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 free legal assistance to child and adult immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region.

Position Summary:

A Senior legal assistant in the Detained Children’s Program focuses on (i) the coordination, execution and supervision of visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting know your rights presentations and intakes with detained children, (ii) working with clients throughout the course of removal proceedings, including assisting with paperwork and case preparation, (iii) supporting the program’s provision of services as a whole, and (iv) supervision of junior staff with a focus on professional development. This position will be located in our Washington, D.C. office.

General Duties and Responsibilities[1]:

              Client Services:

  • Supervises and participates in preparation and breakdown of detention facility visits.
  • Conducts detention facility visits in Virginia and Maryland, for the provision of know your rights presentations and intake/follow-up.
  • Ensures that junior staff are effectively providing in-facility services.
  • Demonstrates advanced understanding of basic relief eligibility and provides insightful input at intake review.
  • Conducts and can train and supervise other staff on administrative tasks, including database maintenance and reporting to funders.
  • Supports attorneys representing detained and released clients before USCIS, Baltimore and Arlington Immigration Court and local state courts in Maryland, DC and Virginia. This includes representation in the following types of cases: Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Protection under the Convention against Torture, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U-Visas, T-Visas, and Cancellation of Removal.
  • Actively engages in CAIR Coalition’s training and advocacy efforts, as needed.
  • Collaborates with social services staff to prepare social services and post-release plans; Identifies when social services collaboration is necessary.
  • Trains new staff and interns on client-facing work.

              Organizational Services:

  • Ensures the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion. Troubleshoots data management system problems.
  • Assists program leadership in planning and implementation of program goals.
  • Assists other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low-bandwidth periods.
  • Designs and leads projects to improve systems or client services.
  • Takes part in stakeholder relationship activities, including meetings with community groups, governmental bodies and representatives, and other legal service providers.
  • Engages with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to lend a voice to the growth and strategy of the organization.

Competencies Required:

Legal Proficiency

The Senior Legal Assistant (LA) will demonstrate firm understanding of relief eligibility to allow for meaningful contribution to client intake and thought leadership in discussion during intake review, follow-up, and casework with moderate supervision. The Senior LA demonstrates familiarity with children’s removal proceedings and issue spots where attorney input is necessary. The Senior LA plays an active role in client relationships and can independently advance work on cases with attorney approval. The Senior LA demonstrates understanding of legal information versus advice and educates others on this distinction. The Senior LA is familiar with preparing client filings and can do so with limited attorney input.

Client and Programmatic Proficiency

The Senior LA will skillfully and clearly present legal information and know your rights presentations to detained children and clients without supervision. The Senior LA has and continually improves upon trauma-informed interviewing and rapport building skills. The Senior LA effectively manages time and resources and appropriately prioritizes client needs and other program responsibilities.


The Senior LA ensures that all administrative aspects of their position are carried out without managerial intervention, including facility visit preparation and breakdown, file and database upkeep, etc. The Senior LA independently leads projects to improve administrative systems to support shelter and client work.

Qualifications Required:

  • Written and oral Spanish fluency
  • Driver’s license
  • Favorable results on background check including driving record, Child Protection Registry, and state and federal criminal records
  • Prior work experience

Salary & Benefits:

Salary commensurate with experience. A generous benefits package that includes medical, dental and vision insurance, four weeks of vacation plus all federal holidays. We are an LRAP eligible employer.

How to Apply:

Please send resume and cover letter to HR@caircoalition.org to apply.

[1] This list is illustrative and not intended to be a complete classification of all job functions

Senior Legal Assistant, Detained Children’s Program
Job Type