Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND seeks a Staff Attorney to provide expert legal services to unaccompanied children facing removal proceedings through zealous direct representation as well as pro bono facilitation, including robust consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted KIND cases. As needed, supervise Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-attorney staff.
This is a temporary position with an anticipated end date of December 31, 2021, with the possibility of an extension.
- Review intakes by detained team and make determinations regarding eligibility for immigration relief.
- Liaison with shelter staff and other stakeholders as needed to maximize efficient and effective services to detained children.
- Once children are released locally from detention, based on caseloads and experience, funding streams, and institutional priorities, perform hybrid mentoring and direct legal representation functions, including providing zealous legal advocacy to KIND’s clients in direct representation cases, as well as providing robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case. Percentage of mentoring and direct representation caseloads will be determined by management in the Legal Services component.
- As needed, represent a smaller docket of children in their applications for relief who do not have reunification options and must remain longer in detention.
- Perform ordinary functions of legal counsel providing direct representation, including: legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration and/or state court or agencies; and drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits.
- Assist the Supervising Attorney to monitor daily arrivals, transfers, and discharges of immigrant children housed in ORR facilities in relevant jurisdiction(s).
- Oversee or conduct drafting of eligibility letters for children to be transferred outside of relevant jurisdiction(s) for long term foster care determinations.
- Oversee or conduct assembly of court packages as needed, dependent on Immigration Court practices in local jurisdiction.
- Assist the Supervising Attorney in the completion of program reports, as needed, for partners and other stakeholders.
- Assist Supervising Attorney in overseeing data management, ensuring data integrity through regular case audits and technical fluency with KIND’s case management systems.
- Under the direction of the Supervising Attorney, coordinate in-house and volunteer pro bono case placements.
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team and the local office Senior Attorneys, as needed, help develop pro bono training resources and local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. With supervision, present trainings to pro bono attorneys and community groups.
- Represent KIND at local coalitions, courts, and agencies.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- J.D. and admitted to local state bar.
- 1-3 years of experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas.
- 1-3 years of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
- Experience working with law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers if majority of caseload is working directly with pro bono attorneys.
- Advanced fluency in Spanish language if majority of caseload is working directly with clients; otherwise, Spanish-speaking preferred.
- Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
- Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and work independently.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.
KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.