Position Title: Staff Immigration Attorney
Department: Immigrant Services
Reports To: Senior Staff Immigration Attorney
FLSA Status: Exempt
Time Commitment: Full-Time (40 hours per week), including some weekends and evening hours also required to support the program's needs.
Salary: $75,000 - $80,000 annually

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Catholic Charities offers a full line of benefits to select from medical, dental, and vision. Prescription drugs, life insurance, cash-balance pension plan, 403(b), 10 vacation days, 15 holidays, plus sick leave.

About Catholic Charities:
Catholic Charities Diocese of San Diego provides service to those in need, to be a witness to the scriptural values of mercy, to advocate for justice, and to call all people of goodwill to join in these efforts. The agency responds to the needs of the poor in San Diego and Imperial counties of the Roman Catholic Diocese.

Position Description: This is a full-time, exempt position reporting to the Managing Attorney. The Immigration Staff Attorney will provide robust direct legal representation to low-income immigrant individuals and families in San Diego and Imperial counties in affirmative and defensive immigration matters. This work may include representing clients before the San Diego Immigration Court, Imperial Immigration Court, Board of Immigration Appeals, USCIS, ICE ERO (parole), Los Angeles Asylum Office, and the Superior Court of California (San Diego Family Court and Probate Court - CA attorneys only). Conducts legal screenings of detained and non-detained clients, works with managing attorney to determine eligibility for representation of potential client, provides immigration legal services, including determining eligibility for immigration benefits and need for referral to other benefits providers internally and externally. Completes legal applications and petitions, collaborating with the Catholic Charities affirmative legal team for affirmative legal support. Provides know your rights presentations and short-term legal assistance at Catholic Charities emergency border shelters in San Diego and Imperial Counties. Provides legal support to Refugee Services case management programs. Provides legal immigration representation to unaccompanied minors upon release to sponsors by the ORR. The position includes travel to the various legal forums where representation is required. Other duties as assigned. Nothing in this job description restricts management's right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.

Essential Functions:
  • Conduct legal consultations and determine eligibility for immigration benefits. Prepare and file cases for individuals in removal proceedings, in the detained context. Representation will be provided in both San Diego and Imperial counties;
  • Represent clients regularly in the following types of proceedings before EOIR: custody redetermination hearings, defensive asylum, withholding of removal, and Convention Against Torture
  • Represent clients regularly in the SIJS process;
  • Representation in asylum interviews before the Los Angeles Asylum Office;
  • Draft declarations, legal briefs, motions and pleadings
  • Attend trainings and courses to remain updated on immigration law and policy.
  • Travel as needed and directed to any of the Agency sites, to detention facilities or courts as required;
  • Participate in workshops for the public and collaborative partners on filling out I-589, other legal remedies, and preparing a defensive immigration case;
  • Assist as directed in any of the myriad activities required to balance workload priorities, grant-based goals, in-service training, and handling of resources so as to ensure maximum productivity and fiscal solvency for Immigrant Services;
  • Assist department administration in the development and expansion of its immigration services and resources;
  • Follow established program protocols;
  • Adhere to all agency policies and procedures;
  • Submit program reports and statistics in a timely manner;
  • Participate in departmental meetings, on-line webinars, and other training opportunities.

Education/Experience Required:
  • Law Degree (JD) from an ABA-Accredited U.S. institution.
  • Experience providing immigration legal assistance to clients.
  • Ability to counsel clients regarding immigration law, procedures, forms, and eligibility.
  • Ability to represent clients before USCIS and Immigration Court.
  • Must possess strong legal research and writing skills.
  • Familiarity with local DHS and EOIR offices and procedures is preferred.

Certificates, Licenses, Registrations: Valid California Drivers License and current automobile insurance in compliance with Agency requirements. Admitted and in continued good standing with the California Bar. Permitted to practice immigration law before the legal forums detailed above.

Physical Demands: The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. While performing the duties of this job, the employee is frequently required to stand; sit; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; and talk or hear. The employee is occasionally required to walk and climb or balance. The employee must frequently lift and/or move up to 10 pounds and occasionally lift and/or move up to 25 pounds. Specific vision abilities required by this job include close vision. Must be able to travel to various locations to support the needs of the program.

Work Environment: The work environment characteristics described here are representative of those an employee encounters while performing the essential functions of this job. Reasonable accommodations may be made to enable individuals with disabilities to perform the essential functions. The noise level in the work environment is usually moderate.

Catholic Charities is a non-profit, non-discriminatory service organization and employer. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national origin, religion, sex, age, sexual orientation, or disability. Persons seeking employment are entitled to freedom from harassment and retaliation and reasonable accommodation for qualified disabilities.