Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time




75 Broad Street
New York
New York
United States




Job Title:                                           Staff Attorney

Department:                                Refugee Representation

LOCATION:                                        New York, New York

Reports To:                                   Managing Attorney (New York)

JOB CLASSIFICATION:                    Full-Time; Non-Exempt; Union


The staff attorney in the New York office will assist in administering Human Rights First’s pro bono asylum legal representation work, primarily within the New York 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.    


·        Conduct legal screenings and intake interviews with asylum seekers in the New York metropolitan area;

·        Assist in identifying cases for pro bono placement and direct representation within our program;

·        Provide legal information to asylum seekers and help lead any pro se or know-your-rights workshops conducted by the office;

·        Ensure that the 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 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 New York metropolitan area;

·        Identify, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and court decisions;

·        Provide legal advice and guidance to in-house legal services coordinators, social worker, and interns;

·        Manage 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 retain funding for the organization and Refugee Representation team; and

·        Other duties as requested based on the team and/or organization’s need.


·        A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and active bar membership required.

·        At least one year—and ideally several years—of direct representation of asylum seekers at all levels of the administrative process, with preference for immigration court experience;

·        Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is a plus;

·        Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers and experience mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters;

·        Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure, meet deadlines, and 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 communication skills, characterized by clarity and accuracy;

·        Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, particularly in a collegial, team-based approach to work;

·        Adaptability to embrace and navigate new, dynamic projects;

·        Ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization;

·        Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organizational lines; comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy; and confidently with government officials and the media; and

·        Ability to travel regionally by car or public transit (mileage and/or transit expenses reimbursed).

Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is a plus.

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required