Detained Removal Defense Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time


Details: DOE




610 S. Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles
United States


Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) is seeking a full-time, bilingual (Spanish/English) removal defense staff attorney to work with our program serving detained immigrants. The position is currently funded for a two-year period.



Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country. Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law. Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 120. We seek to have a racially inclusive staff.

Public Counsel’s IRP, staffed by 13 attorneys, five support staff, two social workers, and two law fellows, provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA, T and U visas, deferred action for childhood arrivals, and other relief in immigration court. In addition to direct representation, IRP engages in advocacy at the local and national levels, runs a legal orientation project serving detained immigrants, recruits and trains hundreds of pro bono attorneys each year, handles appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeal, and conducts impact litigation. For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles. 


Public Counsel’s IRP’s detention team is expanding. We have hired two staff attorneys to provide full-scope removal defense to a full caseload of detained clients, and seek a third to join and help build our new team. All three attorneys will represent clients detained in the Adelanto Detention Facility in their bond and removal proceedings before the Adelanto Immigration Court. Public Counsel is committed to working towards a universal representation model, and clients will be screened only for their eligibility under the terms of the grant that funds this position. The attorneys will represent clients in the full range of removal defense cases, and in a wide range of applications for relief. 

The attorneys will benefit from being part of an experienced and creative team at Public Counsel, and also part of a larger community of detained removal defense attorneys housed at other organizations in the area. The staff attorney will come on in the inaugural year of two removal defense programs, and will contribute to building the program collaboratively, including designing intake systems, attending joint trainings, and troubleshooting with attorneys throughout Los Angeles.


  • JD and California Bar Admission*
  • Fluency in Spanish
  • Prior removal defense experience strongly preferred, and detention experience a plus
  • Ability to work quickly on tight timelines
  • Ability to work well under pressure and in teams
  • Competence in and dedication to working with others of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds including individuals with a history of trauma or criminal records
  • Commitment to working towards universal representation
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel

*Admission to another state’s bar may be acceptable for the right candidate


Excellent Benefits

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in Spanish 

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Please send a cover letter and resume to:

Judy London, Directing Attorney

Public Counsel

610 South Ardmore Avenue

Los Angeles, California 90005


No phone calls please. 

Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer 

All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.

All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.