Staff Attorney (Immigration)

$74,000 - $105,100 yearly
  • Children's Rights
  • Remote (The position may be hybrid (if in New York City) or fully-remote with preference given to those candidates within close travel distance to New York City, the San Francisco, or US southern border areas.)
  • May 09, 2023
Full time Legal

Job Description

Children’s Rights is a national advocacy organization that has, for over 25 years, championed the legal rights of children impacted by government systems. Every day, children are harmed by America’s child welfare, juvenile justice, education, immigration, and healthcare systems. These systems disproportionately harm children of color, LGBTQ/TGNC, and other minority youth. Children’s Rights uses civil rights impact litigation, policy expertise, and public education to hold governments accountable for keeping all kids safe and healthy.

Our work tackles a variety of historic and emerging social justice issues impacting children. Recent campaigns have targeted, for example, the unnecessary placement of youth in dangerous congregate care facilities, the lack of mental health services for Medicaid-eligible children, the unjust treatment of unaccompanied immigrant minors, the pervasive practice of administering powerful and dangerous psychotropic drugs to children in foster care without adequate oversight, the unnecessary and devastating separation of Black children from their families, systemic discrimination against LGBTQ youth in custodial settings, and the grave outcomes for older youth “aging” out of government systems.

Children’s Rights is seeking a full-time staff attorney to help our team develop and expand its advocacy on behalf of immigrant and refugee children in federal custody and state child serving systems.

 As co-counsel in Flores v. Garland, the national class action case originally filed in 1985 to address the mistreatment of immigrant children in federal custody, Children’s Rights is one of only three organizations in the country allowed to speak directly with immigrant children inside federal facilities. We have advocated for the release and improved treatment of children in facilities across the country, including the Emergency Intake Sites (EISs) in Texas.  Our work on the Flores case has also brought to light the emerging needs of immigrant children within state systems. 

The staff attorney will join a CR team passionate about leveraging its expertise at the intersection of impact litigation, child welfare and immigration.  This position offers a unique opportunity to develop precedent-setting litigation that elevates the needs of thousands of immigrant children in state custody.

Job Summary:

Children’s Rights attorneys and policy staff, working with local advocates, investigate specific problems in failing child serving systems, develop lawsuits or other advocacy campaigns where appropriate, conduct extensive discovery, work with substantive experts, and prepare cases for trial or negotiated settlement.


The Staff Attorney can expect to be deeply engaged in all aspects of on-the-ground investigations, monitoring and active litigation.

  • The Staff Attorney will travel to meet with children in federal and state custody.
  • Post-judgment work involves regular assessment of performance and extensive negotiations with state agency officials, experts and court-appointed monitors.  The Staff Attorney will support work related to ongoing monitoring, including site visits and investigative work that may result in new litigation.
  • The Staff Attorney will, among other things, complete legal research and analysis, take depositions, take and analyze complex discovery, draft motions and other pleadings, and network with stakeholders.
  • The Staff Attorney will become an active member of Children’s Rights’ campaign teams, often working in conjunction with local and national co-counsel, local advocates, and experts.
  • The Staff Attorney will primarily work to advance our immigration docket, but will be expected to support our broader child legal advocacy work as required by organizational needs. Candidates must therefore demonstrate experience in or deep interest in our other areas of work.

Experience and Qualifications:

  • 0-7 years of experience practicing immigration law, which may include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum and Special Immigrant Juvenile Status.
  • Experience working with children or adolescents, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with vulnerable populations
  • Experience, preferably with unaccompanied children, in counseling clients through a culturally sensitive and trauma informed approach.
  • Fluency in both Spanish and English languages.
  • Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills.
  • We are seeking an attorney who is highly-motivated and passionate about the work we do, interested in further developing their litigation skills, including strategy formulation, under high-quality supervision, and in developing professionally to take on increasing leadership roles in complex impact litigation. The ideal experience may include judicial clerkships, law firm and/or public interest experience. Applicant must have an active license to practice law and/or membership in a state Bar.
  • Applicants must possess outstanding research, writing and analytical skills, fluency with litigation and discovery technological tools and Microsoft Office Suite, sound strategic judgment, strong emotional intelligence and communication/interpersonal skills and the ability to develop and maintain relationships, a healthy sense of humor, and a passion for social justice and the broader aspects of systemic reform and its policy implications. The successful candidate will be expected to perform at the highest level of practice, and to take advantage of opportunities to further develop professionally.

Knowledge of children’s issues, social services, social justice, civil rights, racial justice, LGBTQ issues, juvenile justice and/or other areas of our work is a plus.  Applicants with prior personal involvement in the systems we fight to improve and/or with other diverse life experiences and perspectives are especially encouraged to apply.  For more information, please visit our website:

Supervisory Responsibilities:

Staff Attorneys may from time to time oversee and/or coordinate the work of one or more of the paralegal staff at Children’s Rights.

Physical and Travel Requirements:

Prolonged periods sitting and/or standing at a desk and working on a computer.  Travel is required.

Salary and Benefits:

The salary range is from $74,000 to $105,100, commensurate with experience.  Children’s Rights offers an excellent benefits package, including generous PTO, medical, dental, flex spending accounts, paid parental leave, and retirement plan.


The position may be hybrid (if in New York City) or fully-remote with preference given to those candidates within close travel distance to New York City, the San Francisco, or US southern border areas.

To Apply:

Please save your cover letter of interest and one recent writing sample as one file and upload to the Cover Letter upload field and upload your resume to the Resume upload field via by June 9, 2023.  Due to the high volume of submissions, only applicants of interest will be contacted.  No phone calls, please.

Children’s Rights is an equal employment opportunity employer, and women, people of color, LGBTQ and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, and people with unique lived experience or diverse professional or personal backgrounds and perspectives, are encouraged to apply.