The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) is a non-profit advocacy organization that focuses on improving nutrition and health in the United States. Among its many accomplishments, CSPI led successful efforts to remove artificial trans fat from the US food supply; enact the Food Safety Modernization Act; create an “added sugars” line for Nutrition Facts labels; secure more fruits, vegetables, and whole grains in school meals; and reduce junk food marketing to children. CSPI also publishes Nutrition Action Healthletter, a leading nutrition newsletter.
Working with private lawyers across the country, the Litigation department brings high impact, class action lawsuits on behalf of consumers to help correct corporate misbehavior and improve nutrition and health. Legal challenges brought by CSPI’s attorneys have produced binding settlements obtaining damages for consumers and halting deceptive marketing. Defendants in the Litigation department’s active lawsuits include Coca Cola, Kellogg, and CVS. CSPI will also bring selected administrative lawsuits in house including, for example, for delay in responding to citizen petitions or in response to unreasonable actions by the Food and Drug Administration or the US Department of Agriculture.
This is a unique opportunity for an experienced class action attorney to lead litigation strategies to secure better corporate practices and smarter government policies to improve the public’s health. This position is based in CSPI’s office in Washington, D.C., and reports to CSPI’s President.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities
- Work closely with the President, senior staff, Board, and other relevant parts of CSPI to ensure that the Litigation department’s work is strategically aligned with the organization’s priorities and goals.
- Provide vision and leadership to identify and bring high-leverage lawsuits to advance CSPI’s mission through class action litigation.
- Use litigation to stop unfair or deceptive marketing practices.
- Bring lawsuits against federal agencies over violations of the Administrative Procedure Act, including challenges for failing to respond to petitions, failing to issue rules in a timely manner or making illegal decisions.
- File occasional amicus briefs, in consultation with the President, Policy department, and other relevant programs of CSPI.
- Seek to interest other law firms, state attorneys general, and other public interest organizations in initiating litigation on problematic food and nutrition practices and products.
- Serve as co-lead or lead counsel on lawsuits.
- Develop and maintain strong and collaborative relationships with law firms, law school clinics, and other partners.
- Represent CSPI as needed to an array of groups including the academic community, industry, legal community, and press.
- Provide mentorship to and supervise Litigation staff and interns.
- Oversee general administrative and managerial responsibilities associated with day-to-day and long-term operation of the Litigation department.
- Law degree (J.D.), and at least 7 years of class-action litigation experience.
- Experience in all phases of litigation including case filing, motion practice, discovery, and settlement negotiations; and appointment as co-lead or lead counsel in a class action lawsuit.
- Demonstrated commitment to public interest advocacy.
- Member of the D.C. Bar or bar in state of residence.
- Demonstrated knowledge of consumer and regulatory law.
- Strong legal writing, research, and verbal communications skills.
- Ability to work effectively and collaboratively as part of senior management.
- Experience working with external co-counsel or in a coalition setting comprised of multiple organizational partners and demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts constructively.
- Ability to supervise, motivate and evaluate staff, and strong commitment to fostering a positive, collaborative, and strategic organizational culture.
Please send your application materials, which should include a cover letter indicating relevant experience and interest, résumé, state bar admissions, and writing sample/brief (not to exceed 10 pages) to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Please include “LD-Web” in the subject line.
CSPI offers a generous and comprehensive benefits package along with a healthy working environment. CSPI is an equal opportunity employer. Minorities, women, and persons with disabilities are encouraged to apply.