Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America, and strengthen the protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
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 a 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. The Senior Attorney will report to the Supervising Attorney.
- Provide both mentoring to KIND pro bono attorneys and direct legal representation to KIND clients:
- In the pro bono mentoring function, provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case.
- In the direct representation function, perform ordinary functions of legal counsel including legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration and/or state courts or agencies, and drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits.
- Supervise staff attorneys, fellows, supervising paralegals, senior paralegals, or other non-attorney staff as needed, including:
- Onboarding, legal skills training, and case technical assistance, daily support, and coaching conducting regular check-ins and performance evaluations, reviewing work products, case audits, and providing consistent and effective feedback and oversight to ensure high-quality legal work.
- Place cases with pro bono attorneys, and provide ongoing expert mentoring, training, and technical assistance in individual and group settings.
- Engage in outreach to foster and expand relationships with community stakeholders and pro bono partners including law firm and in-house corporate counsel; provide expert contribution and oversight in the development of guidance materials and samples.
- Contribute to overall office functioning, including actively participating in the field office and KIND-wide calls and meetings, field office and KIND-wide committees, and providing leadership in-office events.
- 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 coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team as well as the Senior Director for Pro Bono Partnerships, as needed, develop local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. Assist with development and conducting of local and national KIND training for both staff and external partners and stakeholders.
- In collaboration with Legal Programs Management, and in coordination with other organizational departments 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 departments on specific projects and initiatives as needed, including KIND’s Policy, Advocacy, Communications, and Regional departments.
- Represent KIND at local stakeholder meetings, trainings, conferences, and events.
- Participate in and lead local and national KIND meetings, committees, retreats, and events.
- 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 admitted to the local state bar (If not admitted to local state bar, must sit for bar exam or start waiver to be admitted within 6 months and be able to be admitted within one year of employment).
- Fluent in English and Spanish.
- Minimum of 4 years of 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 of 3 years of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
- Experience working with law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers.
- Minimum of 2 years of experience supervising attorneys and/or legal staff if the position requires supervision. For non-supervisory senior attorneys, a minimum of 2 years demonstrating proven legal expertise or exemplary skills in managing complex legal projects.
- Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
- Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
- Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
- Showing the ability to multi-task and work with a sense of urgency in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
- Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
- Experience working and communicating in a remote environment.
KIND requires all staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role. (Acceptable to request writing sample for certain roles).
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.