Staff Attorney

New York, NY
Full Time
Immigrant Protection Unit
Mid Level
Founded in 1990, NYLAG is a leading civil legal services organization combatting economic, racial, and social injustice by advocating for people experiencing poverty or in crisis. Our services include comprehensive, free civil legal services, financial empowerment, impact litigation, policy advocacy, and community partnerships. NYLAG exists because wealth should not determine who has access to justice. We aim to disrupt systemic racism by serving individuals and families whose legal and financial crises are often rooted in racial inequality. NYLAG goes to where the need is, providing services in more than 150 community sites (e.g. courts, hospitals, libraries) and on our Mobile Legal Help Center. During COVID-19, most of our services are virtual to keep our community safe. NYLAG’s staff of 370 impacted the lives of nearly 129,000 people last year.

Job Description
The New York Legal Assistance Group (NYLAG) seeks a highly motivated Spanish-speaking Staff Attorney for a full-time position representing individuals in removal proceedings. The job requires a proactive ability to solve problems under time pressure, the strongest commitment to clients, and a desire to work at the forefront of the effort to protect due process and immigrants’ rights during an extremely challenging time.

This attorney in this position will provide legal representation for detained and non-detained immigrants in removal proceedings referred to NYLAG from our partners in upstate New York.  The Staff Attorney will represent immigrants through the New York Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) and will receive technical and other support through Brooklyn Defender Services and other city NYIFUP providers.

Duties and Responsibilities
  • Represent immigrants in removal proceedings that began in upstate New York but transferred to the Immigration Courts in New York City in both the detained and non-detained dockets.
  • Screen clients for eligibility for immigration relief, assess criminal convictions and other grounds of inadmissibility and removability, and develop a strategy for representation.
  • Interview clients in and out of detention, as well as their witnesses.
  • Prepare and file forms, affidavits, other supporting documents, motions, and legal memoranda for submission to USCIS and the Immigration Court.
  • Appear in both the detained and non-detained Immigration Courts on a regular basis to provide full representation to immigrants facing removal.
  • Prepare and file appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals and Second Circuit Court of Appeals as needed.
  • Collaborate with other attorneys in drafting and filing habeas corpus petitions and other federal litigation as needed.
  • Conduct client consultations of detained and non-detained clients and track client cases, progress of applications, and follow up for funding purposes.
  • Represent NYLAG to our funder and collaborative partners including attending conferences, trainings, and sharing materials.
  • Supervise interns, volunteers, and pro bono attorneys as needed.

  • Juris Doctorate from an accredited school.
  • Admission to the New York State bar
  • Fluency in Spanish required
  • Minimum 2 years experience working in removal defense required, 4 years preferred
  • Minimum 1 year experience working in the detained Immigration Court docket preferred 
  • Excellent writing, speaking and organizational skills
  • Ability to communicate effectively with clients, community organizations, attorneys, the judiciary and the public
  • Ability to work in a collaborative setting with other professionals 
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights, criminal justice, and/or social justice issues.
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma and the intersection of criminal law and immigration law.
  • Ability to work independently and under pressure.

NYLAG’s Commitment to Diversity and Inclusion
NYLAG is proud to be an equal opportunity employer. People of color, women, people with disabilities, immigrants, veterans, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer people, and those with lived experiences in the communities we serve are strongly encouraged to apply.

Employment type:


Professional Level:


Salary Range: NYLAG is a unionized workplace, and salaries are set pursuant to a collective bargaining agreement. The current salary range for this position is between $85,892--$101,719.
Benefits: Medical, dental, vision, 401k, life insurance, long term disability, commuter benefits, flexible spending accounts (FSA) for Medical and Dependent care.

Application Instructions: Please save resume and cover letter on one pdf.

Covid Vaccination Policy: Please note, to safeguard the health and well-being of our employees and clients, NYLAG requires all employees to be fully vaccinated for COVID-19, unless a medical or religious exemption is approved.

NYLAG is committed to a hybrid work policy for staff whose work does not require their full-time presence in the office. NYLAG’s current policy is that most staff are required to work in NYLAG’s offices or do other in-person work at least two days each week. This policy is subject to change.

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