Staff Attorney for Transgender Law Center’s Border Butterflies Project (6- month position, with a possible 6-month extension)

Posted by
Published 12 days ago

Border Butterflies is a project anchored by Transgender Law Center, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, National Immigrant Justice Center, and other Tijuana based organizations. The project aims to support LGBTQ asylum seekers at the US-Mexico border with legal, humanitarian, post-detention, and organizing support. The staff attorney position, based in the Tijuana/San Diego region, will be hosted by Transgender Law Center. The staff attorney will provide direct legal support to LGBTQ asylum seekers living in Tijuana.

Transgender Law Center (TLC) is the largest national trans-led organization advocating self-determination for all people. Grounded in legal expertise and committed to racial justice, TLC employs a variety of community-driven strategies to keep transgender and gender nonconforming people alive, thriving, and fighting for liberation.

Specific responsibilities of the Staff Attorney include:

  • Provide direct immigration services to LGBTQ asylum seekers in Tijuana including conflict-of-interest checks, over-the-phone and in-person intakes and consultations, preparing applications, reviewing evidence and records, drafting declarations, obtaining supporting documents, filing FOIA requests, conducting research, and drafting parole and bond applications;
  • Work in collaboration with mental health providers, healthcare providers, and shelter services providers in furtherance of providing LGBTQ asylum seekers with coordinated legal services that are holistic, client-centered, strength-based, and trauma-informed;
  • Daily attention to administrative and operational responsibilities to ensure reporting compliance, including detailed and comprehensive data collection;
  • Provide consultation and legal screening at different Tijuana locations, including community centers and shelters around Tijuana;
  • Present trainings on, and advocate about, issues encountered by clients at shelters, community spaces, and in our office, in order to expand access to services and/or increase legal service capacity;
  • Conduct immigration clinics, community meetings and Know-your-“rights” information sessions;
  • Develop, sustain, and strengthen educational outreach to immigrant communities;
  • Attend, participate in, and convene meetings and community events to develop, sustain and strengthen new and existing coalitions and collaborations with immigrant legal service providers, immigrant advocacy organizations, victim support agencies, social services providers, and government agencies;   
  • Develop and draft written resources including know-your-rights material and sample legal documents;
  • Engage in education efforts for community members and attorneys, including speaking at conferences, trainings, and webinars;
  • In coordination with our Communications team, strengthen our media presence
  • Participate in Border Butterfly meetings
  • Support the work of the legal team and the organization generally;
  • Other duties as assigned.

 The position is full time and may include travel and occasional work at nights and on weekends.

Required Qualifications:

  • Membership in the bar of one or more states.
  • At least one year of experience practicing immigration law.
  • Fluency in Spanish and English.
  • Ability to work in both Tijuana, Mexico and San Diego, CA.
  • Experience with legal or policy advocacy relating to immigration.
  • Familiarity with lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and gender nonconforming communities.
  • Experience working with communities of color and transgender communities.
  • Deep understanding of intersecting oppressions including anti-Blackness, white supremacy, transphobia, ableism, misogyny, colonialism, and capitalism.
  • Strong writing, editing, and legal research skills and experience with public speaking.
  • Skill at working collaboratively both within the organization and with other groups.
  • Strong personal organization and time management skills.
  • Creativity and good judgment.
  • Enthusiasm for the work of the organization and its potential.
  • Demonstrated ability to triage and manage multiple tasks under pressure in a fast-paced environment.
  • Demonstrated capacity to provide a welcoming presence to clients experiencing trauma, and a demonstrated client-centered, trauma-informed perspective and cultural responsivity to the diverse populations we serve.
  • Flexibility to work evenings and weekends is required.
  • Willingness to travel and to work long hours when necessary.

Preferred qualifications:

  • Experience working with pro-bono attorneys.
  • Experience working with immigrants at the Southern Border or in immigration detention.


Employer-paid benefits include medical and dental health insurance; employer-funded health reimbursement account; matched retirement savings; three weeks’ vacation; and sabbatical program.

Equal Employment Opportunity

Transgender Law Center is proud to be an affirmative action employer. All interested individuals, including Black, indigenous, and other people of color; women and femmes; people with disabilities; and people who are transgender, intersex, lesbian, gay, bisexual, or queer are particularly urged to apply. For more information about Transgender Law Center please visit our website:

Border Butterflies is a project anchored by Transgender Law Center, Familia: Trans Queer Liberation Movement, National Immigrant Justice Center, and other Tijuana based organizations. The project aims to support LGBTQ asylum seekers at…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Job Type
  • Education
    J.D. Required
  • Professional Level


$60,000 - $60,000

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in English and Spanish

Fluency in English and Spanish


San Diego, CA

How to Apply

Please submit a resume and cover letter at the link above.

Please submit a resume and cover letter at the link above.

Join Idealist

Sign up today to save your favorite jobs and get email alerts when new ones are posted.