IRIS – Integrated Refugee & Immigrant Services, Inc. (, a dynamic nonprofit organization in New Haven CT, has an opening for a full-time Staff Attorney (40 hours per week) in its Legal Department. IRIS is a refugee resettlement agency providing high quality and culturally sensitive assistance to immigrants and refugees in Connecticut. Our goal is to help immigrants establish new lives, regain hope, and contribute to the vitality of Connecticut’s communities. IRIS currently serves clients from Syria, Iraq, Afghanistan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eritrea, Sudan, Egypt, Venezuela, Guatemala and Honduras, among others.

IRIS is looking for a full-time staff attorney to represent immigrants in removal proceedings.

IRIS’s Legal Department: IRIS offers legal services, among its other services. IRIS’s Legal Department provides representation to: 1) refugees and asylees applying for lawful permanent residence, naturalization, and reunification with family members; 2) immigrants filing for asylum; and 3) immigrants in removal proceedings. The Legal Department currently consists of six full-time attorneys and two full-time paralegals, each of whom covers one or more of the practice areas listed above.

Description of Staff Attorney Position: IRIS is looking for a Staff Attorney who can cover cases in the third category listed above: the representation of immigrants in removal proceedings. The Staff Attorney will represent clients as part of the CT Coalition for Immigrant Freedom (CCIF), a New Haven-based removal defense project that seeks to provide universal representation to immigrants in removal proceedings. As such, the Staff Attorney will work closely with both IRIS case managers and attorneys at peer legal services organizations who serve these same clients.

The Staff Attorney will handle all aspects of clients’ removal cases, including scheduling and conducting client meetings, preparing and submitting asylum applications, drafting motions to the EOIR, and appearing in immigration court. The Staff Attorney will also handle any ancillary legal matters such as representing clients in probate court and petitioning for SIJ status with USCIS, preparing and filing U-visa petitions, or any other available forms of immigration relief.

The position is largely New Haven-based but could require some travel to MA or NH, depending on whether any clients are housed in detention facilities. Travel to Hartford will also be necessary for court appearances, on the occasions they arise. The Staff Attorney will report to the Director of Immigration Legal Services.

Candidates must be vaccinated against COVID-19 and comfortable coming into contact with other people.

The Staff Attorney should be a licensed member of a state bar in good standing, qualified to represent clients in immigration matters. The Staff Attorney shall have a J.D. from an ABA-accredited law school. The Staff Attorney must have some experience representing individuals in removal proceedings, and ideally would have a significant background in this area. The Staff Attorney should have strong advocacy, writing, communication and organizational skills, as well as the ability to handle multiple demands and shifting priorities in a fast-paced environment. The Staff Attorney must have a demonstrated commitment to the mission of IRIS and awareness and sensitivity to multicultural issues.

Fluency in Spanish is strongly preferred.

Salary: The salary being offered with this position will depend on the candidate’s experience.

Benefits include: vacation (3 weeks/year), personal days (3 days/year), holidays, sick leave
  • Health, vision, dental, life, and disability insurance
  • Eligible for 403b retirement plan after one year of service