Staff Attorney – Terra Firma

Position ID:



80 Maiden Lane

FLSA Status:

Full Time, Exempt






Immigration & Refugee Services


Unaccompanied Minors Program

Reports to:

Unaccompanied Minors Program Director



Supervisory Responsibilities:




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 40 legal and social service professionals, UMP annually helps thousands of young immigrants facing family separation, government detention, and deportation. 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.

Terra Firma is the first medical-legal partnership in the United States for unaccompanied immigrant children, a partnership between Catholic Charities Community Services, The Children's Hospital at Montefiore, and the Children's Health Fund. The program provides holistic and integrated legal services, medical care, mental health, and social and educational programming specifically designed for unaccompanied immigrant children released from federal immigration detention.

The Terra Firma staff attorney position will provide deportation defense legal services to unaccompanied immigrant youth in New York City under Terra Firma's holistic wellness model, which requires regular coordination and on­ site collaboration with medical and mental health partners. The position includes extensive contact with youth, including youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, neglect, and other complex trauma. Core services include: legal intake interviews; representation before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), the Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR), and state courts.

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

  • Provide direct representation to unaccompanied minors, including representation before USCIS and EOIR in cases involving Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), asylum, voluntary departure, U visas, and other immigration relief. Provide representation in New York State courts to obtain orders necessary for SIJS.
  • Maintain strong working relationships with Terra Firma partners and stakeholders, including funders; state and local social and legal service providers; and USCIS, EOIR, and the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
  • 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.

Position Type and Expected Hours of Work:

The position requires willingness to travel to all five (5) boroughs. Days and hours of work are generally 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday – Friday. Additional evening/weekend hours may be required to meet court and/or program deadlines or client needs.

Working conditions and physical demands required:

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.


Education and/or experience required:

  • Juris Doctor.
  • Experience in family and/or immigration law, including clinical or pro bono experience, preferred.
  • Admission to NY Bar; will consider attorneys working toward admission to the NY Bar.

Skills, Licenses, and/or competencies required:

  • 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 paralegals or other staff.
  • Ability to travel throughout the five boroughs, the Archdiocese and Long Island.

Job Summary

Staff Attorney – Terra Firma

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: