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Centre for Environmental Rights – Advancing Environmental Rights in South Africa

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Candidate Attorneys 2022

Reference No: 11/2021

Applications close: 15 August 2021

The Centre for Environmental Rights is now calling for applications for candidate attorneys from 2022, commencing articles on 1 February 2022. We are looking for a bright law graduate who has a special interest in and passion for environmental and climate justice, and using the law to realise environmental rights.

CER is committed to diversity, inclusion and transformation and strives to reflect South Africa’s racial, cultural, sex and gender diversity within its staff complement. Candidates from historically disadvantaged or marginalised groups are strongly encouraged to apply for this post, and will be preferred.


Cape Town

Qualifications, skills and experience

  • An LLB or equivalent qualification. Although this is not a requirement, an LLM in environmental law is a relevant consideration for us.
  • Demonstrable writing and analytical skills, good presentation skills, and attention to detail.
  • Computer literacy and excellent legal research skills.
  • A commitment to high-quality client service.
  • A passion for environmental, social and climate justice.

Key responsibilities

  • Supporting the provision of advice to and the representation of communities and civil society organisations in strategic public interest environmental litigation. This includes conducting legal research, as well as writing, sorting and filing pleadings, motions, briefs, and other court documents, and attending court and other hearings.
  • Researching, writing and presenting submissions on draft environmental policies and legislation, and preparing correspondence and other documents in support of the Centre’s advocacy and engagement work.
  • Organising, attending, preparing for and presenting at meetings, workshops and training sessions for activists from communities and civil society organisations.
  • Attending, taking minutes, and presenting at meetings of government departments, Portfolio Committees, corporates, and industry associations.
  • Assisting in achieving the deliverables and reporting on those deliverables as set out in terms of the Centre’s funding agreements, and assisting with reporting to the Board and funders, as required.
  • Assisting with the recording and sharing of learning for systemic change, as well as monitoring performance against indicators.
  • Generally supporting the Centre’s attorneys and the effective operation of the Centre’s programmes.


The current salary for the position is R290 968 (total cost to company). All new staff, including candidate attorneys, join our medical aid group scheme with Discovery Health, and the salary package includes a medical aid subsidy.

Working for the CER

The Centre for Environmental Rights is a non-profit organisation and law clinic of activist lawyers who work with communities and civil society organisations in South Africa to realise our Constitutional right to a healthy environment by advocating and litigating for environmental justice. We seek a just, equitable, compassionate society which is resilient, celebrates diversity, and respects the inter-dependence between people and the environment.

As South Africa’s largest public interest environmental law organisation, we use our expertise and commitment to fight for environmental justice and advance the right to a healthy environment for all. We take on the big environmental battles: cases in which we can empower local communities, have an enduring impact, set powerful precedents for other cases, and help improve policy and practice across the country.

Winning the legal case is only part of the battle. CER’s litigation work is strengthened by local training and empowerment, dedicated policy and advocacy work, and strategic communications. In all of our work, we work closely with partners in affected communities, with other civil society organisations in the environmental and social justice sector, and with other public interest law organisations.

We work across the following core themes: Mining, Water, Pollution and Climate Change, Corporate Accountability & Transparency, and Activist Support & Training. We have our main office in Observatory, Cape Town, with a smaller office in Johannesburg.

At CER, we value our staff and regard their wellbeing as a priority. We are committed to a work environment that is inclusive and empathetic, and in which diversity is celebrated and supported.

How to apply

Please send the following documents to: [email protected] with the email subject line: “CER CA 2022, Ref no. 11/2021”:

  • A cover letter setting out your skills and relevant experience, and motivating why you want to work at the CER;
  • Your CV; and
  • Two recent written references not less than 6 months old.