International Programs Staff Attorney
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has provided nearly 18,000 children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by training more than 41,000 attorneys and legal staff and cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND seeks a Staff Attorney to provide expert legal services to separated families seeking to return to the United States, primarily through pro bono facilitation, including robust consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted KIND cases. The attorney will also provide direct representation in a limited number of cases involving more complex issues, such as inadmissibility issues or other barriers to return. As needed, supervise fellows, senior paralegals, paralegals, other non-attorney staff, and/or interns.
THIS IS A REMOTE POSITION THAT MAY BE BASED ANYWHERE IN THE UNITED STATES.
- Provide both mentoring to KIND pro bono attorneys and direct legal representation to KIND clients.
- In the pro bono mentoring function, provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case, including through the appeals stage.
- In the direct representation function, perform ordinary functions of legal counsel including legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration agencies; drafting and filing applications for relief and benefits, including through the appeals stage.
- In both functions, advocate with USCIS for approval of separated individuals and accompanying family members. Ensure that clients approved to travel to the United States receive appropriate support, including identifying and addressing potential issues with travel documentation, custody and exit visas for children traveling, transportation and logistics and referrals to services as needed, in coordination with IP program coordinator and paralegal staff and engaging with partner organizations as needed.
- Supervise regular clinics to help returned families apply for employment authorization documents, providing direct representation or mentoring pro bono attorneys as needed.
- Supervise fellows, senior paralegals, paralegals, other non-attorney staff, and/or interns as needed including:
- Onboarding, skills training, daily support and coaching, review and quality assurance of filings, regular check-ins and performance evaluations, and provision of consistent and effective supervision and oversight.
- Conduct screenings of repatriated separated children and deported parents, primarily in Central America and Mexico, in order to determine protection needs, including legal needs.
- Place cases with pro bono attorneys and actively build relationships between KIND and the pro bono community.
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team and other family separation staff, as needed, help develop pro bono training resources and local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. Present trainings to pro bono attorneys and community groups.
- Contribute to overall office functioning, including actively participating in IP and KIND-wide calls and meetings, IP and KIND-wide committees, and assisting with office events.
- Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KIND’s case management systems.
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team provide guidance and legal analysis within the office and engage actively as a mentor for more junior attorneys and staff.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- J.D. and admitted to local state bar.
- 3-5 years of experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients both in and outside the United States in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum or refugee proceedings, humanitarian parole or other parole programs such as CAM, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas.
- 2-4 years of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
- Experience with adult claims, including bars to admissibility and waivers, is strongly preferred.
- Experience mentoring law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers.
- Advanced fluency in Spanish language.
- Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills.
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
- Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and work independently.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role.
KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Please apply directly with this link: