Founded in 1990, NYLAG is a leading civil legal services organization combatting economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who has access to justice. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving individuals and families whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality. NYLAG goes to where the need is, providing services in more than 150 community sites (e.g. courts, hospitals, libraries) and on our Mobile Legal Help Center. During COVID-19, most of our services are virtual to keep our community safe. NYLAG’s staff of 350 impacted the lives of nearly 113,000 people last year.
The Special Litigation Unit (SLU) and Immigrant Protection Unit (IPU) seek a highly motivated Staff Attorney for a full-time position that will be jointly supervised by both Units.
The Special Litigation Unit collaborates with NYLAG attorneys across practice areas to develop and litigate complex impact litigations that advance social, racial, and economic justice, addressing the full range of legal areas in which NYLAG serves clients. Alone, or in partnership with other not-for-profit organizations and private firms working pro-bono, SLU initiates class actions and other impact lawsuits to bring about systemic change for thousands of people in need.
The Immigrant Protection Unit works with immigrants in removal proceedings, with a variety of defenses from removal including, Asylum, Withholding of Removal, protection under the Convention Against Torture, and engages in advocacy for individuals facing imminent deportation, detention by ICE, and other enforcement efforts. Our immigration work encompasses federal litigation, appeals including to the Circuit Courts, and engagement with local and national advocacy campaigns.
In this exciting new role, the Staff Attorney would focus on collaboration between SLU and IPU to develop impact litigation and other advocacy to address systemic problems facing immigrants in New York City, and recently-arrived migrants in particular. Potential areas for development include challenging lack of lawful notice of court proceedings, wrongful delays and denials of relief, and deprivations of constitutional and statutory rights. The Staff Attorney would likely also work with IPU to provide appellate representation to immigrants, in particular, recently arrived migrants who are facing the harshest policies that seek to limit humanitarian relief and curtail due process rights. The Staff Attorney would work with NYLAG’s collaborative partners to identify and develop issues that could be addressed through impact litigation and advocacy. Finally, this Staff Attorney would monitor changes in regulation and policy and track relevant federal litigation to keep our staff abreast of recent developments.
Duties and Responsibilities
The Staff Attorney’s responsibilities will include:
- Developing new impact litigation cases, including identifying and interviewing potential plaintiffs, drafting complaints, engaging in motion practice, and drafting briefs and other court documents;
- Engaging in discovery, including drafting and responding to discovery requests, preparing for, taking and defending depositions, and assisting with document review;
- Negotiating and drafting settlements, monitoring compliance with settlements, participating in internal strategy discussions, and engaging with opposing counsel;
- Representing detailed and non-detained unaccompanied minors, adult migrants, and family units in immigration proceedings, primarily appellate proceedings, habeas proceedings, and related matters, across multiple jurisdictions;
- Collaborating with internal and external partners working within similar communities;
- Acting as a liaison to partner organizations and other external stakeholders;
- Performing other duties, including giving general consults, advice, trainings, and mentoring of volunteers and pro bono partners.
NYLAG seeks a highly motivated attorney with up to three years’ legal experience, including civil litigation experience. Admission to the New York Bar is required. Experience representing asylum seekers and experience with federal litigation is preferred, as is experience working with survivors of trauma. The attorney must have a demonstrated commitment to public interest law, immigrant rights, and racial justice. Applicants must have excellent legal research, writing, and communication skills. Spanish language skills strongly preferred.
NYLAG’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
NYLAG is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and those with lived experiences in the communities we serve are strongly encouraged to apply.
NYLAG is a unionized workplace, and salaries are set pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. The current salary range for this position is between $75,199 and $82,392.
Benefits: Medical, dental, vision, 401k, life insurance, long term disability, commuter benefits, flexible spending accounts (FSA) for Medical and Dependent care.
Application Instructions: Please save resume and cover letter on one pdf.
Covid Vaccination Policy:Please note, to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and clients, NYLAG requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.
NYLAG is committed to a hybrid work policy for staff whose work does not require their full-time presence in the office. NYLAG’s current policy is that most staff are required to work in NYLAG’s offices or do other in-person work at least two days each week. This policy is subject to change.