for legal recognition and best practice implementation of the right to a healthy environment in the ACT and nationally.

We are looking for someone who can support the ACT’s public interest law practice in delivering access to environmental justice to overburdened members of the ACT community, including First Nations people and climate affected communities.

Candidate Profile:  

You are a lawyer looking for an opportunity to use your legal skillset and experience to work with the largest public interest environmental law centre in the region.

Lawyers who think outside the box and want a chance to think creatively about delivering systemic change are strongly encouraged to apply.

You will have or be entitled to an unrestricted practising certificate, and strong PAE working as a lawyer with demonstrated litigation experience.

You want to work at the intersection of climate justice, human rights and the environment and want an opportunity to make an impact for people and nature. 

Key Selection Criteria:

Core skills

  • An unrestricted practicing certificate or entitlement to hold one in the ACT
  • 2 years PQE working as a solicitor including litigation, 5+ years PQE highly desirable
  • Demonstrated experience in administrative law, environmental law and/or related disciplines, including human rights law
  • Experience in the ACT jurisdiction highly desirable
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to make sound judgements and decisions based on consideration of different views
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills suited to a range of audiences

Substantive experience

  • Demonstrated litigation experience in administrative or environmental law and/or related disciplines, including human rights law
  • Capacity to undertake law reform or policy, experience desirable
  • Demonstrated experience working with First Nations people or diverse communities and individuals highly desirable

Personal qualities and cultural competency

  • A champion of the EDO values
  • Strong initiative and self-motivation
  • Commitment to the protection of human rights and the environment
  • A strong sense of ethics and understanding of professional obligations
  • Demonstrated awareness of and sensitivity to the needs and concerns of First Nations and peoples from diverse cultures, backgrounds and orientations in both the delivery of our work and our internal culture
  • Demonstrated ability to work in a collaborative and team-based environment

Our Culture and Benefits:    

  • We care deeply about creating a workplace where our team members feel valued, respected, and empowered. We are committed to providing equal opportunity regardless of gender identity, ethnicity, disability, sexual orientation, or life stage. 
  • The chance to be part of the largest environmental legal practice in the Australia-Pacific 
  • A very flexible and family-friendly workplace 
  • 8 weeks paid parental leave, regardless of gender or carer status
  • 15 days personal/carer’s leave  
  • 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave
  • 3 days paid cultural leave
  • Extra leave over the Christmas period
  • Access to Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Ongoing professional development opportunities 
  • EDO proudly has a JEDI (Justice, Equality, Diversity, Inclusion) Committee and a Mental Health Ambassador Committee, and has developed a First Nations Program with the aid of indigenous-led consultancies. 
  • Affinity groups for the following: Global Majority*, LGBTQIA+ and People with Disability

*Global Majority is a collective term that first and foremost speaks to and encourages those so-called, to think of themselves as belonging to the majority on planet earth. It refers to people who are Black, African, Asian, Brown, dual-heritage, indigenous to the global south, and or, have been racialised as ‘ethnic minorities’.

Our Values

Commitment – We are committed to; a united organisation, to each other, to collaboration, to justice, to our communities and to creating a world where nature thrives.  

Diversity – We are respectful of and welcome diversity of staff, volunteers, offices, environmental regions, communities, stakeholders.  

Integrity – We work effectively, efficiently, strategically, professionally, and ethically; “justice is in our nature”.  

Vision – We lead change and environmental empowerment using innovation, creativity, and courage.  

How to Apply

EDO recognises that vaccination is a personal choice, and we must find a balance between the safety of employees and volunteers, and individual rights. Accordingly, we have developed a Covid-19 Safety Policy to protect the health and safety of our employees, volunteers, clients, and visitors in our workplace. This Policy requires EDO employees, volunteers, clients, and visitors who enter our offices or attend in-person EDO meetings or EDO events to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19.

All offers of employment may be subject to satisfactory background checks including a National Police Check, disclosure of previous or current disciplinary action, referee checks, proof of eligibility to work in Australia and qualification checks.

EDO particularly encourages applications from Pacific Island people, those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds, workers of all ages, people with disability and people who identify as LGBTQIA+. 

Applications must include a CV and a letter that clearly addresses each of the selection criteria.  Applications which do not address the selection criteria will not be considered.  

Applications close on Monday 8th May 2023. Applications should be emailed to [email protected] with ‘Application for position of Solicitor ACT’ in the subject line. 

Please note: Your application may be considered for future roles at the EDO within the next 12 months without additional advertising. Please notify us in your application if you would not like to be considered for similar roles beyond this recruitment.

If you have any accessibility needs for the recruitment or interviewing process, please let us know.