Job Title: Temporary Staff Attorney
Department: Refugee Representation
Location: Washington, D.C or Remote.
Reports To: Managing Attorney
Job Classification: Temporary; Full-Time; Exempt; Union
PURPOSE OF THE JOB
The Washington, D.C. temporary staff attorney will assist in administering Human Rights First’s pro bono asylum legal representation work, primarily within the D.C.-Baltimore metropolitan area. The staff attorney will help identify cases for pro bono and direct representation, and mentor law firm attorneys providing representation on pro bono cases.
This position will begin in November 2021 and is funded for five months.
- Conduct legal screenings and intake interviews with asylum seekers in the Washington, D.C.-Baltimore metro area;
- Assist in identifying cases for pro bono placement and direct representation within our program;
- Lead workshops and provide legal information to asylum seekers;
- Ensure that refugees represented by Human Rights First’s pro bono team receive high-quality legal representation by: (1) providing in-depth mentoring to volunteer attorneys; and (2) directly representing clients, when necessary;
- Provide volunteer attorneys with prompt and thorough legal and procedural support on pro bono asylum cases, including conducting trainings, strategizing on individual cases, reviewing draft submissions, and informing volunteers of significant legal developments in asylum law;
- Build and maintain strong relationships with local law firms, corporations, law school clinics, and volunteer attorneys;
- Assist in placing our cases with volunteer attorneys, and promote attorney interest in pro bono representation of asylum seekers;
- Collaborate with other local service providers to strategize on how to best meet the needs of the immigrant population and improve access to legal representation in the D.C.-Baltimore metro area;
- Identify, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals and federal courts;
- Provide legal advice and guidance to in-house legal services coordinators, social worker, and interns;
- Assist in managing law school and undergraduate internship program, including helping recruit and supervise interns;
- Assist in furthering advocacy initiatives by meeting with local officials at the Executive Office for Immigration Review and the Department of Homeland Security;
- Promote Human Rights First’s mission by participating in local community, promotional, and other professional networking events to increase the organization’s profile in the community;
- Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and Refugee Representation team; and
- Other duties as requested based on the team and/or organization’s need
REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCE
- A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and admission to the bar, preferably in the District of Columbia, Virginia, or Maryland (admission to other state bars acceptable);
- At least three years of direct representation of asylum seekers at all levels of the administrative process, with preference for immigration court experience;
- Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is a plus;
- Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers and experience in mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters;
- Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure and meet deadlines, and to identify and analyze legal issues;
- Knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy;
- Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds as well as survivors of trauma or torture;
- Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills;
- Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, particularly in a collegial, team-based approach to work;
- Adaptability to embrace and navigate new, dynamic projects, and an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization; and
- Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organization lines, to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy, and to work confidently with government officials and the media.
Human Rights First is committed to equal employment opportunity and recruiting talent from across all diverse groups. We do not discriminate against any person because of the individual’s race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, affection preference, gender identity, marital status, national origin, citizenship status, disability, status as a war veteran, status as a victim of domestic violence, or on any other basis prohibited by law. Minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.