Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Program
New York, NY
Immigration Equality and Immigration Equality Action Fund seek a dynamic, passionate attorney to join our legal team. We are proud to be the national leaders in the field we pioneered: lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and HIV immigration rights. We helped end the HIV travel ban, led the successful fight to secure green cards for LGBTQ families, and have directly represented more than 1,000 LGBTQ asylum seekers.
Founded in 1994, Immigration Equality has a dual focus of direct representation and impact work. We take calls every day from clients who need help right now and we work to change the systems that have lasting impact on how LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants are treated. We work with LGBTQ and HIV-positive asylum seekers, detained individuals, and binational couples, answering more than 3,500 hotline calls and representing more than 600 individual litigants each year. We also engage in impact litigation to protect the interests of our community. Finally, through our Action Fund, we lobby local, state, and federal policymakers to pass progressive legislation consistent with our mission goals.
Today, we rededicate ourselves to empowering and protecting one of the most vibrant, resilient, and diverse communities in the world. In nearly 80 countries, it is still a crime to be LGBTQ. In many more, it is fundamentally unsafe. At the same time, we are fighting with vicious resolve against an administration that seeks to roll back protections it took decades to obtain. We are proud to do life-saving work.
Pro-Bono Coordinating Attorney
Immigration Equality is seeking an experienced, compassionate and passionate, highly skilled individual to become our new pro-bono coordinating attorney.
The attorney will help coordinate and grow our successful pro bono representation program for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ), and HIV-positive immigrants. The attorney will collaborate with two other staff attorneys and one paralegal to manage the program, including mentoring volunteer attorneys, strengthening law firm relationships, build relationships with new firms to join the program, and identifying potential impact litigation cases. This position is a full-time permanent position, will be based in our New York City office, and reports to the legal director.
Immigration Equality is the country’s largest legal services and advocacy organization for LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. More than 100 of the nation’s finest law firms participate in our pro bono program, as do dozens of volunteer attorneys. Together, we represent more than 650 clients per year, with pro bono attorneys handling 80% of those cases. Recruiting new law firms to join the program and encouraging veteran attorneys to expand their engagement is critical to our ability to serve LGBTQ and HIV-positive immigrants. The right person for this job understands the needs of immigrant clients as well as the needs of the attorneys participating in the program. The goals of the position are to ensure that our clients receive the highest quality pro bono representation and to provide pro bono attorneys with the guidance and resources to feel great about helping our community.
- Cultivation: Mentor attorneys and law firms currently in Immigration Equality’s pro bono program; conduct initial strategy calls with attorneys on legal services cases; respond to attorney questions; edit and comment on attorney work product.
- Placement: Summarize and circulate asylum cases for placement with law firms and follow up on placed cases.
- Recruitment: Reach out to law firms to recruit them for the pro bono project; maintain relationships with existing pro bono firms and encourage them to take more and harder cases.
- Training: Organize trainings for pro bono attorneys and develop training materials; teach CLE programs.
- Case-handling: Perform intake interviews for potential clients and respond to inquiries through our web-based legal “hotline.”
- Policy assist the policy team in drafting and advocating for systemic changes in the immigration system;
- Direct Service: Engage in limited direct legal services, as needed, on issues affecting LGBTQ immigrants including: asylum, removal defense, family-based immigration, detention advocacy, DACA applications, federal appeals, etc.;
- Program Development: Assist the development team in fundraising for our pro bono program, especially from law firms and in-house counsel. Assist the communications team in identifying clients with compelling stories for media opportunities. Assist the policy team in advocating for asylum-related legislation and regulations;
- Impact Litigation: Assist the Executive Director in identifying areas to engage in impact litigation. Mentor law firm partners to research potential impact lawsuits and to vet potential plaintiffs. Co-counsel with pro bono attorneys on federal and state court impact litigation;
- Other duties as assigned.
- J.D. from an accredited law school, and license to practice law in any state or district of the U.S., New York State preferred
- Minimum of 3 years of immigration experience with experience in asylum law
- Excellent writing skills
- Remarkable attention to detail
- Strong public speaking skills
- Experience in asylum law
- Ability to work well on a variety of tasks simultaneously
- Ability to work some evenings and weekends
- Ability to travel as needed
- Demonstrated commitment to LGBTQ issues and/or immigration issues, preferably both
- District court litigation experience is a plus
- Spanish, Russian, and/or French language skills are a plus
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 72,000-76,000, 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.
Send a compelling cover letter and chronological resume to firstname.lastname@example.org with Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Program in the subject line of your email.
Please, no phone calls.
Applications from unlicensed law school graduates will not be considered.