Environmental Justice Consultant/Officer/Manager, United States

Washington DC, USA, though we are open to remote working arrangements depending on the circumstances.

A dynamic environmental justice advocate who will help us develop our first program in the United States.

About the position

In the United States (US) and elsewhere, the environmental movement has often focused on top-down regulation and litigation. Namati hopes to contribute to a "legal empowerment" approach to environmental justice in the United States: one that equips communities affected by environmental harm to advocate for themselves.

Namati focuses on “community paralegals”, sometimes called barefoot lawyers or legal empowerment advocates, who demystify law and help people exercise their rights. Namati works with community paralegals in 8 countries and hosts the Global Legal Empowerment Network, made up of over 1500 groups from 130 countries.

In India and Sierra Leone, Namati focuses on environmental justice in particular. Paralegals in those countries support communities to pursue practical remedies when, say, an oil palm plantation grabs land without consent, or an iron mine poisons their water.

We are planning to recruit a small crew of community-based legal empowerment advocates in the DC- Maryland region. We envision that most of them will already be working as advocates or organizers. We want to bolster their work, connect them with each other, and develop together a systematic legal empowerment approach.

We are looking for a dynamic person to help us find these advocates, support them, and learn from them. This person will work closely with Namati’s CEO, Vivek Maru, and our Global Programs team.

We’re in startup mode with this program; we’re looking for someone energetic and ready to hustle.


We’ll ask this person to-

  • Become conversant in Namati’s EJ work abroad - what we’ve accomplished and what we’ve learned.
  • Coordinate recruitment and selection of grassroots legal empowerment advocates.
  • Engage in legal analysis and documentation of past cases, in order to assess various channels by which advocates and communities can seek solutions to environmental injustice.
  • Organize a series of trainings for legal empowerment advocates. Identify and collaborate with potential trainers-- experts in law, environmental science, and organizing.
  • Organize monthly meetings for legal empowerment advocates (content as well as logistics).
  • Co-design, with legal empowerment advocates, a method for tracking information on the cases they handle.
  • Develop partnerships with legal and scientific resource groups who can provide ongoing support to the legal empowerment advocates.
  • Analyze data from the advocates’ casework, and document learning from the effort over time.


Here are examples of the kinds of things you’ll do-

  • Interview candidate legal empowerment advocates and assess their written exercises.
  • Spend the day with a legal empowerment advocate, attending a community meeting with her and talking through strategy for the case she’s working on.
  • Work with Namati’s CEO to plan the next monthly advocates’ gathering, drawing on feedback from the last one.
  • Book a venue for the meeting and arrange for a nutritious lunch that minimizes packaging and waste.
  • Draft emails for the CEO to send to legal groups who can serve as mentors to the legal empowerment advocates.
  • Create a first draft of a case tracking form, drawing on the forms Namati uses in India and Sierra Leone.


About you/must-haves for the consultancy

Experience in community-based environmental justice work in the United States: You are a seasoned environmental justice advocate who has spent time working at the intersections of community organizing, law, and policy. You have relevant credentials and strong connections and networks in the field.

In-depth knowledge of environmental law: You have a deep understanding of law and regulation on environment, land, and industry. You are familiar with the institutions that regulate these areas, and you can provide strong analysis of possible routes for administrative and other remedies to environmental harms.

Track record of getting results: You bring 3+ years’-- and possibly much more-- experience that demonstrates you are a strategic, dynamic leader who makes things happen.  You’re great with logistics and enjoy figuring out how to get things done.

Collaborative and service-oriented: You greet everyone you encounter with a collaborative spirit, kindness, and empathy. You are known as a team-player who brings an “all hands on deck” mindset to all projects -- you’re adaptable and happy to contribute however you can to advance Namati’s mission.

Exceptional communication skills: You have demonstrable experience engaging with diverse communities and are an outstanding communicator in writing and in person.

Efficient and precise: You work quickly and efficiently and can produce excellent, on-point work product in short timeframes -- you always nail deadlines. You manage collaborative processes confidently and efficiently: you know how to incorporate input from a variety of stakeholders.

Growth-oriented: You’re always seeking to better yourself and your work, and you will push yourself to the peak of performance to help fulfill our mission. In service of that growth, you welcome and delight in feedback from supervisors, peers, and anyone else.


About Namati

Namati is dedicated to placing the power of law in the hands of people.

For billions of people around the world, the law is broken. It’s an abstraction -- or worse, a threat -- but not something we can use to exercise our basic rights.

Namati is building a global movement of grassroots advocates who empower people to understand, use, and shape the law. These “barefoot lawyers” form a dynamic, creative frontline that can squeeze justice out of even broken systems.  

In the past four years, Namati and our partners have worked with over 65,000 clients to take on some of the greatest challenges of our times: protecting community lands, enforcing environmental law, and securing basic rights to healthcare and citizenship.

We track data on every case and use that information to advocate for systemic changes, like better policies for land governance in Liberia, environmental regulation in India, and healthcare delivery in Mozambique.

And we're joining forces for change. Namati convenes the Global Legal Empowerment Network -- over 1,500 groups and 5,000 individuals from 150 countries learning from one another and bringing justice to communities in every part of the world.

Our work has gained recognition. Namati and the Global Legal Empowerment Network were recognized with the prestigious Skoll Award in 2016. Honoring CEO Vivek Maru as a fellow, Ashoka called ours the “best law-for-all model we’ve seen.” We’ve been published and featured in the Guardian, the New York Times, and Forbes. And we’ve had some hefty supporters, including an advisory board with leaders like Amartya Sen, Mo Ibrahim, Fazle Abed, and Madeleine Albright.

As we move into our next phase, we’re growing our global team of passionate, results-oriented, big-hearted advocates, united by a common mission and a strong culture:

  • Our mission is our North Star. It’s why we all wake up every day. We pour our hearts into this work.
  • We’re innovators and changemakers. We are a young, energetic social enterprise and we know that our work is urgent. We believe in being nimble and doing what works.
  • Our work makes real, tangible, measurable progress in people’s lives. We take abstract concepts – rule of law and human rights – and make them concrete, helping people find solutions that improve their lives every day.
  • We walk our talk. Our movement is about legal empowerment and we bring this spirit of empowerment and collaboration to all our partnerships. We hold humility as a core value: we lead when necessary and follow when necessary.
  • We are a truly global organization. Our offices are located in Delhi, Freetown, Maputo, Oakland, Washington DC, and Yangon, and our staff come from all corners of the world. We are united by our common mission.
  • We see our people as our most valuable resource. We bring on individuals of the highest caliber and character and we mentor, train, and support our staff.  
  • We hold one another in the highest esteem. Our work relationships are built on deep abiding respect and love.

For more about what it’s like to work at Namati, please see our Cultural Principles.



Washington, D.C., though we are open to remote working arrangements depending on the circumstances.


Structure & compensation

We are flexible about the title and structure for this position. We welcome applicants interested in either a consultancy or a permanent position. We welcome applicants with three years’ experience, or with many more. We will set compensation based on both the role and the profile of the person joining.


To apply

Please complete our online application form, noting we strongly prefer for your application materials (cover letter, CV, and writing samples) to be uploaded in one PDF.

Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

No phone calls please.

Namati is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Apply for this opening at http://namati.recruiterbox.com/jobs/fk012la?apply=true