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Legal & Policy Fellow


Location: San Diego, CA

Hours: Full-time (some nights and weekends)

Compensation: $60,000 USD

The Waitt Institute is a team of international experts working around the globe to protect the world’s oceans and support coastal communities. The Institute is working with 10+ national and territorial governments to create sustainable ocean plans to help improve local livelihoods and economies while safeguarding marine life and ecosystems.

The Legal and Policy Fellow works across the Waitt Institute’s portfolio of sites to achieve ocean protection and sustainable ocean policies. This position will work closely with internal teams as well as external partners, academia, and government partners.

The Legal and Policy Fellow reports to the Institute’s Legal and Policy Director. The position may involve significant international travel (approx. 25% time). ​ 

Responsibilities and Tasks

The Legal and Policy Fellow will support the following areas:

  • The legal activities across all programs as it relates to blue prosperity subject matter, including scoping, legal analysis, and legal drafting.

  • The development and implementation of a policy and legal strategy that supports the objectives of the program site. This includes:

    • liaising with partners, including legal support, country teams, and governments;

    • supporting the development of power maps that outline key decision-makers and stakeholders;

    • researching and tracking government processes that underpin program objectives; and

    • coordinating with the Waitt Institute’s Communications Team and associated contractors on related communications strategies, including the content of communications materials.

  • The management of legal programs across programs, including work plan development and tracking. 


Professional Qualifications

A successful Legal and Policy Fellow will have the following qualifications: 

  • 1+ year of relevant work experience

  • Experience with legal research and memo writing

  • Demonstrated skills in supporting complex projects

  • Experience working with a diverse and geographically dispersed team

  • Advanced degree from an accredited college or university in law, policy, political science, or a related field 

  • Experience navigating politically or socially sensitive conversations


Personal Attributes

  • Strategic, thoughtful, highly organized, and detail-oriented

  • Reliable, responsive, and comfortable working across time zones

  • Excellent communication skills, including strong presentation and writing skills

  • Ability to advocate thoughtfully and effectively on sensitive issues

  • Ability to work collaboratively and efficiently with tight deadlines

  • Ability to creatively solve problems while managing expectations

  • Excellent time management skills and ability to prioritize competing tasks

  • Culturally competent and able to execute projects in different cultural contexts

Company Benefits

Unlimited Paid Time Off | Excellent Medical, Dental, Vision options | Health Savings Account | 401(k) match up to 6%

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