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Senior Supervising Attorney – Unaccompanied Minors Program

Job Description 

Job Title: Senior Supervising Attorney – Unaccompanied Minors Program

FLSA Status: Full Time - Exempt

Department: Immigrant and Refugee Services 

Reports to: Director – Unaccompanied Minors Program 

Supervisory Responsibilities: No 

Summary: The Unaccompanied Minors Program (UMP) at Catholic Charities Community Services protects the rights of young immigrants to make informed decisions about their lives. With a staff of over forty legal and social service professionals, UMP annually helps thousands of young immigrants facing family separation, government detention, and deportation by providing pro bono know-your-rights presentations, legal screenings, and legal representation. Outside the courtroom, UMP welcomes recently arrived young immigrants with educational and integration opportunities, including the country’s first medical-legal partnership for unaccompanied minors, an extracurricular soccer league, and partnerships with New York City cultural institutions to introduce immigrant youth to the world of opportunities at their doorstep in their new home. 

Under the supervision of the Director of the Unaccompanied Minors Program, the Senior Supervising Attorney manages and coordinates UMP’s legal initiatives and staff. The position carries four direct reports from supervising attorneys who each manage individual teams of staff attorneys, paralegals, and case managers. The Program’s regular legal initiatives include legal services for immigrant youth currently detained by the Office of Refugee Resettlement in the New York City area and deportation defense for unaccompanied minors recently released from federal custody. In conjunction with the Director, the Senior Attorney also identifies emergent legal issues affecting unaccompanied minors on the systemic and individual level and proposes and implements appropriate solutions, including federal litigation, partnership with other agencies, and individual litigation strategies. The Senior Supervising Attorney carries a reduced case load in order to maintain the flexibility to support staff to handle novel legal issues and complex cases. 

The position is a unique opportunity to serve as a leader at the forefront of the defense of immigrants’ rights. It includes extensive contact with youth, including, but not limited to, youth who have suffered complex community and family trauma and who are currently detained. Core services include: management and supervision of attorney staff; sustaining productive collaborations with governmental and non-governmental partners; grant reporting, in conjunction with Supervising Attorneys and Director; legal intake interviews; and representation before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and state and federal courts. 

Essential Duties and Responsibilities include the following. Other duties may be assigned.  

  • Serve as a source of substantive and procedural knowledge regarding legal services rendered to unaccompanied minors. Legal services include, but are not limited to, Know Your Rights presentations, legal intake interviews, legal referrals, and direct representation to unaccompanied minors before USCIS, EOIR, and state and federal courts in cases involving asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Voluntary Departure, U and T visas, other immigration relief, bond/custody hearings, and federal court actions, including habeas and mandamus petitions.
  • Directly supervise four supervising attorneys in management of teams providing legal and case management services to children in removal proceedings in New York City Immigration Court. Ensure quality of legal services provided to clients by supervisees. In conjunction with attorney supervisors and Director, train new staff, monitor legislative and judicial developments concerning the rights of unaccompanied minors, and develop and implement protocols to ensure the provision of these rights by legal staff. In conjunction with Director, train and advise supervisory staff on management techniques and skills.
  • Maintain and manage a unified and sustainable legal practice across discrete teams. Hold regular meetings with supervisory and/or other staff to provide substantive updates on law and troubleshoot complex cases. In conjunction with supervising attorneys, assign and help manage attorney caseloads at a rate that promotes staff self-care and wellbeing. Advocate for wellbeing of attorney staff before Director and other senior agency leadership.
  • Respond to emergent, complex, and novel legal issues regarding the rights of immigrant youth through a mix of litigation, media advocacy, administrative advocacy, and innovative direct legal representation. Recent examples of such issues include reuniting separated youth with parents or other family, defending the rights of detained youth to challenge confinement, and preventing the transfer to adult detention facilities of youth aging out of shelter care.
  • In conjunction with Director, serve as a representative for UMP in public meetings. Maintain strong working relationships with partners and stakeholders, including funders; federal, state, and local social and legal service providers; and USCIS, EOIR, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • Engage in media advocacy for unaccompanied minors, including but not limited to print op-eds and on-air appearances.
  • Comply with program reporting requirements, such as maintaining monthly statistics and case reports, and reporting to partners and stakeholders.
  • Maintain and update electronic files in LawLogix, as well as physical case files.
  • Train, mentor and supervise legal interns, fellows and volunteers for work on individual cases, presentations, legal screenings, and related work.
  • Provide in-house and outreach trainings, presentations, and workshops, as directed.

Working conditions and physical demands: 

The demands described here are representative of those that must be met by an employee to successfully perform the essential functions of this job.

  • Travel at least 25% of the time using public transportation or vehicle, traverse city streets, occasionally ascend/descend stairs, and be exposed to outside weather conditions.
  • Remain stationary at a work station, in court/meetings, and use a computer at least 75% of the time.
  • Remain stationary and/or ambulate to instruct and monitor during trainings and presentations.
  • Carry a laptop to offsite work locations.

Qualifications: 

Education and/or experience: 

Juris Doctor.

  • Substantial experience in immigration law, including clinical or pro bono experience, preferred.
  • Substantial experience in supervision of attorney and other legal staff preferred.
  • Admission to NY Bar; will consider attorneys currently barred in other jurisdictions and working toward admission to the NY Bar.​

Skills, Licenses, and/or competencies: 

  • Bilingual: Fluency in English and Spanish.
  • Excellent oral and written communication skills.
  • Excellent interpersonal skills, maturity, and an ability to work both independently and in a highly collaborative team environment.
  • Excellent organizational, project management and computer skills.
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest law, particularly to children’s issues and/or immigration.
  • Experience supervising legal staff.
  • Ability to travel throughout the five boroughs.

Job Summary

Senior Supervising Attorney – Unaccompanied Minors Program
1/4/2019
Full-Time
Immigrant and Refugee Services
Juris Doctor

How to Apply

Applicants must submit a resume and cover letter highlighting relevant past experience and qualifications, and state their position of interest and desired compensation. Submissions without this information will not be considered.

Please send resume and cover letter to: cccsjobs@archny.org