The Immigrant Legal Resource Center Is Hiring! Staff Attorney – Crim/Imm and Removal Defense
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC) is seeking a full-time Staff Attorney based in San Francisco. This is an exempt position that reports to a Supervising Attorney.
The ILRC is a national nonprofit legal support center headquartered in San Francisco with staff in Washington, D.C., San Antonio, Houston, and Austin, TX, and the San Joaquin Valley of California. The mission of the ILRC is to work with, educate, and enhance the capacity of immigrants, community organizations, and the legal sector, in order to build a democratic society that values diversity, dignity, and the rights of all people. Founded in 1979, the ILRC is regarded as one of the foremost experts on engaging immigrants and developing their leadership in the democratic process, providing expertise on complex issues of immigration law, procedure and policy, and engaging in advocacy and educational initiatives on policies that affect immigrants. We are a team-based organization that makes most of its decisions in a collaborative fashion that allows for significant staff input.
The Staff Attorney will further the ILRC’s technical support, capacity building, and policy work on behalf of immigrants and the practitioners who defend their rights.
Job Responsibilities: The Staff Attorney – Crim/imm and Removal Defense will participate in several programs, including, but not limited to:
Primarily focusing on providing technical information and support to public defenders who represent noncitizen defendants in criminal proceedings, and to immigration advocates, especially non-profit and pro bono advocates, who represent noncitizens with crim/imm issues in immigration proceedings. This includes:
Analyzing new developments and writing practice advisories, which may be geared to attorneys, paralegals, community members, or policymakers;
Preparing and leading webinars and in-person seminars on a variety of topics in immigration law;
Working as a team to create or update materials, including online materials like the California Quick Reference Chart;
Writing, updating, and editing select chapters in ILRC manuals, including chapters focused on removal defense as well as affirmative applications for immigration relief; and
Working as an “Attorney of the Day” to answer questions on individual cases.
Providing information, training, and support to help communities to understand, organize, and fight to preserve their rights in the criminal legal and immigration systems;
Working with coalitions on campaigns against restrictions on immigration relief, attacks against due process, ICE enforcement, and other emerging issues, and working for local, state, or federal policies that support the rights of immigrants, especially those who have had some contact with the criminal legal system;
Analyzing state and federal legislation that affect crim/imm, ICE enforcement, due process of immigrants, removal defense, and eligibility for relief. As needed, drafting legislation, advising legislative staff and other parties, and testifying before legislature;
Strategizing around stories and media opportunities to drive local and national campaigns for immigrant rights;
Representing ILRC, and as necessary taking a leading role, in collaboratives to support immigrant rights;
Writing grant proposals and reports to foundations and corporations, and representing the ILRC in meetings with funders and supporters;
Traveling for trainings, funder visits, and other events throughout California and to some extent throughout the United States; and
Providing amicus support as needed, in cases before the BIA, California courts of appeals, the Ninth Circuit, and the Supreme Court.
Qualifications: Requirements for the position include:
Experience and expertise in, and commitment to, defending the rights of noncitizens who have come in contact with the criminal legal system;
A minimum of three years of experience representing clients in a crim/imm context. Representation in immigration proceedings is strongly preferred, in removal defense in particular and a range of applications for relief. However, other experience employing a crim/imm analysis to represent noncitizen defendants and advise other defenders in criminal proceedings will be considered;
Broad knowledge of removal defense law, including the grounds of inadmissibility and deportability; the intersection of criminal and immigration law; and some knowledge of California post-conviction relief and cutting edge crim/imm policy issues;
Excellent writing, editing, legal analysis, and oral presentation skills;
Ability to lead meetings attended by, write for, and communicate with a range of people, including immigration and criminal defense attorneys, community members, legislators, policy-makers, journalists, funders, and others;
Excellent time management skills and the ability to meet deadlines;
Willing to work closely with and learn from colleagues, including being willing to take direction and editing from others and to incorporate feedback;
A strong work ethic, including the following qualities: organized, flexible, reliable, and dependable, able to work independently, and able to handle several projects simultaneously. Comfortable in team-based efforts and a collaborative decision-making environment;
A willingness to travel; and
A current Bar membership in good standing for any state in the United States or the District of Columbia.
It is a plus if the applicant has additional experience including:
Experience in or familiarity with the criminal legal system, as well as California post-conviction relief;
Experience working closely with community organizers and non-lawyers on organizing campaigns;
Writing and securing grants from foundations and corporations;
Legal or other writing experience, for a range of audiences;
Training, teaching, or other public speaking experience;
Working in, leading, or forming coalitions;
Collaborating with immigrant communities, with an emphasis on supporting community leadership;
Coordinating civic engagement projects or working as a community organizer;
Second language proficiency, within the range of conversational to fluent;
Experience with communications work on immigration or criminal legal issues;
Established relationships with allied organizations in California and nationally; and
Experience in administrative and federal appeals.
Pay is very competitive for the field and commensurate with experience according to the ILRC salary scale for Attorneys. The starting pay for this position is from $84,077.89 (for those three years out of law school) An attorney hired for this position who has been out of law school for more than three years will have a higher salary based on their law school graduation year. The ILRC offers excellent benefits, medical/dental/vision insurance, a flexible spending account for medical and dependent care, vacation, and sick leave. The ILRC also sponsors a retirement plan option upon fulfillment of eligibility.
Applications: This position will remain open until it is filled and is currently available. We will consider applications on an ongoing basis beginning immediately. To ensure consideration of your application, please submit a cover letter explaining your qualifications for the position, your salary requirements, a current resume, a writing sample that demonstrates immigration law knowledge, and the contact information for three professional references.
Online applications are preferred. As an alternative, you can mail your application to:
Staff Attorney Hiring Committee
Immigrant Legal Resource Center
1458 Howard Street
San Francisco, CA 94103
No phone calls please.
The ILRC is an equal opportunity employer and does not make hiring or employment decisions on the basis of race, color, religion or religious beliefs, ethnic or national origin, nationality, sex, gender, gender-identity, sexual orientation, disability age, military or veteran status, or any other basis protected by applicable local, state or federal laws.
Pursuant to the San Francisco Fair Chance Ordinance and other similar state laws and local ordinances, ILRC will also consider for employment qualified applicants with arrest or conviction records.
About Immigrant Legal Resource Center
The increasingly complex legal and social challenges faced by immigrants in the 1970s created a growing need for expert assistance and training in immigration law and policy. Bill Ong Hing, a well-known immigrant rights attorney, recognized this need and founded the Golden Gate Immigration Clinic in 1979, which later became the Immigrant Legal Resource Center (ILRC). The ILRC seeks to improve immigration law and policy, expand the capacity of legal service providers, and advance immigrant rights.
The ILRC trains attorneys, paralegals, and community-based advocates who work with immigrants around the country. We inform the media, elected officials, and public to shape effective and just immigration policy and law. Our staff works with grassroots immigrant organizations to promote civic engagement and social change.