The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work today in more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities. The IRC's Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in the US. RAI serves nearly 50,000 individuals each year in the US through a diverse portfolio of programs aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.
IRC seeks a Senior Staff Attorney to join the IRC in Silver Spring. The Senior Staff Attorney is an experienced asylum and removal defense lawyer who will focus on direct representation, supervision and supporting the development of a new program, funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), providing legal services for unaccompanied children, including representation in immigration court, before USCIS, and in state court proceedings. The Senior Staff Attorney will bring several years' experience representing asylum seekers, preferably including youth and unaccompanied minors, superb legal judgment and legal ethics, an ability to work independently while recognizing the value of collaboration and cross-referencing with other experts, and a passion for this area of work. The position will work in collaboration with community partners and will be part of the Asylum and Removal Defense Community of Practice, led by IRC's Immigration Technical Unit (TU) at IRC's headquarters, which supports IRC's 24 legal service programs across the US.
Direct Legal Representation
- Handle moderate caseload of children's cases before the immigration court and USCIS
- Conduct and oversee intakes with child clients, identify relief such as SIJS, asylum, cancellation of removal, VAWA, U-visa, T-visa, etc., and provide direct representation for unaccompanied children released to sponsors in the D.C. Metro area.
- Initiate state court proceedings for children who are eligible for special immigrant juvenile status.
- Coordinate closely within IRC's multidisciplinary teams to identify needs and facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers.
- Ensure client and program data is collected consistently, managed appropriately, and reported accurately in accordance with program reporting requirements set by IRC.
- Maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise of changing asylum and immigration policies as they relate to children through regular trainings and peer-to-peer consultation.
- Serve as a strong advocate for humanitarian immigrants.
- Coordinate closely within IRC's multidisciplinary teams to identify client legal needs and facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers
- Work collaboratively as part of the local team and across departments, including case managers
- Participate in community-based coalitions related to immigrant rights
- Serve as a strong advocate for humanitarian immigrants
- Supervise a Legal Assistant and/or DOJ Accredited Representative and Family Reunification Specialist, serving IRC's children and youth clients, focusing on state court representation for SIJS, removal defense, and Central American Minors (CAM) re-parole applications before USCIS.
- Lead and provide legal supervision to incoming fellows and/or staff attorneys, with a proportionate reduction in caseload over time, for long-term growth of a holistic children's legal services program with a vision toward program leadership and management.
- Law degree (JD or LLM) from an ABA-accredited U.S. institution and admission to any state bar;
- At least 3 years' experience providing direct representation in immigration court and/or before USCIS to asylum applicants and other immigrants seeking humanitarian relief;
- Experience providing legal services to children and/or working with children preferred;
- Excellent research, writing, analytical, and organizational skills and excellent legal judgment;
- Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally in a courtroom setting and in writing;
- Bilingual in Spanish/English;
- Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative multidisciplinary environment;
- Deep commitment to immigrant rights and working with humanitarian immigrants;
- Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;
- Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations;
- Strong computer literacy, research and analysis skills; and
- Must be willing and able to travel frequently in and around the service area to attend hearings and interviews and engage with clients and community partners.
- Hybrid office environment with some remote work and occasional participation in community outreach and legal assistance events.
- May require occasional weekend and/or evening work, flexible working hours may be permitted on a case by case basis.
COVID-19 Vaccination Requirement: In accordance with IRC's duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for this position.
Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.
Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.