Director of Litigation, Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS)


The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) defends the human rights of courageous refugees seeking asylum in the United States. With strategic focus and unparalleled legal expertise, CGRS champions the most challenging cases, fights for due process, and promotes policies that deliver safety and justice for refugees. We are the trusted partner and proven resource for legal teams and human rights organizations, and bring invaluable data and compelling personal stories to shape the public narrative. We use strategic litigation to advance sound asylum laws and protect due process rights. Through policy advocacy and education, we provide critical expertise to policymakers at all levels of government, leading the movement to honor our commitments to refugees under U.S. and international law. Through technical assistance and training, we empower advocates to take on complex asylum cases, providing them with the tools they need to craft winning arguments and secure protections for their clients.


The Director of Litigation, as a member of the Leadership Team, provides leadership and vision to the litigation work of CGRS. Litigation work includes both national and California-focused matters. The position is a dynamic one that will reflect the vision and flexibility of the organization in the changing landscape of refugee rights.


  • Guide strategic direction of all areas of CGRS’s litigation docket, including affirmative litigation, direct representation, and appellate practice before the federal courts and immigration agencies
  • Manage and oversee all areas of CGRS’s litigation work, ensuring excellence, professionalism, furtherance of core mission to expand the fundamental rights of asylum seekers and refugees
  • Maintain an active caseload of complex litigation, including by building and litigating affirmative cases in the federal courts
  • Supervise, direct, and mentor attorneys and other legal staff in litigation and direct representation before the immigration agencies and the federal courts, including via substantive review of filings and oversight of strategic litigation decisions
  • Contribute to Technical Assistance, Training, and Policy and Advocacy programs as relevant to litigation work, including participating in trainings and drafting practice advisories
  • Engage in and implement systems for performance evaluation and training of litigation attorneys and other legal staff
  • With support from the CGRS legal team, ensure tracking and case management systems to meet all litigation deadlines and comply with legal professionalism standards, including for potential fee-generating cases
  • Develop and maintain relationships with pro bono counsel, other co-counsel, and plaintiff organizations
  • Represent CGRS in local, national, international coalitions and working groups as needed; and serve as a spokesperson for CGRS in a variety of contexts, including attorney trainings and media appearances as needed
  • As needed, ensure compliance with grant terms (relevant to a minority of cases)
  • With support from CGRS management team and as needed, develop and oversee litigation program budget, assess staffing needs, and engage in hiring and recruitment


  • J.D. degree and admission to practice law in at least one U.S. jurisdiction
  • (required)
  • Eight (8) years of progressively responsible legal experience in complex
  • federal litigation, including experience leading and running complex cases
  • *Willing to consider exceptional candidates with fewer years experience
  • Strong preference for candidates with background in litigating refugee and
  • immigrant rights cases
  • Experience mentoring and supervising junior attorneys (preferred)

How to Apply:

To apply, submit resume and cover letter here.