Immigrant Defenders Law Center (“ImmDef”) Immigrant Defenders Law Center (“ImmDef”) is a next-generation, social justice law firm that provides high-quality representation and legal services to immigrants in Southern California and beyond. ImmDef was founded with the belief that no immigrant should be forced to face an unjust immigration system alone and our universal representation programs are a first step towards that goal. ImmDef represents thousands of adults, children and families annually who have multi-faceted, complex and urgent legal needs as they face our unjust immigration system. Learn more about us at

ImmDef is seeking Rising 2L and 3L Summer Law Clerks to join the largest non-profit, universal representation model deportation defense team in the state of California.

Our summer law clerks work collaboratively within our team of staff including managing and directing attorneys, staff attorneys, paralegals, administrative support staff and case managers to provide client-centered, holistic representation. The summer law clerk will work under the supervision of a Managing Attorney or Staff Attorney to assist in the representation of clients in removal proceedings. This is a rewarding and exciting position where the successful applicant will be engaged in cutting edge immigration litigation and receive training from immigration removal defense experts in ImmDef's Children Representation Project, National Qualified Representation Project, Locally Funded Initiatives Project, Cross Border Initiative Project, Post-Conviction Relief Project, and/or Litigation and Advocacy Project.

Summer Law Clerks will work under the supervision of managing attorneys and staff attorneys who are primarily responsible for providing direct deportation removal defense representation. Summer Law Clerks at ImmDef will receive training, direct client experience, and opportunities to observe and practice skills that will prepare them for careers serving our client population: unaccompanied children (detained in government custody and released to sponsors), adults with mental competency issues, individuals and families facing deportation and family separation, adults detained in ICE prisons. Interns located in San Diego may also have the opportunity to participate in our cross-border work in Tijuana, providing education and legal support to migrants seeking entry to the United States.

Essential Functions:
  • Client intakes, interviews, and legal screenings;
  • Drafting declarations and applications to be submitted to the immigration court, USCIS, and/or state courts;
  • Research and writing legal issues related to immigration, criminal, and child welfare law;
  • Supervised appearances in immigration court, and if available, family or probate court;
  • Assisting with community education and outreach initiatives in Tijuana.

Required and Preferred Qualifications:
  • Must be currently enrolled in a U.S. law school, working towards the completion of a J.D. or L.L.M. degree;
  • Work experience or law school course in immigration law or immigration law experience is helpful, but not required;
  • Experience in a nonprofit or law firm practicing public interest, litigation, immigration, criminal, or child custody law is helpful, but not required;
  • An interest or experience in working with marginalized populations and survivors of trauma required;
  • Prior work experience (legal or otherwise) in a fast-paced, dynamic work environment is helpful;
  • Strong case management, legal research, and legal writing skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently;
  • Passion for social justice for immigrants is required;
  • DACA recipients are encouraged to apply!

Language Proficiency
Spanish language proficiency is strongly preferred, however those with fluency in other languages (particularly in Haitian Kreyol or Mayan languages such as K'iche', Kekchi, Chuj, Quanjobal, or Mam) may be considered;

We require COVID-19 vaccinations or weekly testing to be considered.

Must submit Cover Letter to be considered. You can learn more about our programs at Please indicate your location preference, ImmDef will consider candidates who desire to be based in the following office locations: Los Angeles, Riverside, Santa Ana, or San Diego.

ImmDef believes in second chances. As an organization, we will rely on individualized assessments in the hiring of those with past criminal convictions. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply for a position fighting for our immigrant communities!

Immigrant Defenders Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Due to the large number of applicants, we are unable to respond to every applicant and will only contact those who are invited to interview for the position.

This is a temporary Summer Law Clerk position for rising 2L or 3L law school students, typically for a 10-week term beginning the first Monday in June. ImmDef requires summer law clerks and externs to obtain school credit for their time volunteering with us, or to apply for funding from their university or a third-party scholarship or stipend fund. In the event that a Summer Law Clerk is unable to secure funds or school credit, ImmDef has limited funds available to offset the costs of the student's summer experience with the organization.

Students seeking internship or externship opportunities during the academic year should indicate their interest in their cover letter. Legal interns and externs are required to commit to a term of at least 8 weeks, but longer placements for an entire semester or academic year are preferred.