Staff Attorney

Posted by
Published 19 days ago

Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is the leading advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their loved ones. NILC’s mission is grounded in the belief that everyone living in the U.S. — regardless of race, gender/gender identity, immigration status, or economic status — should have equal access to justice, resources, and educational and economic opportunities that enable them to achieve their full human potential. NILC is committed to advancing its mission — which intersects race, immigration status, and class — through a racial, economic, and gender justice and equity orientation.

Headquartered in Los Angeles with an office in Washington, DC, NILC seeks to achieve just laws and policies that address systemic inequities, create narrative and culture change for an inclusive and equitable society, and build a healthier and more powerful movement. For more information, please visit and

The Staff Attorney at NILC is an experienced litigator who will work on precedent-setting cases to advance the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. The Staff Attorney will endeavor to empower immigrant communities through supporting a multi-pronged approach of impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community education, using a client and community-centered lawyering approach.   

Essential Job Functions

  • Conduct impact litigation on a range of issues in collaboration with litigation teams of other Staff Attorneys, Supervising Attorneys, Paralegals, and Administrative Staff. 
  • Identify and develop litigation in federal and state courts. With supervision and support from Senior and/or Supervising Attorneys, prepare pleadings, motions, and briefs; conduct discovery; present oral arguments; and handle appeals.
  • Strategically, creatively, and boldly use plaintiff-driven, community-grounded impact litigation in combination and partnership with NILC’s other core strategies of policy advocacy, communications, and movement building to advance NILC’s vision and mission.
  • Advance NILC’s administrative and legislative advocacy by providing legal analysis and technical assistance to colleagues in NILC’s other departments; government officials and staff; the media; organizers; and advocates and attorneys nationwide. Provide support to other staff on issues of subject-matter expertise.
  • Develop community education materials, co-creates webinars, and provides Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations
  • Collaborate with staff across the organization, including the Communication Department; Campaigns Department; Policy & Advocacy Department; and Federal Advocacy Department.
  • Represent NILC with coalition partners.
  • Supervise law student interns and legal fellows, as needed.
  • Proactively and consistently report to relevant staff and leadership about programmatic developments, administrative needs and broader institutional concerns, opportunities, and needs. 
  • Respond to requests for legal assistance. 
  • Other duties as assigned by the Supervising Attorney, Deputy Legal Director, and Legal Director.  

Education and Experience

  • JD degree and active member in good standing of a State Bar Association required  
  • Minimum of 4-6 years of litigation experience, preferably in federal court  
  • Demonstrated experience in the investigation and development of impact litigation.  
  • Expertise in immigrants’ rights or other public interest impact litigation strongly preferred.  
  • Bilingual Spanish, Haitian Creole, or other language ability a plus.  


  • Values aligned with the mission of defending and advancing the rights of immigrants with low income. 
  • A strong commitment to equity, diversity, and inclusion for all. Commitment to fostering an anti-racist work culture and anti-racist principles and learning. 
  • Excellent organizational and time management skills. Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines. Capacity for follow-through and flexibility around changing priorities and deadlines. 
  • Confidence and comfort communicating with people from many different organizations with a range of backgrounds, particularly cross-culturally with ability to engage with cultural humility. 
  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills: able to conduct thorough research, draft, and file legal documents, including legal writing for litigation purposes and narrative writing for advocacy and other communication purposes. 
  • Familiarity with US Supreme Court and appellate practice and constitutional law. 
  • Demonstrated ability to perform complex legal analytical work.  
  • Excellent time management skills, with the ability to work both independently and collaboratively in a fast-paced environment while managing multiple projects, 
  • Ability to work effectively in case teams and with external co-counsel or in a coalition setting comprised of multiple organizational partners and demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts constructively.  
  • Excellent organizational skills and attention to detail. 
  • Commitment to economic, racial, and social justice with a passion for immigrants’ rights.  

Work Environment

  • The work environment is generally quiet and in an office setting. 10% of overnight interstate travel may be required; generally, travel is quarterly to the NILC DC office or another location within the US for 3-5 nights, some overtime may be required. 

Physical Demands

  • Remaining in a stationary position, often standing or sitting for prolonged periods 
  • Communicating with others to exchange information. 
  • Repeating motions, like typing or answering a phone, that may include the wrists, hands and/or fingers. 
  • Assessing the accuracy, neatness and thoroughness of the work assigned. 

This position is included in a bargaining unit of employees represented by a union, and the employment terms and conditions for this position may be subject to a labor-management negotiations and a resulting collective bargaining agreement.

Please submit an updated resume and cover letter. Applications are reviewed on rolling basis.

Salary for the role is commensurate with experience, and will be between $84,200-105,300.

NILC is an equal opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. NILC does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ethnic background, religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other protected class. We consider all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative.

Founded in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is the leading advocacy organization in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights and opportunities of low-income immigrants and their loved ones. NILC’s…

Details at a Glance

  • Time Commitment
    Full Time Schedule
  • Start Date
    June 7, 2021
  • Application Deadline
    April 22, 2021
  • Education
    J.D. Required
  • Professional Level


$84,200 - $105,300


  • competitive benefits
  • 403b match
  • PTO cash out
  • wellness stipend
  • competitive benefits
  • 403b match
  • PTO cash out
  • wellness stipend

Level of Language Proficiency

Bilingual Spanish, Haitian Creole, or other language ability a plus. 

Bilingual Spanish, Haitian Creole, or other language ability a plus. 


Work may be performed anywhere in United States
Associated Location
Koreatown, Los Angeles, CA 90010, United States

How to Apply

Cover letter required.

Cover letter required.

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