Who We Are:
The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is the only non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. area focused exclusively on providing legal assistance to the adult and children immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region.
The managing attorney in the Detained Adult Program’s Legal Orientation Program (LOP) leads a team focused on the provision of direct legal services to immigrant adults held in facilities in Virginia and Maryland who are unrepresented and cannot afford private counsel. The services the team provides include: (i) delivering Know Your Rights presentations and workshops, (ii) conducting intakes with all unrepresented persons, (iii) triaging and screening cases for pro bono placement with internal teams at CAIR Coalition and external partners, and liaising with these partners, (iv) mentoring external pro bono attorneys, and (v) providing pro se assistance to individuals CAIR Coalition is unable to match with pro bono counsel. During this work, LOP staff are responsible for identifying trends and emerging issues faced by the people we work with in detention and coordinating responses as well managing stakeholder relationships with the detention facilities to ensure that individuals maintain meaningful access to legal information and assistance. Attorneys in this program also directly represent detained clients in their immigration proceedings in a small number of cases each year. In addition to leading the team’s operations as described above, the managing attorney interfaces with contract managers at the Vera Institute of Justice on reporting and proposals and helps set CAIR Coalition’s overall plans to improve legal access for pro se people in local ICE detention.
General Duties and Responsibilities :
Direct Services to Detained Unrepresented People:
- Plan and lead visits to government detention facilities throughout Virginia and Maryland (approximately 2-4 full days per month, including 2-day overnight visits), including interfacing with facilities, ensuring security clearances for staff, and developing visit assignments and responsibilities for staff. Oversee and supervise staff and volunteers during visits and assist in preparation and breakdown from visits. Perform Know-Your-Rights presentations and pro se workshops in Spanish, English, and (with available interpretation services) other languages to help detained individuals navigate the immigration court system. Coordinate efforts to ensure every newly arrived person at the detention center has the opportunity to attend presentations. Lead in adapting presentations and workshops to respond to changes in the law and legal needs of the people we work with in detention. Ensure that staff have adequate training and support to conduct presentations.
- Conduct individual intakes with immigrants at the detention facilities to evaluate and provide the necessary information and assistance they need to understand their cases. Work with the team to ensure that every unrepresented person at the detention center has the opportunity to complete an intake. Ensure adequate quality review of intakes conducted by volunteers and one-on-one legal information delivered during jail visits. Support the team in developing intake interviewing skills and related legal knowledge.
Follow Up Services After Intake
- Lead and coordinate coverage for team sessions to review new intakes to triage for follow up services. Screen for eligibility for all forms of relief and/or release from detention, including asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention against Torture, cancellation of removal, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U and T visas, and termination as well as appeals, bond and habeas petitions. Analyze immigration consequences of criminal convictions or allegations. Develop tailored messages providing further legal information that detained individuals need to navigate their cases pro se. Assist staff in developing the skills needed to perform this work.
- Supervise and support staff in conducting further follow up tasks to evaluate eligibility for relief and pro bono placement, including performing legal research, securing criminal/juvenile delinquency records, obtaining additional information from family and community members, and writing case summaries. Review case summaries prior to placement with external partners.
- Supervise and support staff in providing one-on-one pro se education and assistance to certain individuals who remain unrepresented, including family outreach, country conditions research, gathering evidence, and preparing the individual to navigate their hearing pro se. Help staff assess when one-on-one assistance is feasible and develop best practices for approach to work with individuals from a wide array of backgrounds and needs, including people who speak a range of languages (with interpreters available for languages other than Spanish), have varying degrees of literacy, and experience mental disability or illness.
- Identify and track trends and emerging issues faced by the people we work with in detention affecting their immigration cases. Coordinate with others in the organization to help detained people respond to and access better information on issues. Make appropriate referrals and provide necessary insight to in-house and external teams working on responding to the emergent issues identified.
Direct Representation Focused Activities (~15% of work):
- Manage a caseload of pro bono mentorship cases to ensure competent, zealous representation and timely completion and submission of all filings by external partners. Provide expert mentoring to outside attorneys representing detained immigrants on a pro bono basis by orienting teams to cases, providing necessary client access information and assisting in troubleshooting accessibility concerns, providing feedback on filings, answering complex legal questions, and assisting with mooting and trial preparation. Supervise and train attorneys on staff learning to mentor pro bono teams.
- Represent and/or supervise other staff in a small number of in-house direct representation cases for detained clients that can include merits (trial) representation, bond, negative fear interview reviews, appeals and/or habeas petitions.
- Prepare and guide pro bono teams through putting together post release and social service plans, in coordination with social services staff.
- Research, engage, and prepare experts on health, behavioral health, and country conditions and pro bono teams working with these experts.
- Act as primary supervisor for senior staff in the program. Conduct regular check ins and provide support to senior staff in major stakeholder communications, cross-program interfacing, team management, and troubleshooting emergencies, including developing plans to respond new trends in enforcement, strategizing accessibility concerns, implementing program-wide protocols, and providing guidance and support with senior staff members’ supervision responsibilities.
- Participate and provide leadership in team meetings focused on program updates, pro se case workshopping, program management, training and planning to respond to changes.
- Provide supervision on legal matters and other support to legal assistants and attorneys in the program
- Assist other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low-bandwidth periods.
- Lead in implementing and adapting referral processes for in-house programs for legal representation. Coordinate with all internal CAIR Coalition programs to ensure programs are kept abreast of developments, such as detention trends and access issues.
- Work with program directors and other managers to address Detained Adult Program management needs. Act as a leading voice for pro se legal access concerns.
- Actively engage in CAIR Coalition’s training and advocacy efforts.
- Engage with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to lend a voice to the growth and strategy of the organization.
- Ensure the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion by staff on team.
- Undertake own administrative functions, including for case work (e.g., preparation of all aspects of filings). CAIR Coalition attorneys do not have dedicated paralegals for assistance on cases and non-attorney staff time is dedicated to client-facing tasks (e.g., jail visits, pro se assistance).
Work with External Parties:
- Carry out day to day communications and contract reporting with the Vera Institute of Justice, the primary funder (contracting with EOIR) supporting CAIR Coalition’s LOP team. Prepare LOP budgets and other contract materials in consultation with program directors. Strategize on other sources of funding to support program operations. •Liaise with external partners at law schools, non-profit organizations, and firms in coordination with pro bono coordinating attorney and LOP staff for the purpose of securing and furthering access to legal services for detained individuals.
- Interface with the community of support for clients and unrepresented people.
- Take part in stakeholder relationship activities, including in-person and telephonic meetings with community groups, governmental bodies and representatives (including ICE, jail and court officials), and other legal service providers.
This is a full-time position that is based from the Washington, D.C. office. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CAIR Coalition staff, interns, and volunteers are working remotely. It is anticipated that CAIR Coalition staff will work from their assigned office starting November 2021. This date is subject to change depending on regional vaccine distribution or if organizational leadership determines staff need to return to work from their respective assigned office.
CAIR Coalition normal operating hours are 9:00-5:00P.M., E.T. Monday-Friday. With the approval of their supervisor and HR, employees have flexibility to establish work hours that enable them to meet family commitments as needed.
Travel During Covid-19:
It is the policy of the organization that staff seek to appear in court remotely using appropriate means approved by each court. However, the attorney position may require some travel to the Washington, D.C. office, and/or court during the COVID-19 pandemic. Staff will be expected to enter ORR facilities and state, or immigration courts should those facilities reopen, and client-needs demand them before November 2021. CAIR Coalition will provide its employees with personal protective equipment (PPE) per our COVID-19 policies.
CAIR Coalition is highly encouraging its staff members to get vaccinated for COVID-19 when they meet vaccination requirements in their region. When the COVID-19 vaccination is available to the general public, new hires should be prepared to get the COVID-19 vaccines given the nature of CAIR Coalition’s work.
The employee demonstrates a mastery of the law and legal procedure and can deploy innovative and thoughtful approaches to assisting clients. The employee stays abreast of developments in the law and ensures that their supervisees are trained in new developments.
Client and Programmatic Proficiency
The employee proficiently helps to manage all of the program’s in-jail, client, and in-office programmatic obligations. The employee proficiently manages their caseloads and the caseloads of the staff they supervise. The employee skillfully supervises their staff and ensures that staff are in a position to grow professionally.
The employee ensures that all administrative aspects of their position (and their staffs’ positions), attendant to the provision of services to clients, are carried out without managerial intervention, (including timekeeping, file upkeep, database upkeep, etc.).
- JD and active license to practice law
- Substantial relevant experience in immigration law or comparable field
- Experience in supervision, mentorship and project management
- Experience in delivering pro se education, intake and assistance programs (like LOP) strongly preferred
- Written and oral Spanish working proficiency required, fluency preferred
- Driver’s license
To apply for this position, please submit the following materials. Materials should be submitted in pdf format.
- A cover letter indicating your interest in the position, your preferred start dates, and your availability;
- A resume; and
- A writing sample
Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, starting March 2021.
We are an equal employment opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status or any other characteristic protected by law.