Description:

About the Position:
A Non-Profit Organization seeks to hire a senior immigration attorney for our Charlottesville office. The attorney will be responsible for helping develop and implement strategies to end mass detention and deportation of immigrants in Virginia, break the ties between immigration enforcement and local and state government and law enforcement, ensure that immigrant communities remain intact and protected in Virginia, fight the separation of immigrant families and the exclusion of immigrants from state benefits like in-state tuition, protect immigrants across the Commonwealth whether they are in federal custody or in their communities and fought for inclusion of undocumented immigrants in rent relief during the pandemic.

Applying the principles of community lawyering and working on an interdisciplinary team, the attorney will work closely with organizers, families, community members, local, state and national-level partners, and other LAJC advocates to advance systemic change in immigrants' rights in Virginia through a combination of individual representation, impact litigation, community outreach, and policy advocacy. This position will maintain or supervise a practice that primarily involves immigration issues but could incorporate cross-program work as needed. The attorney will also assist in teaching the University of Virginia School of Law's Immigration Law Clinic, ensuring that clinic cases are professionally and successfully litigated by the law students and also advance strategic goals.

Job Duties:
  • Through supervision and coordination with the director, help monitor and advance the central Virginia docket of individual cases to ensure community needs are met. This includes handling direct representation cases and community immigration consultations.
  • Take a leadership role in various impact campaigns (including federal litigation, policy advocacy state and local advocacy, or grassroots community lawyering) affecting immigrant communities in and around Charlottesville and statewide.
  • Assist in co-teaching the Immigration Law clinic at the University of Virginia School of Law, with up to eight students and a docket of consisting primarily of removal defense cases.
  • Participate in various work groups, coalition, etc., and attend community events.
  • Assist with advocacy communications efforts, e.g., drafting press releases, responding to media inquiries, and drafting content for social media.
  • Supervise legal interns.
  • Actively participate in program decision making by attending regular team retreats and contributing to the creation and implementation of team-wide systems.
  • Racial equity: Promote racial equity across all dimensions, including within LAJC, by doing the following:
  • Helping to recruit, retain, and support both staff and leadership that reflect the racial composition of our community.
  • Cultivating respect for the work of and expanding resources for non-attorney staff that are disproportionately people of color.
  • Creating spaces for staff to discuss issues of racial, gender, and all other issues of marginalization.
  • Pushing for institutional and cultural changes by management, the board, and staff to further promote racial equity.

Senior Attorney Responsibilities:
  • Contribute to organizational health through working groups, hiring committees, and other collaborative spaces building internal infrastructure of the organization. Provide support to administrative team relevant to immigration matters as needed.
  • Identify or provide learning opportunities, relevant literature, and training opportunities relevant to housing matters.
  • Individual representation on immigration law issues
  • Community lawyering in the immigration context and/or other impact expertise.
  • Circulate to staff and facilitate discussion and collective learning as feasible.
  • Provide necessary support and consultation across the organization, or in some cases, externally, on subject matter area.

Requirements:
  • Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
  • At least 3 years of practice as an attorney.
  • Strong commitment to immigrants' rights.
  • Experience (formal or lived experience) working directly with immigrant community members.
  • A sufficient level of Spanish fluency to interview and counsel clients in Spanish without assistance of an interpreter.
  • Membership in the Virginia State Bar, or eligibility and willingness to become a member of the VSB promptly – either by passing the bar exam, or meeting requirements to “waive” into bar membership without taking the bar exam. (Note: this position may be eligible for the newly enacted Virginia Supreme Court rule allowing for any attorney working exclusively for a legal aid organization to practice without examination as long as they are in good standing in another state).
  • An ability to balance and manage a variety of responsibilities.

Preferred Qualifications:
  • At least 1 year of practice in immigration law, ideally in removal defense.
  • Supervision experience, whether in formal or informal capacity.
  • Experience working for a public interest law firm, legal services organization, or other nonprofit as an attorney or in a pro bono capacity.