Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is an innovative partnership among interested philanthropists, law firms and corporate supporters. As the leading national organization that works to ensure that no refugee or immigrant child faces immigration court alone, KIND is dedicated to providing pro bono representation and promoting positive systemic change in both law and policy to improve protections for unaccompanied immigrant and refugee children. KIND also engages in programming in Central America and Mexico to promote the best interests and protection of migrant children throughout the region. KIND is headquartered in Washington, DC and has 10 field offices across the United States.
KIND seeks a Senior Attorney to provide senior-level expertise and leadership in the provision of legal services by KIND attorneys and pro bono partners to unaccompanied children facing removal proceedings. Serve as thoughtful leader and expert advisor on complex and novel legal issues for internal and external stakeholders. As needed, supervise Staff Attorneys, Senior Paralegals, and other non-attorney staff.
- Based on caseloads and experience, funding streams, and institutional priorities, perform hybrid pro bono mentoring and direct representation functions, including providing robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case, as well as providing zealous legal advocacy to KIND’s clients in direct representation cases. Percentage of mentoring and direct representation caseloads will be determined by management in the Legal Service component.
- As needed, supervise Staff Attorneys and/or Senior Paralegals or other non-attorney staff, which can include: onboarding, legal skills training and case technical assistance, daily support and coaching, conducting regular check-ins and performance evaluations; reviewing work product; and providing consistent and effective feedback and oversight to ensure high-quality legal work;
- In pro bono mentoring function, provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys representing KIND clients, throughout the pendency of the case; in direct representation function, provide zealous and senior-level advocacy in immigration and related state court proceedings;
- Conduct legal research and client interviews, draft and file court pleadings and applications, and appear before immigration and/or state court or agencies on behalf of direct representation clients;
- Place cases with pro bono attorneys, and provide ongoing expert mentoring, training, and technical assistance;
- Engage in outreach to foster and expand relationships with community stakeholders and pro bono partners including law firm and in-house corporate counsel;
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team as well as the Senior Director for Pro Bono Partnerships, as needed, develop pro bono training resources and local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. Assist with development and conducting of local and national KIND trainings for both staff and external partners and stakeholders;
- Oversee data management, ensuring data integrity through regular case audits, technical fluency with KIND’s case management systems, and oversight of data upkeep and accuracy by supervisees;
- In collaboration with management in the Legal Services component, and in coordination with other organizational components such as Development and Finance, assist in developing and implementing grant and contract-funded programming, including monitoring performance against grant and contract commitments;
- Collaborate with other KIND components on specific projects and initiatives as needed, including KIND’s Policy, Advocacy, Communications, and Regional components;
- Represent KIND at local stakeholder meetings, trainings, conferences and events;
- Participate in and lead local and national KIND meetings, committees, retreats, and events; and
- Provide leadership and oversight in ensuring overall field office functioning and developing KIND’s legal services program at large.
QUALIFICATIONS AND REQUIREMENTS
- J.D. and admittance to local bar.
- Advanced fluency in Spanish language required where majority of caseload is working directly with clients; otherwise Spanish-speaking preferred.
- Minimum 5 years’ experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas and T visas.
- Minimum 3 years’ experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
- Minimum 2 years’ experience working with law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers.
- Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
- Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and work independently.
- Minimum 2 years’ experience supervising legal staff where supervision of Staff Attorneys and/or Senior Paralegals is required.
· Please submit your resume, cover letter, writing sample and application here in order to be considered for the desired role.
KIND has an organization wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.