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 on the Family Separation Team, situated within the Legal Strategy and Special Programs component of KIND’s Legal Programs Team, to provide expert legal services to unaccompanied and separated children and reunified families. The Temporary Staff Attorney provides direct representation as well as pro bono facilitation, including consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted KIND cases. The Temporary Staff Attorney contributes to special projects within the Family Separation Team. As needed, the Temporary Staff Attorney supervises Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-attorney staff.
This is a temporary position with an anticipated end date of January 28, 2022, with the possibility of an extension.
- Provide both mentoring to KIND pro bono attorneys across multiple jurisdictions and direct legal representation to KIND clients. In the pro bono mentoring function, provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case. In the direct representation function, perform ordinary functions of legal counsel including legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration and/or state court or agencies; drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits; and coordinating the provision of mental health, education, and social services for clients.
- Percentage of mentoring and direct representation caseloads will be determined by Legal Programs Management based on caseloads and experience, funding streams, additional duties required by team’s special projects, and institutional priorities.
- Work with team’s Managing Attorney and Senior Attorneys to contribute to projects of the Family Separation Team as they arise, including the coordination of legal claims outside of removal defense proceedings, including non-immigration matters as needed, and data management to assess trends and develop insight into future projects.
- As needed, supervise Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-legal staff including: onboarding, skills training, daily support and coaching, review and quality assurance of filings, regular check-ins and performance evaluations, and provision of consistent and effective supervision and oversight.
- Place cases with pro bono attorneys and build relationships between KIND and the pro bono community and provide ongoing mentoring, training, and technical assistance on children’s cases and reunified family cases;
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team and the local field office Senior Attorney/s, 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;
- Contribute to overall team functioning, including joining team and local field office and KIND-wide calls and meetings, participating in team and KIND-wide committees, and assisting with events;
- Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KIND’s case management systems.
- Provide technical assistance to field office staff representing separated children.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- Strong preference for a candidate in Houston, TX and admitted to Texas bar.
- J.D. and admitted to any US state bar, required.
- 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.
- 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.