Ayuda is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to providing direct legal, social and language access services, education, and outreach to low-income immigrants in the Washington, DC metropolitan area. Ayuda envisions a community where all immigrants succeed and thrive in the United States. Since 1973, Ayuda has helped low-income immigrants achieve safety and stability for themselves and their families by providing legal services in in the areas of immigration law, domestic violence protection orders and family law, as well as social services and access to interpreters and translators. Ayuda has office locations in Washington, DC, Silver Spring, MD, and Fairfax, VA
WHY DO YOU WANT THIS JOB?
- Because, just like everyone at Ayuda, you believe:
- In seeing communities where all immigrants succeed and thrive in the United States.
- In the overall success of our organization and all our programs.
- That families should be healthy and safe from harm.
- That all people should have access to professional, honest, and ethical services, regardless of ability to pay or status in this country.
- That diversity and equality make this country better.
WHAT WILL THIS JOB ENTAIL?
- Provide direct legal representation to low-income immigrants in a variety of matters before the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), with a focus on serving immigrant survivors of intimate-partner violence, human trafficking, and vulnerable children and youth.
- Provide legal representation to children either in ORR custody or formerly in ORR custody released to custodians in Northern Virginia, including representation in removal proceedings, state court custody matters in Virginia, and applications for other forms of relief before USCIS.
- Provide legal representation to clients in especially difficult and/or novel cases, including appeals;
- Participate in Ayuda’s efforts to bring about systemic change on behalf of our clients, including but not limited to participating in cases likely to have an extensive impact, working on amicus or other appellate briefs, and participation in notice and comment process on proposed regulations;
- Where necessary, advocate on behalf of clients who have been victims of crimes, including human trafficking, in interactions with law enforcement;
- Represent Ayuda and our clients at local and regional stakeholder, coalition, and advocacy meetings;
- Stay current on relevant laws and policies by attending trainings and conferences and reviewing new laws, regulations and court rules;
- Supervise one or more legal assistants or paralegals and interns;
- Mentor less experienced staff attorneys, including providing individual case supervision;
- Assist with preparation of grant applications, grant administration, and reports; and
- Other duties as assigned.
HOW DO YOU KNOW IF YOU CAN DO THIS JOB?
- Member in good standing with the VA bar or immediate eligibility for admission upon motion to the VA bar required;
- At least five years of experience practicing immigration law with significant focus and expertise in litigation and removal defense as well as representing survivors of trauma required;
- At least one year of experience working with child custody or guardianship petitions required;
- At least one year of experience supervising legal interns, legal assistants, and/or paralegals strongly preferred;
- Bilingual skills required, with Spanish language skills strongly preferred (other languages commonly spoken by Ayuda’s clients include Tagalog, French, Ixchil, other indigenous languages spoken in Central America, Portuguese, Arabic, and Amharic);
- Strong legal, organizational and time-management skills;
- Excellent oral and written communication skills;
- Ability to work independently and as part of a diverse, multidisciplinary team;
- Demonstrated commitment to social, racial and economic justice.
SALARY AND BENEFITS:
The salary is commensurate with experience and consistent with Ayuda’s attorney salary scale. Attorneys with one full year of relevant experience, for example, would start at $60,000. Ayuda’s compensation includes a robust benefits package that includes medical and dental insurance, long-term disability insurance, life and AD&D insurance as well as an employer-provided retirement match. All federal holidays are observed, and Ayuda offers paid leave for the week of Christmas through New Year’s Day in addition to generous sick and vacation leave, three personal days per calendar year, and three floating holidays to allow for flexibility in religious or cultural observances. This position is exempt for overtime purposes.
Please apply with resume and cover letter. Writing samples may be requested.
Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Apply early for full consideration. No phone calls, please.
Ayuda values an inclusive, diverse workplace and does not unlawfully discriminate on any basis prohibited by law. Ayuda is also committed to equal employment opportunity. Employment decisions are made consistent with both Ayuda's organizational values and the law, without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, age, physical or mental disability, veteran status, sexual orientation, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, political affiliation, genetic information, or any other legally protected status.
We value a diverse workforce and inclusive culture. We strongly encourage applications from people with lived experiences in the communities we serve.