The Senior Staff Attorney is a member of the legal department who may be assigned to work primarily with one or more of the legal teams as needed. Accordingly, the types and amounts of cases assigned to a staff member will reflect the needs of the clients serviced by the team(s) they are assigned or the needs of clients across the legal department as a whole. The Senior Staff Attorney will assist clients pursue immigration benefits for, and provide representation of clients in applications, hearings or proceedings before a variety of courts, tribunals and agencies as needed to safeguard and/or improve their immigration status within the United States. Further, the Senior Staff Attorney is also responsible for pursuing community-based systemic reform and advocacy aimed at reforming unforgiving federal immigration laws. The Senior Staff Attorney will provide consultations to potential new clients on a regular basis, in particular at Legal Triage, and other events. The Senior Staff attorney will provide clients with effective, responsive, compassionate, efficient and zealous representation. The Senior Staff attorney supervises and directs the efforts of paralegals or other support staff assigned to help their client’s cases.
DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:
Immigration Legal Assistance:
- Provide representation to clients with cases involving issues such as criminal history, immigration law violations, family law issues, current or previous removal proceedings, appeals, or other issues related to their immigration matters as needed.
- Responsible for the preparation, review, revision and submission of any documents needed to address a client’s immigration issues, including but not limited to, applications, motions, legal memos or briefs, petitions or requests.
- Represent individuals before federal, state or local courts, agencies or tribunals at all levels as needed to properly address and resolve issues for clients in their cases. Such representation should follow both ethical and professional responsibility obligations as well as funder requirements.
- Responsible for creating and communicating timelines and tasks to supervisors, colleagues, and subordinate staff that will properly and efficiently resolve issues in cases in order to achieve the best possible outcome for clients. Also responsible for communicate this information to clients.
- Ability to work effectively under pressure with urgent deadlines.
- Research and analyze complex and straightforward legal matters pertaining to own caseload and assuming responsibility and risk for outcomes of client cases.
- Screen potential clients for all potential and available immigration benefits that they may qualify for, and use that information to assess their ability to successfully pursue and obtain those benefits.
- Communicate to potential clients an assessment or evaluation of their immigration cases or circumstances, including but not limited to any rights these individuals possess, any requirements these individuals must complete, and any deadlines they must comply with.
- Stay up to date with changes in immigration law and other immigration related developments in order to be able to provide clients with the best representation possible in their immigration matters.
- Make appropriate referrals as necessary for immigration legal services beyond the scope of the
program or one’s own competencies, and for other social service needs.
- Assume caseload of any departing staff member as needed.
- Conduct review of all applications and other documents prepared by subordinate staff that are to be filed with USCIS, the Immigration Court, or other courts, agencies or tribunals prior to their submission. Provide revisions and directions to other staff assigned to the case in order to effect
necessary changes or to take actions to properly represent the client.
- Provide coaching and mentorship whenever possible to colleagues and subordinate staff to improve their knowledge, skills, accuracy, and efficacy in understanding the practice of the various areas law related to our clients’ cases and to improve the quality of service provided to clients.
Customer Service and Community Outreach:
- Communicate and interact with clients with professionalism, respect, compassion, and sensitivity to their life circumstances and potential or actual trauma that they have suffered.
- Maintain regular communication with clients and provide them with updates regarding their cases no later than 90 days after the last case update provided to them.
- Respond to any client communications or inquiries no later than within 48 – 72 hours of receipt of message from client(s).
- Participate at in-person legal screening events, community presentations, and other special events as scheduled. For example, participation is required at Saturday Legal Triage events, which are scheduled on alternating Saturday mornings (7A – 11A) throughout the year.
- Support CHIRLA’s fundraising goals including annual fundraising drive and GALA activities.
Reporting Obligations and Program Efficiency:
- Update case notes with any developments or client interactions within 48 – 72 hours in order to provide accurate and up to date information for other staff to rely on in a timely manner.
- Update and maintain current all databases, tracking sheets or other documents mandated by policies and procedures issued by CHIRLA, the legal department, and any legal team(s) to which they are assigned.
- Work closely and diligently with all other staff to represent clients in their legal matters ethically, efficiently and properly in order to maximize client outcomes and deliverable requirements for funders.
- Perform other duties and responsibilities as necessary in order to address urgent issues or priorities either within their assigned team(s), other legal department teams, or for the legal department as a whole.
SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
- Active attorney license and good standing with a State Bar association within the United States.
- Active admission and good standing in the California State Bar is preferred.
- Minimum of 3 or more years of post-bar admission and experience practicing immigration law and/or relevant litigation experiences.
- Fluency or high proficiency in the Spanish language and/or other languages that would allow communication with existing, new or potential clients is required as the job requires extensive legal counseling and representation with clients who primarily speak languages other than English.
- Demonstrated commitment to social justice, progressive social change, empowering communities’ rights and justice.
- A high level of integrity and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Ability to communicate effectively both orally and in writing.
- Must be flexible to work early morning, evenings and Saturdays during clinical/consultations times as needed.
- Experience in assisting noncitizens apply for a wide variety of immigration benefits and processes before USCIS and/or the Immigration Court.
- Engaging communication skills that can effectively and independently communicate with diverse audiences and network collaboratively among a variety of stakeholder groups.
- Excellent creative problem solving, strategic thinking, and analytical skills.
- Excellent organizational skills and strong attention to detail.
- Experience with providing direct services to the community, ideally in a nonprofit setting.
- Experience working with survivors of trauma, victims of violence, and human trafficking.
- Experience working with underserved and diverse populations.
- Ability to be comfortable in a collaborative, consultative environment.
Desired Traits or Characteristic
- Highly self-motivated, creative, takes initiative, ability to learn quickly, flexible and able to work as part of an interdisciplinary team of legal staff.
- Demonstrated experience working effectively as part of a team and with colleagues of diverse backgrounds and perspectives, both in person and within a remote work environment.
- Ability to establish and maintain effective relationships within their team, within the legal department and throughout the organization. Demonstrated ability to be proactive in their approach to assigned responsibilities, completing tasks and/or using technology and systems to maximize efficiencies.
- Strong commitment to CHIRLA’s mission of empowering low-income community groups.
JOB TITLE: Senior Staff Attorney
Salary & Benefits: $79,040 — $85,489
CHIRLA offers a competitive salary based on qualifications and an excellent benefit package,
Which includes generous time off benefits, 401K Plan, health, dental and vision plans
FLSA Classification: Exempt/Hourly, full-time regular
Classification: CHIRLA recognizes a staff bargaining unit affiliated with AFSCME District Council 36.
This position is included in CHIRLA’s bargaining unit and covered under the terms of the collective
COVID-19 Requirements: CHIRLA requires all new employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID19 or submit weekly negative test results
REPORTS TO: Supervising Attorney or Managing Attorney
CLOSING DATE OF THIS POSITION: Position will remain open until filled
LOCATION: Multiple branch office locations available
CHIRLA is an equal opportunity employer and makes employment decisions on the basis of merit and administers all terms and conditions of employment, including recruitment, appointment, promotion, compensation, benefits, transfers, training and educational opportunities without regard to pregnancy, childbirth or related medical conditions, genetic information as defined by the Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act, race, religion or religious creed, color, gender, gender identity or expression, national origin or ancestry, physical or mental disability, medical condition, marital status, registered domestic partner status, age (40 or older), sexual orientation, HIV/AIDS status, pregnancy or pregnancyrelated disability, military or veteran status or any other basis protected by federal, state or local law or ordinance or regulation. All such discrimination is unlawful. It also prohibits unlawful discrimination based on the perception that anyone has any of those characteristics, or is associated with a person who has or is perceived as having any of those characteristics. All such discrimination is unlawful.
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About Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA)
The Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights (CHIRLA) is a nonprofit organization founded in 1986. CHIRLA is a California leader with national impact made of diverse immigrant families and individuals who act as agents of social change to achieve a world with freedom of mobility, full human rights, and true participatory democracy. CHIRLA organizes and serves individuals, institutions and coalitions to build power, transform public opinions, and change policies to achieve full human, civil and labor rights. Guided by power, love and vision of our community, CHIRLA embraces and drives progressive social change.