Energy & Clean Air Legal Consultant

Job description

We have an exciting opportunity for a mid-level to experienced lawyer to consult our organisations working on energy and air quality issues in Bulgaria.

The Consultant will be advising the Energy transition and Air Quality teams and will provide legal capacity for our project to use legal tools to enforce environmental rules in the energy sector, protect the rights of citizens in coal-affected regions and improve air quality. The Consultant will be involved and will lead the preparation of internal briefs on various topics, legal interventions to support the energy transition of Bulgaria beyond coal, improving Bulgaria’s air and carrying out advocacy of the team’s recommendations to decision-makers.

About us


Za Zemiata is an environmental non-governmental organisation determined to work for sustainable lifestyles, and for responsible personal and political decisions for our planet, while combating the exploitation of people and nature.


Greenpeace is an independent global campaigning organization that acts to change attitudes and behaviour, to protect and conserve the environment and to promote peace by catalysing an energy revolution to address the number one threat facing our planet - climate change.

Client Earth is a charity, which uses the law to shift the balance in favour of the public good. This approach is innovative, bold and a game-changer in the global fight to protect the environment. Client Earth empowers people and NGOs with the legal rights to bring forward environmental battles of their own.


The Energy Transition team combines the efforts of our organisations working to achieve a systemic change in the Bulgarian power sector. We highlight the problem with burning coal but we also advocate for the just transition of coal-affected communities and present viable solutions for the future of a decarbonised energy system.


The Air team is focusing on tackling air pollution at local and national level via litigation, expert analysis, legislative and policy proposals, campaigning and advocacy. An integral part of the team is supporting active local communities fighting air pollution in their area. The team strives to achieve both strategic systemic changes and direct local changes.


Working relationships

The Energy and Clean Air Legal Consultant is part of the legal team and advises the campaigners from Za Zemiata and Greenpeace – Bulgaria and the partners ClientEarth. The legal team is led by a Supervising Lawyer.



Project overview

  • The Energy Transition and Air Quality projects identify and develop cases for targeted legal intervention and prepare them for legal action (for example litigation or complaints to the national courts and European Commission);
  • The legal team evaluates risks and benefits of legal action to Za Zemiata, Greenpeace - Bulgaria and other potential litigants;
  • The legal team critically analyses laws, legislative proposals and policy proposals relevant to the Energy Transition Project – these could be EU or Member State level;
  • The legal team develops and maintains a robust knowledge of relevant environmental, energy and air quality legislation and the institutions and processes necessary for the effective implementation and enforcement of relevant laws;
  • The legal team prepares high quality written legal interventions, for example writing complaints, legal pleadings and legislative amendments and pleading before court on specific cases of the project;
  • The legal team drafts high quality written products to communicate our work to a wide range of audiences (for example legal briefings, research notes and other relevant materials);
  • The legal team establishes and maintains effective working relationships with key partners including other NGOs, lawyers, science and policy experts, journalists and politicians in Bulgaria;
  • The legal team supports Za Zemiata and Greenpeace - Bulgaria positions at the national and international level in respect of energy transition and air quality issues, including participating in external meetings, undertaking advocacy and engaging with other NGOs, decision-makers and governments;
  • Where required, the legal team engages in fundraising support activities, including developing concepts and proposals for funders and producing activity reports;
  • The legal team supports efforts to raise public awareness about relevant issues through, for example, social media or media interviews.

This list is not exhaustive and the selected candidate may be asked to undertake other relevant tasks.


The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record in law and will be ready to contribute to strategic legal thinking, advocacy, and creative problem solving in a public interest law setting. You will also have experience with litigation and strong interest in environmental law in Bulgaria, but possibly also other European countries and beyond. You will be an excellent communicator, with excellent written and verbal skills in English and Bulgarian. You are also committed to environmental issues and to social justice.

Education and training

The successful candidate will have:

  • A degree in law (“магистър по право”) or equivalent
  • At least 5 years of legal practice, at least 2 of which are as a qualified attorney-in-law in Bulgaria
  • To be qualified attorney-at-law in Bulgaria

Experience and knowledge

The successful candidate will have a demonstrated track record in law and will be ready to contribute to strategic legal thinking, advocacy and creative problem solving in a public interest law setting, with litigation experience, good project management skills and a strong interest in environmental law.


  • At least 5 years’ experience of legal practice;
  • A good understanding of Bulgarian administrative law and, preferably, of Bulgarian and EU environmental law;
  • A good understanding of EU political and legislative processes;
  • A good understanding of the political and policy landscape relevant to energy and air quality issues in Bulgaria and Europe;
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills, and an ability to communicate complicated messages authoritatively and clearly to different audiences, including through written materials, one-to-one meetings and presentations.


  • In depth knowledge of one or more of the following practice areas is desirable: the EU Industrial Emissions Directive, the Environmental Impact Assessment Directive, Bulgarian energy law, air quality law, water law, waste law, the Aarhus Convention, public/administrative law, trade law, international environmental law;
  • Experience of working with civil society organisations.

Key competencies: 

  • Fluency in English and in Bulgarian;
  • Demonstrated legal research, analytical, advisory and advocacy skills;
  • The ability to identify strategic opportunities, including analysing how the dynamic political context will impact ongoing and potentially sensitive policy work;
  • Critical thinking, highly creative and solutions-oriented – able to translate ideas and strategies into realistic plans and well-targeted activities;
  • Ability to represent Za Zemiata and Greenpeace - Bulgaria at meetings, stakeholder bodies and public events, and to adapt language, content and style to make communications on legal and ecological issues accessible to various non-expert audiences;
  • Demonstrated commitment to non-profit/public interest advocacy;
  • Ability to build relationships with external counsel, NGOs, academics or other key players in environmental law, health and governance;
  • Excellent organisational skills and efficient management of multiple tasks and priorities and to react positively to shifting and competing timelines resulting from internal and external developments;
  • Openness to learning and developing new ideas;
  • Confident working with and understanding complex technical, scientific, political and legal materials;
  • The ability to work collaboratively within a small team but also to execute work independently and take the initiative when required; Emotional intelligence, including sound interpersonal skills and self-awareness.



The salary for this role is paid by the days worked in a month (approx. 8-10 days per month). The payment is competitive to the Bulgarian market.

We offer

2-month trial period with the possibility to extend the working relationship up to 1 year and after that.

Applications close on 22nd March 2019.


Interviews are intended to take place in the week commencing 11th March 2019.

Please note that we will only consider candidates who have the legal right to work in the country where this post is based.