Managing Attorney (DC)

Job Type

Full Time




District of Columbia
United States



The managing attorney in the Washington, D.C., office will provide high-quality legal guidance to Human Rights First’s pro bono attorneys and oversee the day-to-day management of Human Rights First’s Refugee Representation work in the D.C.-Baltimore metropolitan area. The managing attorney will ensure that the D.C. Refugee Representation team’s values, vision, strategies, projects, and activities align with the team’s overall mission.



·       Lead the D.C. office’s day-to-day operations and serve as a Refugee Representation team leader, which includes modeling leadership, contributing to the development and implementation of team-wide strategic and operational plans, and helping implement team-wide policies and procedures;

·       Work with the legal director and other members of Refugee Representation’s leadership team to continuously develop and refine a vision and strategic direction for ongoing operations;

·       Manage and lead D.C. Refugee Representation team to ensure that team produces high-quality work, functions as a cohesive interdisciplinary team, and is responsive to the needs of clients, pro bono partners, and others that we serve.

·       Supervise staff by mentoring, coaching, and providing professional development opportunities; oversee team selection and supervision of volunteers and interns; develop and retain a high-performing staff.

Case Selection, Placement, and Management

·       Ensure that clients accepted into Human Rights First’s pro bono representation program receive high-quality legal representation from Refugee Representation staff and pro bono attorneys by providing comprehensive legal training, guidance, advice, and updates on asylum and immigration law;

·       Review and supervise case management and quality-control systems for pro bono cases;

·       Identify cases appropriate for pro bono and in-house representation; 

·       Spot, 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;

·       Oversee pro bono attorney recruitment and assignment of cases to volunteer attorneys;

·       Play a leading role in expanding and maintaining strong relationships with local law firms, law school clinics, volunteer attorneys, and legal-service organizations;

·       Provide support to pro bono attorneys and Refugee Representation staff in other offices as needed, and work with the entire Refugee Representation team to ensure inter-office support and team collaboration; and

·       Sustain modest caseload of mentored and direct representation cases.

Operational Planning and Management

·       Ensure effective systems to qualitatively and quantitatively track progress and regularly evaluate program components; 

·       Oversee and assist with development of training materials for volunteer attorneys, including the online Pro Bono Attorney Library, and other manuals, memoranda, videos, and training media;

·       Partner with the legal director and Human Resources team to source and staff open positions.


·       Participate in national advocacy efforts relating to asylum seekers and refugees through engagement with the media and participation in meetings with government officials;

Fundraising and Resource Development

·       Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and Refugee Representation team;

·       Collaborate with the legal director and other teams, as necessary, to write and submit proposals, letters of intent, case statements, and acknowledgement letters;

·       Promote the organization’s mission by participating in local community events, promotional events, and other professional networking events to elevate the organization’s community profile; and

·       Other duties as requested based on the team and/or organization’s need.


·       A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and active bar membership;

·       At least five years of experience in representing asylum applicants at all levels of the administrative process;

·       Excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff; develop and manage high-performance teams; and set and achieve strategic objectives;

·       Experience mentoring other attorneys, preferably on immigration law matters;

·       Excellent and engaging written and oral communicator with ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals and diverse audiences of varying backgrounds, including survivors of trauma or torture;

·       Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously; work under pressure and meet deadlines; devise, entertain, and embrace creative solutions; and identify and analyze legal issues;

·       Fluency in one or more relevant second languages—particularly Spanish, French, Arabic, or Mandarin—is highly desirable; and

·   Fluency in one or more relevant second languages—particularly Spanish, French, Arabic, or Mandarin—is highly desirable; and

Level of Language Proficiency

 Fluency in one or more relevant second languages—particularly Spanish, French, Arabic, or Mandarin—is highly desirable

Professional Level


Minimum Education Required