SIFI Direct Services Attorney - Lumpkin (Stewart Detention Center)

Job Type

Full Time




United States



The Southern Poverty Law Center’s Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) provides high-quality, pro bono legal representation to immigrants detained in the southeastern United States. By ensuring that skilled attorneys are available to protect detained immigrants’ due process rights, SIFI endeavors to win every meritorious deportation defense and release case arising out of Trump-era immigration enforcement actions.                     

SIFI currently provides legal representation in release (bond, parole, and habeas corpus), deportation defense, and civil rights cases to immigrants imprisoned at the five largest and most isolated detention centers in the Southeast: the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, GA; the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA; the Folkston ICE Processing Center (“Folkston Detention Center”) in Folkston, GA; the LaSalle Detention Center in Jena, LA, and the Pine Prairie Detention Center in Pine Prairie, LA. SIFI’s four offices are in or near the towns where the detention centers are located. Each office has a Lead Attorney, two or three full-time Direct Services Attorneys and one or two Project Coordinators. Pro bono attorneys, law students, and volunteer interpreters regularly join the SIFI on-the-ground teams for week-long shifts to expand SIFI’s legal representation, focusing on release cases but also including immigration merits cases, high impact advocacy, and individualized advocacy. 

SIFI was developed and is directed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC). SIFI is part of SPLC’s Immigrant Justice Project practice group, which works to protect the rights of immigrants and their children to ensure they are treated with dignity and fairness. Innovation Law Lab and the Immigration Justice Campaign—an initiative of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, the American Immigration Council, and the American Immigrant Representation Project—are collaborating with SIFI to provide technical assistance and to expand pro bono support.

The Direct Services Attorney works out of the SIFI-Lumpkin office, providing direct legal representation to detained individuals in custody and removal proceedings at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia in accordance with the best practices and rules of conduct of the legal profession. The Direct Services Attorney collaborates closely with the entire SIFI team, SIFI partners, and allied organizations to support ongoing pro bono efforts, including developing potential federal litigation arising from removal defense work.

Primary Job Functions:

  • Provide, as the primary role, support, supervision, and mentorship to pro bono attorneys who are conducting intakes or client meetings with detainees, preparing filings, and appearing before the Immigration Courts on bond, master, merits, and other related proceedings, in addition to other volunteers including law students and interpreters;
  • Provide support and assist volunteers, both at our Lumpkin office and those working remotely, in document collection, writing, and editing of motions;
  • Provide direct representation to SIFI clients seeking release from detention (generally bond or parole);
  • Provide direct representation to certain SIFI clients in removal proceedings and proceedings before the federal immigration agencies;
  • Provide on-the-ground support for civil rights litigation and other advocacy on behalf of individuals detained at the Stewart Detention Center;
  • Maintain accurate and complete case records through LawLab software for all SIFI clients at the Stewart Detention Center;
  • Collaborate with attorneys, legal paraprofessionals, and interpreters, in furtherance of the representation of SIFI clients; and
  • Communicate with stakeholders, including the federal immigration agencies such as the Department of Homeland Security, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services related to SIFI clients.

Qualifications –


  • JD from an accredited university;
  • Membership in good standing in the bar of any state and/or the District of Columbia;
  • Experience as an attorney representing immigrants in release, removal defense, affirmative immigration relief, or civil rights cases, or extensive related clinical and internship/externship experience during law school;
  • Knowledge of the impacts of immigration detention on detained individuals and their families and communities;
  • Understanding of the deportation machine in the context of the current political climate, the expansion of hate and extremist groups, and impacts of U.S. foreign policy on transnational migration;
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and editing skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to multi-task;
  • Demonstrated enjoyment of decidedly unglamorous programmatic work and understanding of how that work is critically important to the struggle for immigrant rights and the larger civil rights movement;
  • Demonstrated dedication to and experience working with low-income, immigrant clients;
  • Sufficient proficiency in written and spoken Spanish to understand and communicate accurately with Spanish-speaking individuals;
  • Willingness to spend considerable time meeting with detained individuals in the rural Deep South;
  • Willingness to live in the Lumpkin, GA, or willingness to live in Columbus, GA or another community in the region and commute 45 minutes or longer;
  • Demonstrated excellent organizational skills and time management;
  • Demonstrated ability to do difficult and often draining work while maintaining emotional balance, being a supportive colleague, having fun at times, and clinging to a long-term optimistic vision of how our work will make the world a better place;
  • Humility, kindness, humor, emotional intelligence, and the other kind of intelligence;
  • Ability to listen to critical feedback and make adjustments in response to that feedback;
  • Commitment to working long hours;
  • Willingness to spend considerable time traveling in the rural Deep South and to appreciate the many wonderful things about life in the Deep South while remaining aware of the enormous challenges many people in the Deep South face; and
  • Valid driver’s license.


  • While strong Spanish proficiency is required, proficiency in Creole/French/Arabic/Hindi/Urdu and other languages will strengthen the application; and
  • Experience working within volunteer-based projects preferred.

To Apply:

Along with a resume, please submit a legal writing sample, relating to immigration law if applicable, a cover letter, law school transcript, and three references. 

Other Special Considerations:

This job is performed under general office conditions and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or dangerous conditions.


The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity

Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation, national origin, or prior record of arrest or conviction.

Level of Language Proficiency

  • While strong Spanish proficiency is required, proficiency in Creole/French/Arabic/Hindi/Urdu and other languages will strengthen the application.

Professional Level

None specified

Minimum Education Required


How To Apply

To Apply:

Along with a resume, please submit a legal writing sample, relating to immigration law if applicable, a cover letter, law school transcript, and three references.