Immigration Civil Legal Advocate (NYIFUP)

Job Type

Full Time



Application Deadline



360 East 161st Street
United States


The Bronx Defenders (BxD) – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an energetic advocate with a commitment to social justice to fill a position as Civil Legal Advocate in our Immigration Practice.


BxD is a public defender non-profit that is radically transforming how low-income people in the Bronx are represented in the justice system, and, in doing so, is transforming the system itself. BxD seeks thoughtful, creative, energetic individuals with a strong commitment to social justice to join our dynamic staff.

Our diverse staff of over 300 includes interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, benefits specialists, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom collaborate to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy. Through this integrated team-based structure, we have pioneered a groundbreaking, nationally-recognized model of representation called holistic defense that achieves better outcomes for our clients.

Each year, we defend 27,000 low-income Bronx residents in criminal, civil, child welfare, and immigration cases, and reach thousands more through our community intake, youth mentoring, and outreach programs. Through impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community organizing, we push for systemic reform at the local, state, and national level. We take what we learn from the clients and communities that we serve, and launch innovative initiatives designed to bring about real and lasting change.

The Immigration Practice

BxD pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation over fifteen years ago. Immigration attorneys work closely with clients and their advocates throughout the pendency of their cases in both Criminal and Family Court to avoid or mitigate negative immigration consequences. Additionally, immigration attorneys at BxD represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy aimed at challenging unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our immigration attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP), the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court.

Our Immigration Practice consists of 29 attorneys (including the managing director and 4 supervisors), four social workers and four legal advocates.

Role & Responsibilities

BxD seeks a college graduate with prior immigration experience in a legal context, who possesses strong advocacy skills and a commitment to social justice, to fill the role of Immigration Civil Legal Advocate for NYIFUP. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible.

The Immigration Civil Legal Advocate will work with detained clients at the New York Immigration Court on Varick Street as part of an interdisciplinary team of immigration attorneys and social workers from BxD. The Advocate will provide extensive assistance to the attorneys in the preparation of applications for relief from removal.

Responsibilities will include:

  • completing application forms
  • gathering supporting documents
  • assisting family members in preparing written declarations to the Court
  • gathering medical, tax, educational, employment, and other relevant records
  • gathering and analyzing country conditions materials
  • communicating with family members, and 
  • preparing filings for Court

The Advocate will also advocate on behalf of our clients to Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents regarding the logistics of their imminent release and removal.

The position requires frequent travel to Immigration Detention Centers located in New Jersey and upstate New York.


The position requires an energetic, resourceful person who is capable of being both independent and a team player, who is flexible, and who enjoys working in a collaborative, fast-paced setting.

Applicants must have:

  • A Bachelor’s Degree
  • Excellent organizational, verbal and written communication skills
  • Strong interpersonal skills, especially with individuals from diverse backgrounds and in circumstances of crisis
  • The ability to work resourcefully and independently with limited supervision
  • An ability and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams
  • Prior immigration experience in a legal context
  • A demonstrated commitment to defending indigent immigrant populations charged with criminal offenses
  • Spanish language fluency or high-level proficiency, as the job requires extensive legal counseling and representation in the Spanish language
  • A valid driver’s license or the ability to obtain one, as some clients are detained in facilities a short drive from New York City (vehicles are provided)

Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent Benefits



Level of Language Proficiency


Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

4-year degree

How To Apply

To apply, please visit our Career Portal at the link provided, select the position of interest, click APPLY FOR THIS JOB ONLINE, and upload both your resume and cover letter in a single document when prompted. Applications missing any components or not submitted in the requested manner will not be considered.

The application deadline is Friday, July 27, 2018, but applications will be considered on a rolling basis and decisions will be made as soon as an appropriate candidate is identified. Please contact Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director, Immigration Practice, via email at with any questions regarding the position. No phone calls, please.


The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations, and communities to apply.