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Northwest Immigrant Rights Project | Tacoma, WA

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project

Published 20 days ago


Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU)

Tacoma, WA

Full-time, exempt 


Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks a bilingual (Spanish-speaking) attorney or law graduate to join the Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU) as a full-time staff attorney in Tacoma, WA. 

The attorney will provide legal representation to individuals in removal proceedings held at the Northwest Detention Center, a regional immigration center where up to 1,575 community members are detained by immigration authorities. The attorney will provide direct representation to detained persons in removal proceedings, including representation at the Tacoma or Seattle Immigration Courts, the Board of Immigration Appeals and the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Attorneys will be managing a high-volume workload with complex legal issues in immigration and criminal law.

Candidate must be able to start the position by April 2020, with a preference for a sooner start. 

Beginning annual salary is $64,201 for a licensed attorney with no experience and is higher for attorneys with specific types of experience. For example, for someone with 10 years of non-profit immigration attorney experience, the annual salary would be $87,624; 20 years = $103,889. 

NWIRP is proud to be a unionized employer and this full-time position is covered by NWIRP’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. NWIRP offers a generous benefits package, including 100% of premiums for excellent health, vision and dental plans; 3% employer retirement contributions; disability/life/AD&D coverage; annual leave of 16 paid vacation days, 13 paid holidays, 12 paid health-related days; 12 weeks of paid parenthood leave after 6 months of employment; partially paid sabbatical after 6 years of employment.


Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse staff, board, and volunteer base reflective of the communities we serve and that enhances our ability to create a vibrant environment where all members of the NWIRP community thrive. We strongly encourage applications from people of color, immigrants (including individuals who were formerly detained, undocumented, or who have navigated the immigration legal system), women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBT community, and other underrepresented and historically marginalized groups.

It is the policy of NWIRP to comply with all applicable federal, state, and local laws prohibiting employment discrimination. NWIRP is committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. NWIRP does not discriminate on the basis of class, race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, political ideology, age, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability. Excepting any undue hardship, NWIRP will provide reasonable accommodations upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process.


Supervising Attorney – Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU) Unit


• Provide direct representation to clients in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or before the federal courts, and before the Department of Homeland Security

• Maintain a working knowledge of significant policies, laws and trends in immigration law, particularly as it impacts low-income immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system

• Conduct case analysis to determine clients’ options for protections/status under the immigration laws  

• Perform administrative tasks, such as case tracking and case management,  

• Participate in NWIRP’s outreach, community education and development efforts

• Perform other tasks as required and directed by supervisory staff

Physical demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk and hear; utilize a phone, computer, keyboard, pen and paper.

Emotional demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to discuss topics including, but not limited to, discrimination, domestic abuse, violence, and psychological trauma. Additionally, this position requires significant time working with clients in small, windowless rooms at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, WA and interacting with detention center and ICE staff.


• Law degree 

• Admission to the bar of any state in the U.S. or taking the February 2020 bar exam

• Demonstrated commitment to advancing and defending immigrant rights and willingness to support NWIRP’s mission, vision, and values

• Fluent in English and Spanish

• Commitment to working in a diverse working environment 

• Excellent written and oral communication skills

• Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently

• An ability to provide trauma-informed and culturally competent legal representation

• Ability to take on an existing caseload

• Proficiency in use of web-based software, MS Word and MS Excel


Send a cover letter, resume and list of three references to: Full consideration will be given to those who apply by February 25, 2020 at 5:00 p.m., but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until position is filled.


NWIRP is a nationally-recognized immigration legal services organization with four offices in Washington State. Our mission is to promote justice by defending and advancing the rights of immigrants through direct legal services, systemic advocacy, and community education. NWIRP provides direct legal representation and assistance in immigration matters to over 20,000 people with low incomes from over 160 countries, speaking over 70 different languages. NWIRP challenges unjust policies through high-impact lawsuits, and advocates for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants.


Defender Referral and Representation Unit (DRRU)

Tacoma, WA

Full-time, exempt 


Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks a bilingual (Spanish-speaking) attorney or law…

Details at a glance

  • On-site Location
  • Full Time Schedule
  • J.D. Required

Level of Language Proficiency

English, Spanish

English, Spanish


Tacoma, WA

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