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Posted by: Mercedece Love - 1/19/2024
Job Expires: 6/28/2024
Staff Attorney, Immigrant Rights

Staff Attorney: Immigrant Rights
Employment Status: Full-Time FLSA Status: Exempt
Practice Group: Immigration

Empire Justice Center, a highly respected, statewide legal services organization, is seeking an Immigrant Rights Attorney. This is an opportunity to join one of the most effective organizations serving low-income individuals and families in New York State.
Empire Justice Center attracts and employs dedicated, determined, and passionate advocates who, together, make a significant impact on the lives of low-income New Yorkers. We achieve our successes through direct legal representation and high-impact litigation, legislative and administrative advocacy, and by providing training and technical assistance to other advocates who are working towards the same goals.
With offices in Rochester, Albany, Westchester County, and Long Island, our organization offers staff an exciting and dynamic working environment and a strong commitment to teamwork, diversity, and personal/professional development.

The Empire Justice Center is pleased to announce an opening for a full-time Immigrant Rights Attorney for our Immigration Practice Group. The Immigrant Rights Attorney will be a critical member of our growing Immigration Practice Group, as well as a member of Acacia Center for Justice’s Unaccompanied Children’s Program. The Unaccompanied Children’s Program is a recently created initiative funded by the Acacia Center for Justice to provide legal services to young people who are or have been in federal custody under the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR).
The primary focus of this position will be to provide legal assistance to mostly Spanish-speaking unaccompanied minors in the lower Hudson Valley. This position is based in our Yonkers office and will serve Westchester and the surrounding counties. Clients will be primarily located in Poughkeepsie. Court appearances will include remote appearances as well as in-person appearances, including Family Court appearances in Duchess and Orange Counties.

• Providing direct representation to unaccompanied minors in immigration and family matters before USCIS, EOIR, and state family courts including:
• U Visa petitions
• Federal Court appeals
• Administrative Appeals
• Asylum applications and hearings
• Removal proceedings and appeals
• Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
• Other immigration and civil matters
• Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals
• Naturalization and adjustment of status
• Ancillary family court proceedings (SUS)
• Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitions
• Proceedings seeking a child’s recognized lawful status in the United States
• Provide legal services to children who are detained in Office of Refugee Resettlement shelters in the lower Hudson Valley. Core services include legal intake interviews, bond hearings for youth seeking less restrictive custody, federal litigation for separated youth seeking immediate family reunification, and referrals to and collaboration with other legal service or litigation organizations as needed to protect the rights of youth in federal custody.
• Appear as friend-of-the-court and record counsel at regularly detained dockets in immigration court to provide case updates for youth pending release from ORR custody.
• Participating in community outreach and client educational events.
• Maintain electronic and paper case files, monthly statistics and case reports, and other reporting to stakeholders.
• Train, mentor, and manage legal interns, fellows, and volunteers for work on individual cases, presentations, legal screenings, and related work.
• Responding to urgent matters involving unaccompanied minors.
• Participating in other community events as appropriate.
• Visiting clients in foster care and detention facilities and overseeing “Know Your Rights” and other programming presented by the attorney and/or other staff.
• Other duties and responsibilities as assigned by your supervisor and/or to meet the needs of the organization.

IV. MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS (Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities)
• Be admitted to practice law in New York.
• Have strong analytical and writing skills.
• Minimum 2 years of relevant work experience.
• Be willing and able to serve a geographically wide-spread area.
• Be able to communicate clearly and be supportive to young clients.
• Have experience in trauma-informed representation and representation of minors.
• Be experienced in interviewing and counseling clients in both English and Spanish.
• Be able to produce high-quality written material, meet tight deadlines, and work both independently and as part of a team.
• An attorney hired for this position must have a driver’s license and access to a vehicle for frequent trips to children’s detention facilities. Mileage and tolls will be reimbursed.

Salary is dependent on years of experience and based on the organizational pay scale. The beginning salary for this position, with a minimum of 2 years of experience, is $59,580 and the salary for this position, with 5 years of experience, is $65,580.

We are an organization that supports and encourages a work/life balance. Empire Justice Center offers a generous benefit package including:
❖ Health insurance (employer pays 100% premium for a high quality, co-pay insurance plan).
❖ 403(b) eligibility with 1% employer match and additional employer contribution.
❖ Generous vacation, sick, personal, and holiday time.
❖ Bilingual compensation for qualifying employees.
❖ Loan Repayment Assistance Program.
❖ Dental Insurance (employee paid).
❖ Vision Insurance (employee paid).
❖ Generous Bereavement Leave.
❖ 35-hour full-time work week.
❖ FSA Eligibility.

Empire Justice Center is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and desires a diverse and inclusive workforce. Empire Justice Center provides equal employment opportunities to all employees and applicants for employment and prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type without regard to race, color, religion, age (40 or older), sex (including pregnancy and gender identity), national origin, disability status, genetics, protected veteran status, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, or any other characteristic protected by federal, state, or local laws.

TO APPLY: Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. If interested e-mail a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and contact information for three professional references aware of this application to

Please include Yonkers: Immigrant Rts Attorney, First/Last Name in the subject line of the email. No phone calls or hard copies please.

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