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City of Philadelphia: Deputy City Solicitor - Environmental Division

07/07/2021 1:46 PM | Rebecca Buchanan (Administrator)

Full Job Description and Contact Links:


Company Description

A best-in-class city that attracts best-in-class talent, Philadelphia is an incredible place to build a career. From our thriving arts scene and rich history to our culture of passion and grit, there are countless reasons to love living and working here. With a workforce of over 30,000 people, and more than 1,000 different job categories, the City of Philadelphia offers boundless opportunities to make an impact. 

As an employer, the City of Philadelphia values inclusion, integrity, innovation, empowerment, and hard work above all else. We offer a vibrant work environment, comprehensive health care and benefits, and the experience you need to grow and excel. If you’re interested in working with a passionate team of people who care about the future of Philadelphia, start here.

What We Offer:

  Impact - The work you do here matters to millions. 

  Growth - Philadelphia is growing, why not grow with it? 

  Diversity & Inclusion - Find a career in a place where everyone belongs.

  Opportunities in Tech - Don’t wait for the future, shape it.

  Benefits - We care about your well being.

Agency Description

The Law Department's civil practice includes unique issues involving public interest. Our lawyers help chart the course for the City in business, health, safety, commerce, civil rights, taxation, and community development.  The Environmental Division of the Regulatory Law Unit represents the City  in matters relating to the City’s delegation to enforce federal, state, and local air pollution laws, Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment, and the City’s own responsibility to comply with state and federal environmental laws, regulations, permits and policies.

Job Description

The Regulatory Law Unit’s Environmental Division is currently seeking a licensed Pennsylvania attorney to fill a Deputy Assistant City Solicitor position (minimum 5 years of legal experience).  The position potentially has responsibilities including almost all areas of federal, state, and City environmental law.  There is a particular emphasis on Clean Air enforcement, Brownfields, and Superfund work.   Clean Air enforcement includes general representation and counseling to the Phila. Dept. of Public Health’s Air Management Services Division (AMS).  This includes enforcement of the City’s Air Management Code, the PA Air Pollution Control Act, and certain portions of the federal Clean Air Act.  This may involve filing complaints in the Court of Common Pleas and defending administrative appeals of AMS enforcement and/or permitting actions before the Board of Licenses and Inspections Review.  The attorney’s work includes counseling, compliance, legal drafting, and, on occasion, defense work, involving a wide range of state and federal environmental laws.  Counseling and defense work can include almost all areas of federal and state environmental law in the representation of various City Departments.  This includes Superfund (CERCLA), RCRA, HSCA, NJ Spill Act, Clean Water Act, Clean Streams, Storage Tank Acts, Brownfields, and NEPA among others.  Responsibilities also include being able to independently negotiate and draft settlement agreements and amendments to the City’s Air Management Code and Regulations.  Strong organizational, research and drafting skills are absolutely required, as well as an ability to independently manage, with appropriate supervision, a large number of complex assignments, and communicate and work closely with a diverse group of City clients.  Any experience in Energy Law, Sustainability, and PA PUC work would be significant attributes for any candidate, but are not necessarily required.

The attorney will work directly with AMS’s senior management on a variety of key initiatives including: drafting and negotiating settlement agreements; providing legal advice on environmental law matters to AMS, various City operating departments, and on occasion the Office of Sustainability, the Managing Director’s Office, and City Council; and counseling in regard to environmental issues affecting municipal real estate transactions, redevelopment and infrastructure issues.  The attorney will work with minimal supervision.   

Essential Functions

  • Advising and representing AMS in compliance and enforcement matters.
  • Advising AMS regarding air emission permits and licenses.
  • Advising various agencies and departments on Brownfields cleanup and redevelopment matters.
  • Advising AMS and various other agencies and departments on Environmental Justice issues.
  • Reviewing, drafting, and negotiating small contracts, grant agreements, access agreements, and certain permits.
  • Advising on and handling compliance matters under a wide range of local, state, and federal environmental laws regulating municipal functions such as underground tanks and waste disposal.
  • Track and advise on relevant environmental laws and regulations that affect AMS and various City operating departments.
  • Supporting the Law Department’s other Units on matters that involve environmental law issues.
  • Assisting with training and mentoring of junior attorneys.
  • Assisting other City Departments on transactional matters as requested.


  • The candidate should have a minimum of 5 years of legal experience in environmental law. Legal experience should include most of those described above.   
  • PUC-related experience would be greatly valued but is not required.
  • Candidates must be a member of the Pennsylvania Bar.

Competencies, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  • Knowledge of local, state, and federal environmental laws, regulations, and administrative procedures.
  • Familiarity with City of Philadelphia Home Rule Charter, Code and local government structure and process.
  • Ability to analyze large amounts of information, determine relevant facts, and propose viable solutions.
  • Strong verbal and written communication skills with ability to communicate with clients at various levels with different subject matter expertise as well as external parties. 
  • Strong drafting and negotiating skills.
  • Strong legal analytical skills.
  • Strong commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and display of cultural competency.    

Additional Information

Please submit a cover letter, resume, reference list, and a writing sample with your application.

Any questions related to this position should be directed to Scott Schwarz, Chief Deputy City Solicitor, Regulatory Law Unit (scott.schwarz@phila.gov).

Photo Credit: Don Pearse Photographers, Inc., http://donpearsephotographers.com/

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