We Are
Headquartered in downtown, Washington, DC, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is an organization with over 16,000 individual attorney members who practice and teach immigration law. For our members, we provide continuing legal education, information, advocacy, professional services, and expertise.

Founded in 1946, AILA's mission is to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

The Government Relations (GR) team advocates for immigration-related legislative, regulatory, and policy reforms before Congress and the executive branch, consistent with AILA's principles and priorities. The GR team tracks the development of law, policy and practice and prepares and shares resources and information with AILA members.

Your Role:
The Policy & Practice Counsel will advance AILA's administrative, congressional, and overall advocacy goals. The Policy & Practice Counsel tracks trends and developments in substantive immigration law and administrative developments. The Policy & Practice Counsel contributes significantly to AILA's written work product by drafting and editing policy documents, practice pointers, bill text, legislative analysis, analysis of regulations, blogs, web updates, and communications to AILA members and target audiences. The Policy & Practice Counsel represents AILA before Congress and with the Administration. This position will focus on removal and humanitarian issues.

Essential Job Functions include:
Policy and Legal Analysis - 25%
  • Monitors, reviews, evaluates and prepares written analysis and advocacy materials on proposed legislation, regulations, and policies on selected issues.
  • Works with the department directors, staff, AILA leadership, and assigned AILA committees to identify emerging issues and trends in policy and practices.
  • Shapes AILA's policy positions and makes recommendations on key priorities.
  • Drafts the substantive content of AILA's policy and legislative work product.

Information Sharing and Education - 25%
  • Drafts and designs a wide range of products to maximize AILA's impact with AILA members, including policy analysis, practice materials, and other products designed to reach a broader audience.
  • Works with AILA's government relations, communications, and online content teams to produce materials.
  • Educate AILA members and the public on AILA's positions at conferences, webinars, public events, interviews with the media, and social media.

Congressional and Administrative Advocacy - 20%
  • Actively participates in the development of legal and policy positions and agenda items for agency meetings and participates in those meetings.
  • Represents AILA in advocacy with Congress and government agencies.

Staff Resource to AILA Committees and Membership - 15%
  • Supports, tracks, and guides the work of AILA's subject-matter expert committees and national committees that engage in formal liaison with the government.
  • Serves as a resource on policy and legislative matters for AILA members.
  • Supports the department's grassroots and membership engagement efforts.

Coalition and Partnerships - 15%
  • Represents AILA in national or regional coalitions and campaign efforts.
  • Cultivates relations and alliances with organizations that share a common advocacy purpose.

Your Background:
J.D. or master's degree in public policy. Three to five years (3-5) of immigration policy and/or general immigration law practice experience, with an emphasis on removal and/or humanitarian immigration.

Experience working with administrative agencies, Congress or state legislatures, and coalition organizations is preferred. Prior experience in an association, member-service, or customer-service environment is helpful.

Other requirements (e.g., language requirement, license requirement, certifications):
J.D. and bar admission preferred

Fluency in Spanish is helpful for media/press relations

This position is eligible for Remote/Hybrid work. Preference will be given to candidates who reside near the DC Metro area and have the ability to commute downtown as needed. Due to the nature of the role, candidates may be required to work extended hours, including evenings and weekends. Travel is required occasionally for conferences and attendance before Congress and with the Administration in their role as representing AILA.

Our Workplace:
We offer a dynamic and collaborative work environment with a competitive compensation package based on your experience and qualifications. Our generous benefits include 90% of an employee's Medical/Rx, Dental, and Vision premiums paid, as well as contributions towards dependents' premiums; a 401(k) with up to 3% matching contribution upon enrollment, employer-paid disability, and life insurance, commuter subsidy for those commuting to our National office. In addition, we provide employees with flexible scheduling and telecommuting options and plenty of time away from the office to bolster creativity and recharge. Added perks: eight-week paid parental leave after one year of service and a four-week sabbatical every tenth year of service.

Statement on Diversity:
The American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA") is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to treating all applicants and employees without regard to unlawful considerations of race, religious creed, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics), genetic information, military and veterans status, citizenship and immigration status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws. This equal employment opportunity commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including but not limited to, advertising, recruiting, hiring, job assignment, compensation, promotion, demotion, benefits, training, discipline, and termination.

AILA believes that diversity is a strength. AILA is committed to being a safe, respectful, and inclusive space, where a broad range of viewpoints and experiences are encouraged and every member of its staff and board is given the opportunity to thrive.