Staff Attorney - Afghan Community Project

$75,490 - $138,651 yearly
  • Northwest Immigrant Rights Project
  • Hybrid (Seattle, WA, USA)
  • May 10, 2023
Full time Immigration Legal

Job Description


Founded in 1984, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) is a nationally-recognized legal services organization on the front lines of defending and advancing the rights of immigrants. Each year, NWIRP provides direct legal representation and assistance in immigration matters to thousands of people with low incomes who come from over 150 countries and speak over 60 different languages. NWIRP challenges unjust policies through high-impact lawsuits and advocates for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants. NWIRP is also a trusted provider of immigration-related community education for immigrant communities and social service providers. NWIRP has a staff of over 130 and an annual budget of over $20 million. NWIRP serves the community through four offices in Washington State (Granger, Seattle, Tacoma, and Wenatchee), but the impact of our work is felt nationwide.


Afghan Community Project (ACP):

NWIRP’s Afghan Community Project (ACP) provides direct services to individuals and families from Afghanistan who reside in Washington State and are seeking U.S. immigration protections. ACP provides individual consultations and direct representation to members of the Afghan community in various forms of immigration protection, including applications for asylum, work authorization based on pending asylum or current parole, and Temporary Protected Status, among others.



Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks a full-time bilingual staff attorney to join our project serving the Afghan community residing in Washington. Applicants must be fluent in English and another language, and have extensive experience serving the Afghan community with immigration services and/or significant experience with USCIS. The applicant must be able to start the position as soon as possible.


Under NWIRP’s current COVID policies, new staff members must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (unless eligible for an exemption).  At the time of this posting, NWIRP staff is operating in a hybrid model, and some in-office work will be expected of this position (at least two days per week).  A minimum two-year commitment for the Union position is preferred.

As a staff attorney, you will provide direct representation, individual consultations, and community

outreach and education to immigrant community members seeking immigration protections before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  NWIRP attorneys also practice before the immigration courts. The staff attorney may also be assigned work relating to other immigration matters, including cases of people in immigration detention.  The position is anticipated to be based in NWIRP’s Seattle or Tacoma office.

This position is expected to travel to USCIS offices in Seattle, Spokane or Yakima in Washington State, and occasionally in Portland, Oregon. A valid driver’s license will be required in order to meet these expectations. The position may involve evening and weekend work hours.



The beginning annual salary for licensed attorneys with no prior experience is $75,490.34 and is higher for attorneys with specific types of experience. For example, for someone with 10 years of qualifying experience, the annual salary would be $98,302.05; 20 years is $113,948.39.


NWIRP is proud to be a unionized employer and the Union full-time position is covered by NWIRP’s Collective Bargaining Agreement (CBA).  The temporary position is not covered by the CBA.  However, NWIRP offers a generous benefits package, including:


  • Fully paid health, vision & dental plans for employee-level coverage with employer-funded HRA and HSA options
  • FSA and Dependent Care accounts
  • Employer contribution of 3% to 403(b) retirement plan
  • Generous paid health-related leave and vacation (16 days during your first year)
  • 12 weeks of paid parental leave after 6 months of employment, plus the ability to extend with State-paid leave
  • 14 paid Holidays with the ability to float 5 holidays
  • 4 weeks of paid sabbatical after every five years of employment at NWIRP
  • Subsidized transit pass if based out of Seattle; parking access in Granger, Tacoma and Wenatchee
  • Employer-paid disability/life/AD&D coverage; Long-term care insurance
  • Eligibility to earn compensatory time
  • Opportunities for paid training
  • Relocation bonus for eligible new employees, pursuant to NWIRP’s CBA



NWIRP is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse staff, board, and volunteer base reflective of the communities we serve and that enhances our ability to create a vibrant environment where all members of the NWIRP community thrive. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants (including people who were formerly detained, undocumented, or who have navigated the immigration legal system), women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds and language abilities.


NWIRP is committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. NWIRP does not discriminate on the basis of class, race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, political ideology, age, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability. Excepting any undue hardship, NWIRP will provide reasonable accommodations upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Please contact



All NWIRP staff attorneys are expected to:

  • Provide direct representation to individuals in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or before the federal courts, and before the Department of Homeland Security;
  • Provide direct representation to persons submitting affirmative applications with USCIS and the Department of State (Note: ACP focuses its practice on asylum cases before USCIS);
  • Conduct presentations, workshops, legal clinics, and intakes, by phone and in person;
  • Conduct case analysis to determine eligibility for immigration protections/status under the immigration laws;
  • Maintain a working knowledge of significant policies, laws, practices, and trends in immigration law, particularly as it impacts low-income immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system;
  • Establish, organize, and maintain files up to date;
  • Perform administrative tasks related to grant reporting such as timekeeping, submitting timesheets, tracking training, and other duties in a timely manner;
  • Participate in NWIRP’s outreach, community education, and development efforts; and
  • Perform other tasks and responsibilities assigned by supervisory staff depending upon NWIRP’s needs.


Physical demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk and hear; utilize a phone, computer, keyboard, pen, and paper. Occasional work on night and weekend hours. Travel may be required. Travel reimbursements apply.


Emotional demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to discuss topics including, but not limited, to discrimination; child abuse, neglect, abandonment; domestic abuse; violence, and psychological trauma. Occasional work in a detention center environment.



  • Law degree;
  • Admission to the practice of law in a U.S. state;
  • Demonstrated commitment to advancing and defending the rights of immigrants and willingness to support NWIRP’s mission, vision and values;
  • Fluent in English and a second language (Pashto and/or Dari a plus);
  • Extensive experience serving the Afghan community with immigration services (experience with OAW asylum applications a plus);
  • Commitment to creating a welcoming and professional inclusive environment for staff and clients;
  • Excellent written and oral communication skills, and ability to organize information in a clear and concise manner, including strong problem-solving, research, and analytical skills;
  • Previous work with remote legal assistance preferred;
  • Ability to provide trauma-informed and culturally inclusive legal representation;
  • Special consideration will be given to applicants with at least two years of prior relevant legal experience;
  • Have a strong sense of judgment and decision-making;
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment;
  • Proficiency in use of web-based software, Microsoft Office applications, including Word and Excel, and web peer-to-peer communication platforms; Familiarity with G-suite tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail; and
  • The applicant must have a valid driver’s license as the position involves some travel.



Supervising Attorney



You will need to upload a single file document including your cover letter, resume, and list of 3 references via our careers page: For your cover letter, please indicate the position(s) and locations you would like to be considered for, and describe 1) how your lived or work experience makes you a good fit for this role; and 2) what are some challenges you are aware of that pose barriers to providing legal advocacy to recently resettled community members. Full consideration will be given to those who apply by May 22, 2023, but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the positions are filled.