Job Vacancy Staff Attorney, Animal Activist Legal Defense Project – Sturm College of Law University of Denver

Job title: Staff Attorney, Animal Activist Legal Defense Project – Sturm College of Law

Company: University of Denver

Job description: Department Summary

A national leader in experiential and interdisciplinary legal education, the University of Denver Sturm College of Law is widely regarded as one of the nation’s most innovative and ascendant law schools. Located in a beautiful, distinctive, and economically dynamic city, the Sturm College of Law offers full- and part-time JD programs, a set of pioneering and nationally recognized Master’s degree programs, and certificate programs in animal law, constitutional rights and remedies, corporate and commercial law, environmental and natural resources law, intellectual property law, international law, and workplace law. The law school features a faculty of nationally recognized scholar-teachers, an outstanding and diverse student body, an accomplished and highly professional staff, and roughly 17,000 alumni who have achieved careers of distinction in law, business, government, public interest, and other professional domains.

Through research, teaching, and public engagement, the Animal Law Program at the Sturm College of Law seeks to elevate awareness about the well-being of non-human animals and to prepare the next generation of professionals to engage with the legal and moral issues surrounding the use of animals for food, entertainment, experimentation, and fashion. In 2022, supported by a generous set of seed funds, the Animal Law Program plans to develop an Animal Activist Legal Defense Project to provide legal representation and strategic communications support for activists engaged in investigations, protests, rescues, and other forms of action that seek to advance the welfare of non-human animals.

Position Summary

The Animal Activist Legal Defense Project seeks to advance cutting-edge legal theories and innovative communications strategies to (1) provide animal activists with high-caliber representation in rapidly evolving areas of law; and (2) amplify the voices of those who bear witness to the suffering of innocent non-human animals. Areas of activity are expected to include counseling and litigation relating to free speech matters; SLAPP suit defense; criminal representation; national-, state-, and local-level policy work; press campaigns; and coalition building amongst other lawyers, organizations, and activists.

Working in close collaboration with the Director of the Animal Law Program, the Staff Attorney will serve as lead counsel for legal matters undertaken by the Project; develop and advance innovative legal strategies and theories; teach and train law students affiliated with the Project; and collaborate with the Director of Strategic Initiatives on strategic communications, community engagement, collaboration with like-minded attorneys and organizations, and outreach to private donors and granting bodies.

The Staff Attorney will serve as an adjunct member of the Sturm College of Law faculty.

Primary Responsibilities

  • Serve as lead counsel for the Project and be responsible for all strategies, filings, and other litigation-related matters.
  • Teach and train students affiliated with the Project as a member of the adjunct faculty at the Sturm College of Law.
  • Coordinate a rapid response team of attorneys and others available to help activists with legal challenges across the country.
  • Work with the Project Director on national campaigns and communications.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Excellent oral and written communication skills
  • Capacity to solve complex problems with creative solutions
  • Experience in planning, organizing, and managing processes that bring about the successful completion of specific goals
  • Strong research and time management skills
  • Strong grammatical, editing, and proofreading abilities
  • Ability to take work on projects independently
  • Strong collaboration and delegation skills

Required Qualifications

  • 6+ years of experience successfully developing and litigating significant cases or projects, ideally as part of an organization engaged in strategic impact litigation
  • Juris Doctor degree and admission to practice law
  • Commitment to the vision, mission, and core values of the Project
  • A commitment to vigorous and ethical advocacy on behalf of clients
  • The vision and capacity to expand the theory and practice of animal law
  • The ability to work collaboratively with others and in high-performing teams
  • A strong commitment to diversity and inclusivity
  • A strong ethical orientation
  • A positive attitude

Preferred Qualifications

  • Demonstrated knowledge and practice of activist defense and procedure

Work Schedule

Normal hours are typically Monday through Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm. Some evening and occasional weekend hours are required. Travel will be anticipated in association with client meetings, litigation-related proceedings, conferences, and other events.

Application Deadline

Applications will be reviewed until the position is filled.

Special Instructions

Candidates must apply online through to be considered. Only applications submitted online will be accepted.

Salary Grade Number

The salary grade for the position is 16.

Salary Range

The salary range for this position is $130,000-$150,000.

The University of Denver has provided a compensation range that represents its good faith estimate of what the University may pay for the position at the time of posting. The University may ultimately pay more or less than the posted compensation range. The salary offered to the selected candidate will be determined based on factors such as the qualifications of the selected candidate, departmental budget availability, internal salary equity considerations, and available market information, but not based on a candidate’s sex or any other protected status.


The offers excellent benefits, including medical, dental, retirement, paid time off, tuition benefit and ECO pass. The University of Denver is a private institution that empowers students who want to make a difference. Learn more about the .

Please include the following documents with your application:

1. Resume

2. Cover Letter

The University of Denver is an equal opportunity employer. The University of Denver prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, age (40 years and over in the employment context), religion, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information, marital status, veterans status, and any other class of individuals protected from discrimination under federal, state, or local law, regulation, or ordinance in any of the university’s educational programs and activities, and in the employment (including application for employment) and admissions (including application for admission) context, as required by Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972; Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended in 2008; Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973; Title VI and VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964; the Age Discrimination Act of 1975; the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967; and any other federal, state, and local laws, regulations, or ordinances that prohibit discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation. For the university’s complete Non-Discrimination Statement, please see .

All offers of employment are contingent upon satisfactory completion of a criminal history background check.

Advertised: July 15, 2022

Applications close:

Expected salary: $130000 – 150000 per year

Location: Denver, CO

Job date: Sun, 17 Jul 2022 07:42:33 GMT

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