Temporary Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time Temporary




District of Columbia
United States


The Temporary Staff Attorney in the Washington, D.C. office will assist in administering Human Rights First’s Refugee Representation program, primarily within the Washington D.C.-Baltimore metro area. The Temporary Staff Attorney will help manage an initiative focused on providing services to asylum-seeker families in Maryland, and play a primary role in identifying cases for pro bono and direct representation. The Temporary Staff Attorney should be available to work for approximately 4.5 months, beginning mid-March through July 31, 2018


  • Conduct legal screenings and intake interviews with asylum seekers in the Washington D.C.-Baltimore metro area;
  • Assist in the identification of cases appropriate for pro bono placement and direct representation within our program; 
  • Lead workshops and provide legal information presentations for asylum seekers;
  • Ensure that 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) direct representation when necessary;
  • Provide volunteer attorneys with prompt and thorough legal and procedural support on our 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 and volunteer attorneys;
  • Assist in placement of our 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 Washington D.C.-Baltimore metro area;
  • Identify, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts;
  • Provide legal oversight to legal service coordinators and assist in supervision of interns, fellows, and volunteers;
  • Assist in furthering advocacy initiatives by meeting with local officials at the Department of Homeland Security, and its various agencies, and the Executive Office for Immigration Review;
  • Promote Human Rights First’s mission by participating in local community events, promotional events, and other professional networking events that will increase the organization’s profile in the community;
  • Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and refugee representation activities; and
  • Other duties as requested based on department and/or organizational need.


  • A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and admission to the bar, preferably in Maryland, Virginia, or the District of Columbia (admission to other state bars acceptable);
  • 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 required (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is highly desirable;
  • Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers and experience in mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters;
  • Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure and meet deadlines, and to 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, and an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization;
  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organization lines, to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy, and to work confidently with government officials and the media; and
  • Ability to travel regionally by car or public transit (mileage and/or transit expenses are reimbursed).

Level of Language Proficiency

Fluency in Spanish required.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply


Apply through our careers webpage at www.humanrightsfirst.org/careers