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Special Counsel / Senior Solicitor

Environmental Defenders Office Ltd
  • Location: lutruwita/Tasmania strongly preferred; Australia-wide considered
  • Term: 30 April 2026
  • Job Type: Full-time 37.5 hours per week
  • Remuneration: SCHADS Level 7 or 8: $113,000 - $141,668 + 11% super + 17.5% Annual Leave Loading
  • Travel will be required at times to fulfil this role
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and members of the Global Majority* are particularly encouraged to apply.

Reporting to: Managing Lawyer, Nature and/or Managing Lawyer, lutruwita/Tasmania (as required)

Environmental Defenders Office (EDO) is the largest environmental legal centre in the Australia Pacific, dedicated to protecting our climate, communities and shared environment by providing access to justice, running ground-breaking litigation and leading law reform advocacy.
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.

We are recruiting for a Special Counsel to work on threatened species protection.

The Opportunity

The Special Counsel will engage with legal issues surrounding threatened species conservation and environmental protection in the Australia Pacific, with a focus on issues arising in lutruwita/Tasmania. In this role, you will think creatively and strategically about delivering systemic change in relation to nature protection with a focus on threatened species conservation.

Special Counsel play a leadership role within the EDO team and are expected to supervise, mentor, and support legal staff in delivering on advice, law reform and litigation work. Special Counsel will manage and maintain external relationships.

The role is primarily focussed on threatened species issues in lutruwita/Tasmania, and so preference will be given to candidates who are/can be located there. However, candidates may be based anywhere in Australia but must be prepared to travel as necessary for court and other engagements.

Candidate Profile

You will have an unrestricted practising certificate, and strong PAE working as a lawyer with demonstrated litigation experience. This position presents an opportunity to work in EDO’s high-performing team and offers a high level of autonomy. Lawyers who think outside the box and want a chance to think creatively about delivering systemic change in the fields of human rights, climate change and the environment are strongly encouraged to apply.

EDO is a diverse and inclusive workplace. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and members of the Global Majority* are particularly encouraged to apply.

Key Selection Criteria


  • An unrestricted practising certificate in an Australian jurisdiction, or entitlement to one
  • A minimum of 5 years PAE working as a solicitor; 8 + years PAE highly desirable

Desirable experience

  • Demonstrated experience in administrative and/or environmental law highly desirable
  • Demonstrated litigation experience in administrative, human rights or environmental law and/or related disciplines
  • Demonstrated experience in supervising legal staff in delivering advice and litigation work, including responsibility for reviewing and approving court documents and associated work
  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to make sound decisions based on consideration of different views
  • Demonstrated experience in undertaking law reform or policy
  • Demonstrated experience working with First Nations peoples or diverse communities and individuals highly desirable

Core skills

  • Strong problem-solving skills and ability to exercise sound judgement and make decisions based on consideration of different views
  • Demonstrated ability to work productively and to deadlines
  • Ability to supervise and contribute to the professional development of legal and non-legal staff
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills suited to a range of audiences
  • Good file management and delegation skills

Personal qualities and cultural competency

  • A champion of 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 peoples 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 
  • Option to work from home and the office
  • 8 weeks paid parental leave, regardless of gender or carer status
  • 15 days personal/carer’s leave per year
  • 10 days paid family and domestic violence leave per year
  • 3 days paid cultural leave per year
  • 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. 
  • Three Affinity groups for the following: Disability, Global Majority* and LGBTQIA+

*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 respect First Nations Peoples’ knowledges and experiences, and work with them to protect their Countries and cultures.

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

Click 'Apply Now' below.

Applications must include a CV and a letter that clearly addresses each of the selection criteria.

Other Information

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.

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 in your application or by emailing [email protected] using the subject line: Special Counsel / Senior Solicitor enquiry via EthicalJobs.

A position description is attached.

How to apply

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