Staff Attorney - Border Rights Project, Al Otro Lado
Al Otro Lado is a binational legal services organization serving refugees and deportees in Tijuana, Mexico San Diego, California, and Los Angeles, California. Al Otro Lado’s Border Rights Project provides legal orientation and know-your-rights training to asylum seekers in Tijuana who wish to present themselves to U.S. authorities to seek asylum, while also conducting human rights monitoring at the San Ysidro port-of-entry.
The Staff Attorney for the Border Rights Project will focus on providing holistic support to children in Tijuana, including unaccompanied children and children traveling with family members. Specifically, the Staff Attorney will work with Border Rights staff to identify particularly vulnerable children entering the United States detention system, marshall volunteers to assist them at the border, and work with Pro Bono Coordinators to engage law firms and others to file litigation on their behalf. The Staff Attorney may also be called upon to conduct “know your rights” clinics for asylum-seeking children and families, engage volunteers to conduct legal screenings at clinics, accompany families to the border, and track for new cases of family separation. In addition to the Tijuana-based work, the Staff Attorney must be prepared to offer support to the Otay Mesa Detention Center Release Project in San Diego as needed, including but not limited to direct representation of individuals detained in San Diego and families seeking asylum through the MPP program.
- Help conduct screenings of unaccompanied children and children at high risk of separation in our Tijuana office
- Track when children are ready to present themselves to US officials
- Coordinate with volunteer attorneys and pro bono firms to meet with children in Mexico to explain legal options, gather evidence (i.e. of a disability or medical condition), and sign retainer agreements for representation.
- Work with volunteers and pro bonos and provide direct representation to ensure habeas, bond, parole, and other petitions are timely filed
- Coordinate with Flores counsel to report violations of the settlement agreement and/or identify particularly vulnerable children
- Provide representation to particularly vulnerable migrants, including migrants subjected to the ‘Migrant Protection Protocols’ program, in bond, parole, merits, and federal court actions
- Prepare defensive applications for release and relief for detained individuals as needed out of the San Diego office
- Licensed to practice law in any jurisdiction (California Bar preferred)
- Civil litigation experience
- Admitted to the Southern District is highly preferable
- Minimum of 1-2 years of immigration experience; we will consider immigration paralegal experience, organizing experience, and/or law school clinic experience
- Applicants should be self-directed and self-reliant, highly organized, flexible, and able to work in a high volume setting with limited resources
- Ability to cross the United States-Mexico border on a regular basis
How to Apply:
To apply, submit a letter of interest, resume, writing sample, with three professional references to email@example.com, with ‘Staff Attorney — Border Rights Project’ in the subject line. Only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted. Al Otro Lado values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, formerly incarcerated individuals, individuals with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities.