Senior Staff Attorney

Job Type

Full Time




New York
New York
United States


About Safe Passage Project

Safe Passage Project provides free lawyers to 800 child refugees who are being deported.

Many children embark alone on the long and dangerous journey to the United States seeking protection. They are fleeing trauma such as gang violence and recruitment, abuse, and sexual assault. In 2017, the federal government reported apprehending over 40,000 immigrant children seeking entry to the United States. Closer to home, the New York Immigration Court has more than 15,000 cases involving children on its docket.

Immigrant children are not afforded free legal representation by the government, regardless of their age. As a result, more than half of immigrant children must go through immigration proceedings without the aid of a lawyer. Unable to effectively argue their claim for the legal protections they may qualify for, more than 80% of these children are issued deportation orders. To many, this means returning to the danger from which they fled.

This is where Safe Passage Project steps in, providing free legal assistance to these refugee and immigrant children in New York City and Long Island who are facing removal despite their strong legal claim to stay in the United States.

Check out recent press on our work in The New Yorker and Glamour.

About the Role

The Senior Staff Attorney will be joining a small group of exceptional public interest attorneys to directly impact the lives of immigrant children looking for safety and security. The Senior Staff Attorney will carry a small caseload while also mentoring pro bono attorneys in providing legal representation in immigration and other related proceedings, including cases involving asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and other forms of immigration relief. This position reports to Deputy Executive Director Desireé Hernández.

Your responsibilities will include:

  • Represent minors in removal proceedings before the Executive Offices for Immigration Review (EOIR) in New York, Asylum Office, USCIS, and Family Court; the Senior Staff Attorney will have a minimum of 5 direct cases;
  • Supervise and mentor pro bono attorneys representing minors in similar proceedings;
  • Collaborate with Senior Staff in the analysis and creation of legal strategies;
  • Participate and assist in legal screenings;
  • Contribute to the creation of policies and strategies for Safe Passage Project;
  • Supervise and provide detailed reporting statistics on each pro bono and direct case;
  • Prepare trainings and materials to present at Safe Passage Project trainings.

Qualifications: The strongest candidates for this position will have most, though likely not all, of the following qualifications and characteristics:

  • J.D. degree and admission to New York State Bar
  • 4 or more years’ experience as an attorney, preferably with 3 or more years of experience in immigration law
  • Ability to work independently as well as collaboratively on an interdisciplinary team in a fast-paced, high intensity environment
  • Excellent written, analytical, oral, organizational and time management skills
  • Spanish language skills (preferred)
  • Experience working with diverse communities (preferred)
  • Experience working with children (preferred)
  • A commitment to the work of Safe Passage Project and readiness to grow and learn with the Safe Passage Project team.

Level of Language Proficiency

Spanish (preferred)

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

Safe Passage Project is an equal opportunity employer. Women, people of color, LGBTQ people, veterans and people with disabilities are encouraged to apply.

To Apply: Please email a resume and thoughtful cover letter, outlining how your skills and experience meet the qualifications of the position and how you found out about the position, to with the subject line “Senior Staff Attorney”.