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.
LGBTQ Law Project
NYLAG’s LGBTQ Law Project, founded in 2008, exists to protect and expand the rights of the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) community and to provide services that meet the unique legal needs of low-income LGBTQ New Yorkers. LGBTQ communities, especially those of color, transgender and gender non-conforming individuals and youth, are at greater risk of living in poverty and of being targeted for violence.
The LGBTQ Law Project of the New York Legal Assistance Group seeks an experienced fulltime attorney to join our team and advocate for our immigrant clients. The LGBTQ Law Project serves New York City’s low-income lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer (LGBTQ) communities by providing free representation and advice on a wide array of civil legal matters, including legal name and gender marker changes, immigration (including removal defense), family law matters (orders of protection, custody and visitation, divorce, and adoption), housing and employment discrimination, wills and advance directives and access to gender affirming healthcare. We engage with community partners to provide legal services in community settings throughout the five boroughs. The LGBTQ Law Project also provides educational outreach on issues affecting the LGBTQ+ community and engages in systemic advocacy efforts to reform city, state and federal policies to ensure that LGBTQ+ New Yorkers have equal access to critical services, benefits and legal protections.
Duties and Responsibilities
Specific responsibilities include but are not limited to:
- Represent LGBTQ+ immigrants, mostly recent arrivals, in defensive asylum claims before the immigration court, as well as in affirmative asylum cases and other humanitarian relief, such as U and T visas, before USCIS;
- Conduct legal screenings;
- Prepare and file forms, affidavits, other supporting documents, motions, and legal memoranda for submission to USCIS and the Immigration Court.
- Represent immigrant clients in other ancillary matters before civil courts; (state and federal) and administrative hearings, in matters such as legal name changes and public benefits advocacy;
- Prepare and file appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals, Administrative Appeals Office, and other appellate bodies as needed;
- Track client cases, progress of applications, and follow up for funding purposes;
- Contribute to the LGBTQ Law Project’s community outreach and education efforts through presentations and work with the Project Director to establish and maintain relationships with community partners;
- Participate in systemic advocacy work on issues that directly impact LGBTQ+ immigrants;
- Attend regular internal and external stakeholder meetings regarding recently arrived migrants;
- Create and maintain physical and electronic files, including managing correspondence with clients and documenting correspondence with immigration and other agencies;
- Manage data entry in internal and external data management systems and assist with generating reports; and
- Additional duties may be assigned to meet the changing needs of the LGBTQ+ community.
- J.D. degree and admission or pending admission to New York State Bar is required;
- Two years experience practicing immigration law preferred;
- Fluency in Spanish is preferred;
- Demonstrated commitment to the LGBTQ+ community and knowledge of the complex and systemic issues faced by our clients;
- Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights, criminal justice, and/or social justice issues;
- Ability to communicate effectively with clients, community organizations, attorneys, judiciary and the public;
- Ability to work in and value a collaborative team model;
- Ability to work independently and under pressure while managing multiple competing deadlines;
- Ability to make creative arguments for complicated cases and cases that do not have a clear path to relief;
- Ability to set expectations for clients who are not eligible for any relief while nonetheless providing competent representation before the Immigration Court;
- Excellent written, oral and analytical skills; and
- Experience working with diverse communities and clients who are survivors of trauma.
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 $77,117 to $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.