Senior Program Associate - SAFE Network, Vera Institute of Justice


We are helping build a movement – among government leaders, advocates, and the immigration legal services community – towards universal legal representation for immigrants facing deportation. In the face of stepped-up immigration enforcement, millions of non-citizens are at risk of extended detention and permanent separation from their families and communities. In 2017 Vera convened the Safety and Fairness for Everyone (SAFE) Network, a group of diverse local jurisdictions that have committed public taxpayer dollars toward legal representation for immigrants in their communities facing detention and deportation. We partner with local government leaders, a closely-connected network of legal defense programs, and advocates to establish publicly funded deportation defense programs around the country 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 SAFE Network team. We are looking for someone who feels at home developing and maintaining relationships with project partners, including local government stakeholders and legal service providers, and promoting publicly-funded universal representation as a policy tool to local and state governments. The examples of core responsibilities provided below are illustrative and other responsibilities may be added over time.


  • Partner with local and state government as well as legal service providers to design and implement publicly funded universal representation programs serving detained immigrants
  • Help manage a Network of legal services programs providing legal defense to 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 universal representation
  • Devise, manage, and coordinate technical assistance to program sites in the form of in-person trainings and convenings, webinars, and Network conference calls, and other means as appropriate
  • Conduct site visits of program sites involving strategic stakeholder meetings; includes plane travel and driving, and drafting site visit memoranda
  • Assist in the preparation of reports using case data and client stories to foster support for universal representation and program success
  • Collaborate with our communications team on strategic goals to support local and national communication campaigns and raise awareness about the need for counsel nationally 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 SAFE and the Center in local and statewide coalition meetings, public speaking engagements, press conferences with our partners and speaking with media as needed
  • Assist on other projects as assigned


  • Experience with deportation defense and knowledge of other justice areas
  • Ability to manage work on multiple projects effectively and efficiently
  • Ability to work collaboratively in a team, as well as take initiative and manage projects independently. You have a desire to effectuate change in partnership with communities and with local and state governments and to advance the national movement for universal representation
  • A J.D or Department of Justice (DOJ) Accreditation and at least four 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 regular travel responsibilities with office-based responsibilities
  • Experience engaging in advocacy with local governments 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
  • Supervision or management experience in immigration legal services, and specifically in deportation defense, is a plus
  • Ability to read and communicate effectively in Spanish is a plus
  • Ability to work closely and effectively with a team in Vera’s offices nationwide
  • A valid driver’s license

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

How to Apply:
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