Senior Program Associate - New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, Vera Institute of Justice

The Vera Institute of Justice, founded in 1961, envisions a society that respects the dignity of every person and safeguards justice for everyone. Its New York Immigrant Family Unity Project (NYIFUP) is a statewide program guaranteeing deportation defense representation for people in detention in New York State. NYIFUP is at the forefront of a national movement to expand access to publicly funded legal representation for immigrants facing deportation. In the face of stepped-up immigration enforcement, non-citizen New Yorkers are at risk of extended detention and permanent separation from their families and communities. NYIFUP partner with legal service providers, government officials, and immigration advocates to administer legal services in Upstate New York and use our expertise in program design, research, and communications to advance our vision of government-funded counsel for all immigrants facing deportation.

Vera’s Center on Immigration and Justice seeks a Senior Program Associate to work on its NYIFUP team. We are looking for someone who feels at home developing and maintaining relationships with government officials and legal service providers, and who is eager to foster strong partnerships with advocates in the broader immigrants’ rights community.


  • Partner with state public officials as well as legal service providers to secure zealous legal representation for detained immigrants in deportation proceedings
  • Help manage legal service programs representing detained immigrants facing removal, including overseeing contracts with legal service providers and creatively brainstorming solutions for challenges experienced by program sites
  • Coordinate among public officials and government staff, legal service providers, and advocacy groups to build and sustain support for program and universal representation
  • Devise, manage, and coordinate training and technical assistance to program sites in the form of in-person trainings and convenings, webinars, and conference calls, and other means as appropriate
  • Conduct site visits at program sites, involving strategic stakeholder meetings and observing program services; includes plane travel to Upstate New York and driving, along with drafting site visit memoranda
  • Assist in the preparation of reports and publications for government partners and the public using case data and client stories to foster support for universal representation and program success
  • Collaborate with our communications team to raise awareness about the need for counsel in New York among the public and policymakers
  • Continuously identify promising practices among programs and devise ways to disseminate information about such practices to encourage implementation elsewhere
  • Represent NYIFUP and the Center in coalition meetings, public speaking engagements, press conferences with our partners and speaking with media as needed
  • Assist on other projects as assigned.


  • Substantial experience with deportation defense and knowledge of other justice areas
  • Experience managing/working on multiple projects effectively and efficiently
  • Can work collaboratively in a team, as well as take initiative and manage projects independently
  • Desire to effectuate change in partnership with communities and government and to support and advance the movement for universal representation
  • A J.D or Department of Justice (DOJ) Accreditation and at least three years of legal, government, or policy work experience relating to immigrants’ rights. A minimum of two years of experience providing legal representation is preferred. Experience representing detained immigrants is a plus
  • Strong writing and research skills
  • Strong communication and facilitation skills
  • Ease with understanding and communicating about qualitative and quantitative data for advocacy purposes
  • Ability to successfully balance travel responsibilities with office-based responsibilities
  • Experience in advocacy with government officials and broad coalitions to build consensus on policy reform issues is a strong plus
  • Experience working with media to foster support for advocacy campaigns is a plus
  • Ability to read and communicate effectively in Spanish is a plus;
  • A valid driver’s license.

Salary starting from $80,000, based on experience, with excellent benefits.

How to Apply:
To apply for this position, click here. Please submit cover letter and resume.