2 hours

Senior Staff Attorney

Human Rights First
Los Angeles, CA 90071


JOB TITLE:                                        Senior Staff Attorney

DEPARTMENT:                                  Refugee Representation

LOCATION:                                        Los Angeles, California

REPORTS TO:                                   Managing Attorney (Los Angeles)

JOB CLASSIFICATION:                    Full-Time; Exempt; Non-Union




The senior staff attorney in the Los Angeles office will collaborate with the offices managing attorney to effectively manage the offices processes, workload, and resources, including, potentially, supervising legal services coordinators, fellows, interns, and/or volunteers. At the managing attorneys direction, the senior staff attorney will develop and advance strategies and projects aimed at improving team efficiency, client services, and pro bono representation. The senior staff attorney will assist in administering Human Rights Firsts pro bono asylum legal representation work, primarily within the Los Angeles metro area. They will mentor law firm attorneys providing representation in asylum cases in removal proceedings (detained and non-detained) and affirmative cases before the asylum office. In addition, they will engage in direct representation of asylum cases (both affirmative and in removal proceedings). 


The senior staff attorney may act on behalf of the managing attorney in her absence or when the managing attorney otherwise delegates.



  • Conduct legal screenings and intake interviews with asylum seekers in the Los Angeles area, including at detention facilities in Southern California;

  • Assist in identifying cases appropriate to either place with volunteer pro bono attorneys or Human Rights First staff for direct representation; 

  • Ensure that whether Human Rights First provides in-depth mentoring on cases placed with volunteer pro bono teams or direct representation internally, all clients and volunteers with whom we partner receive high-quality legal representation and guidance;

  • Provide pro bono attorneys with prompt and thorough legal and procedural support on our pro bono asylum cases, including conducting trainings, strategizing on individual cases, reviewing draft submissions, and informing volunteers of significant legal developments in asylum law;

  • Build and maintain strong relationships with local law firms and volunteer attorneys;

  • Assist in placing cases with volunteer attorneys and promote attorney interest in pro bono representation of asylum seekers;

  • Strategize and collaborate with other local service providers on how to best meet the needs of the immigrant population and improve access to legal representation Southern California;

  • Identify, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts;

  • Provide legal advice and guidance to in-house legal services coordinator, legal fellows, and social worker;

  • Supervise legal service coordinators, fellows, interns, and in-house volunteer attorneys, as needed;

  • Assist in recruiting and supervising law school and undergraduate interns;

  • Assist in furthering advocacy initiatives by meeting with local officials at government agencies and detention facilities, and engaging in other advocacy efforts in collaboration with the Refugee Protection team, as needed;

  • Promote Human Rights Firsts mission by participating in local community events, promotional events, and other professional networking events that will increase the organizations profile in the community;

  • Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and Refugee Representation activities; and

  • Other duties as requested based on the team and/or organizations need.



  • A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and admission to the bar, preferably in California (admission to other state bars acceptable);

  • At least four years of relevant experience, including several years of direct representation of asylum seekers at all levels of the administrative process, with preference for immigration court experience;

  • Fluency in Spanish is highly desirable (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French, Arabic, Russian, or Mandarin, is a plus;

  • Good judgment and proven ability to provide leadership and support to fellow team members;

  • Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers and experience in mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters;

  • Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure and meet deadlines, and to identify and analyze legal issues;

  • Knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy;

  • Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds as well as survivors of trauma or torture;

  • Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills;

  • Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, particularly in a collegial, team-based approach to work;

  • Adaptability to embrace and navigate new, dynamic projects, and an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization;

  • Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organization lines, to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy, and to work confidently with government officials and the media;

  • Ability to travel regionally to local detention facilities by car (mileage is reimbursed), and a valid drivers license; and

  • Prior supervisory experience preferred.


Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBTQ people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.


Posted: 2021-05-16 Expires: 2021-06-15

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Senior Staff Attorney

Human Rights First
Los Angeles, CA 90071

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