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Immigration Equality
Legal Director
New York, NY

Immigration Equality is the country’s largest legal services and advocacy organization for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. Through direct representation, impact litigation, policy advocacy, community engagement, and thought leadership, we support intersectional communities striving for safety, fair treatment, and freedom.

Immigration Equality seeks a dynamic attorney with strong leadership and managerial skills to serve as our next Legal Director. Reporting to the Executive Director, the Legal Director will head a highly dedicated team of lawyers, paralegals, and fellows, assuming primary responsibility for directing all legal services (including a nationwide network of pro bono attorneys representing clients at all stages of the administrative and judicial process). The Legal Director will also analyze jurisprudential and regulatory developments affecting the LGBTQ, HIV-positive, and immigrant communities, and contribute substantially to defining and achieving Immigration Equality’s mission goals. The right candidate will work closely with the Executive Director to create a strategy for Immigration Equality to defend and protect the individuals and communities we represent during this particularly challenging political moment. To that end, we seek an analytical and creative person to help ensure we make the greatest positive impact possible for the people we serve.

Responsibilities

  • Lead staff in developing, refining, and implementing Immigration Equality’s strategic plan, insofar as it applies to the Legal Department
  • Analyze current and proposed policies so as to advocate for systemic change, or to support the Executive Director in so doing
  • Spearhead the organization’s impact litigation
  • Review all direct or amici appellate cases, including those before the BIA, the federal circuit courts, and the U.S. Supreme Court
  • Set criteria and evaluate processes for the identification and intake of legal services cases suitable for representation by Immigration Equality’s in-house or pro bono legal teams
  • Manage a case load of approximately 650 matters
  • Supervise and mentor in-house attorneys, paralegals, and legal fellows representing clients at all stages of the administrative or judicial process
  • Ensure, directly or indirectly, that in-house and pro bono attorneys’ questions receive timely and appropriate responses and that their work product is suitably vetted
  • Maintain Immigration Equality’s National Hotline, through which the organization fields questions regarding the application of immigration law and policy to LGBTQ and HIV-positive persons
  • Sustain Immigration Equality’s role in developing and delivering legal training programs, including CLE programs and government trainings
  • Assist the Development and Public Affairs teams in fundraising and public relations efforts by providing them with regular updates about the work of the Legal Department
  • Ensure appropriate data collection for donor reporting and grant management, preparing for and participating in audits of contracts and grants where required
  • Participate actively as a member of Immigration Equality’s executive management team, meeting regularly with other Directors to ensure the smooth execution of organization-wide projects and the responsible stewardship of organizational resources
  • Stay informed about, and report periodically to the Board of Directors on legal and policy developments in order to ensure that Immigration Equality’s work and messaging are responsive to current trends
  • Other duties as assigned

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. and license to practice law in any state or district of the U.S.
  • Minimum 7 years of relevant experience as a practicing federal litigator or immigration attorney; preferably some of both
  • Minimum of 3 years of managerial experience
  • Familiarity with relevant legal standards and processes including asylum, removal defense, family-based immigration, detention advocacy, and federal appeals
  • Experience in navigating the complex intersection between immigration and criminal law
  • Excellent writing and strong public speaking skills
  • Proven experience leading, motivating, and inspiring others
  • Interpersonal and organizational skills of the highest caliber
  • Remarkable attention to detail
  • Ability to work some evenings and weekends
  • Ability to travel as needed

Desired Competencies

  • Demonstrated commitment to, and experience working with, the LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrant community
  • Experience and interest in work supporting community organizing, campaigns, and policy and advocacy initiatives

Environment

Immigration Equality is an equal opportunity employer: immigrants, people of color, and transgender and gender non-conforming individuals are strongly encouraged to apply. Immigration Equality is a progressive organization with an open-plan office. Applicants are expected to collaborate within a diverse and inclusive environment. We are a mission-driven organization full of smart, dedicated people. If you want to work at the cutting edge of the most potent human rights issues of our time, and do it with terrific colleagues in a fast-paced, nimble organization that seeks lasting results, this is the place for you.

Salary and Benefits

Salary range $100,000 – $110,000, depending on experience. Excellent benefits provided, including full health insurance coverage, dental and vision, 403(b) plan, long-term disability insurance, and four weeks of vacation per year.

To Apply

Send a compelling cover letter and chronological resume to jobs@immigrationequality.org with “Legal Director” in the subject line of your email.

Please, no phone calls.