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Interim Staff Attorney

Department: Legal Programs
Location: Falls Church, VA

About KIND

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 childís 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.

KINDís social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children Ė who have often endured trauma Ė 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.

Position Purpose: 

KIND seeks an Interim Staff Attorney to provide expert legal services to unaccompanied children facing removal proceedings through zealous direct representation as well as pro bono facilitation, including robust consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case. This includes analyzing case facts, and providing representation in immigration court, before USCIS and before other agencies. Please note that this position is fully remote although in-person client meetings or court appearances may be necessary.

This is a temporary full-time position to cover a parental leave. The ideal candidate will begin work in March 2021 for an approximate three-month term.

Primary Responsibilities:

Responsibilities of the Interim Staff Attorney include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Perform hybrid direct legal representation and mentoring functions, including providing zealous legal advocacy to KINDís clients in direct representation cases. 
  • Provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case.  
  • Perform ordinary functions of legal counsel providing direct representation, including: legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing in immigration and/or state court, and/or immigration agencies; drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits; and making referrals to the social services coordinator on staff when appropriate. 
  • Place cases with pro bono attorneys and build relationships between KIND and the pro bono community. 
  • Contribute to overall office functioning, including joining field office and KIND-wide calls and meetings, participating in field office and KIND-wide committees, and assisting with office events.
  • Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KINDís case management system.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • J.D. and admission to practice law in any state (with a preference for admission in Virginia or Washington, D.C.) 
  • Minimum one-year experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas. 
  • Minimum one-year experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, or experience working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma. 
  • 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.  
  • Advanced fluency in Spanish required. 
  • Familiarity with Microsoft programs including Office and Teams preferred.

Physical Demands and Work Environment:

  • Ability to work within an office environment and have regular interaction via telephone, videoconference, IM, and email with KIND's team.
  • Occasional travel to local courts or USCIS offices potentially required.

To Apply: 

Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume, cover letter and writing sample, in order to be considered for the desired role. Please no inquiries or phone calls.

The selected applicant will be asked to undergo a background check before acceptance of the final offer.

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.

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