Attorneys enforce civil and criminal environmental laws, defend the United States against environmental challenges to government programs and activities, and represent the United States in matters concerning the protection, use and development of the nation’s natural resources and public lands.
Attorneys in the Environment and Natural Resources Division can expect to become intimately and immediately involved in a wide variety of environmental litigation, personally handle settlement negotiations, travel across the country taking depositions and negotiating consent decrees, and assist senior attorneys in major cases.
ENRD Recruiting Brochure
Specialized programs have been developed to acquaint new employees with the Division and their work in environmental law. These programs include both individual and group orientation sessions, luncheon presentations by senior managers, section retreats, and seminars on a variety of topics, relating both to legal practice generally and to particular substantive areas of the laws we enforce. In addition, the Division regularly sponsors nationwide seminars on environmental and natural resources law topics.
Entry Level Attorneys
The Attorney General’s Honors Program is Justice’s competitive, centralized recruitment program that is the only way for new attorneys (i.e., third-year law students and students who enter judicial clerkships, graduate law programs, or qualifying fellowships within 9 months of law school graduation) to enter Justice in an attorney position.
“Every time I walk through the front door of our building, I am reminded of what a privilege it is to represent the United States, enforcing the nation’s environmental statutes, and am reminded of how special this Division is. The people who walk these hallways and work in our offices are the most conscientious and well-trained lawyers and staff I have ever known, and they are good people who help each other succeed and who care deeply about maintaining a nurturing and professional work place.”
Keith Tashima, Senior Trial Attorney with the Environmental Enforcement Section (joined DOJ in 2005)
“Within a few months of starting at ENRD I was in court arguing an evidentiary hearing. Since then I have filed and argued dozens of motions all over the country. The range and latitude of work at ENRD is amazing. We work on environmental issues, but also important matters of constitutional and administrative law.”
Travis Annatoyn, Attorney Wildlife Marine Resources Section since 2012
“As an Appellate lawyer in ENRD, I brief and argue appeals from all of ENRD’s litigating sections, which means I get an incredible breadth of experience. I have only been at ENRD for two years, but have already briefed cases involving criminal prosecutions, Superfund cleanup sites, the National Environmental Policy Act, oil and gas development, and species that are listed under the Endangered Species Act or the Marine Mammal Protection Act. In addition to having primary responsibility for briefing these cases, I get to travel across the country to argue each case in the U.S. Circuit Courts of Appeals.”
Emily Polachek, Attorney, Appellate Section (joined ENRD as an Honors Attorney in 2013)
“After 25 years as an attorney with ENRD, I can say with a great deal of pride that I still love my job. Each of us has the special opportunity to ensure that individuals and companies throughout the country comply with all the laws that have been enacted to protect our nation's environment.”
Daniel Dooher, Attorney Environmental Crimes Section