Social Worker

Job Type

Full Time


Details: DOE




610 S. Ardmore Avenue
Los Angeles
United States


Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) seeks a full-time, bilingual (Spanish/English) social worker to join our refugee family and detention defense programs. The position is currently funded for a one-year period.


Public Counsel is the nation’s largest pro bono law firm and functions as the public interest arm of the Los Angeles County and Beverly Hills Bar Associations. It is also the Southern California affiliate of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights under Law. Public Counsel provides representation to low-income individuals and non-profits in the areas of consumer fraud, immigration, homelessness prevention, children’s rights, community development, veteran’s benefits, and appellate law. Public Counsel also brings impact litigation on a range of issues both locally and nationally. Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 120. We seek to have a racially inclusive staff.

Public Counsel’s IRP provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA, T and U visas, 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 and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and conducts impact litigation. For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles.


The social worker will join two teams within our Immigrants’ Rights Project: one serving detained immigrants and another serving non-detained immigrant families. The teams are interdisciplinary, value each member’s contribution, and promote a coordinated effort to provide client-centered legal services. The social worker’s goal will be to support clients as they move through their legal process and to connect clients to the support and services that they need in order to thrive. Specific tasks will include conducting psychosocial assessments with clients in and outside of detention and building relationships with community partners to expand resources available to clients and facilitate clients’ access to educational, medical, and mental health, and other services. In conjunction with the detention team, one of the social worker’s primary tasks will be to develop strong release plans--integrating family, community, and organizational support, as appropriate--to help advocate for release from immigration custody. With the family team, the social worker will assess client needs and determine whether to provide referrals or to offer increased support, such as accompaniment to appointments or court hearings. The social worker will also provide crisis intervention when needed. The position will require a blend of micro and mezzo social work. Supervision will be divided between two attorneys, with access to mentorship from Public Counsel's social work staff. Please note that Public Counsel is unable to provide clinical supervision for licensing and that the position is currently funded for a one-year period.


  • Master’s Degree in Social Work (MSW);
  • Prior experience assisting immigrants strongly preferred, and non-profit experience a plus;
  • Excellent verbal, written, and phone skills in both English and Spanish required;
  • Experience working with trauma survivors, including children, strongly preferred;
  • Experience and/or openness to working with incarcerated individuals, including those with criminal convictions, preferred;
  • Attention to detail, outstanding organizational skills, ability to multitask;
  • Ability to work well under pressure and to be a self-starter;
  • Ability to work in teams and interest in working in a multidisciplinary environment;
  • Driver’s license required, and ability/willingness to drive to detention centers;
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel;
  • Commitment to economic and racial justice;
  • Experience and/or desire to work with low-income, racially diverse clients.


Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required

Master's degree

How To Apply

Please email cover letter, resume, and at least two references to:

Katka Werth, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney,

Immigrants’ Rights Project


Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

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.