Supervising Litigation Attorney, Immigrant Defense Project


The Immigrant Defense Project (IDP) is a New York City-based nonprofit that works to secure fairness and justice for all immigrants by transforming the racially-biased U.S. criminal and immigration systems. IDP was founded twenty years ago to address the crisis of escalating criminalization and mass deportation, and our work attacks the injustices at the intersection of the criminal and immigration systems via a multi-pronged strategy. We strengthen immigrant defense through training and expert advice, challenge unfair laws through impact litigation, shape just policies through advocacy, work alongside communities and advocates through alliance building and education, and challenge negative narratives about immigrants through strategic communications.

IDP is a relatively small organization with big impact. Achievements include leading successful campaigns to protect immigrants from aggressive deportation tactics and playing an instrumental role in ensuring immigrant New Yorkers receive effective legal immigration advice after arrest. IDP has been central to strategic Supreme Court litigation campaigns, such as Padilla v. Kentucky and cases that have restricted the government’s overreaching and damaging interpretations of mandatory deportation laws. IDP also operates a unique legal support hotline that provides cutting edge legal analysis for thousands of community members and attorneys annually and serves as a clearinghouse for ICE enforcement trends in New York City and beyond. In addition to training attorneys across New York, IDP develops Train-the-Trainers workshops for public school teachers, legal service providers, and other community-based organizations, on a range of topics, from complex criminal and immigration laws to issues such as Know-Your-Rights with ICE.

Position:
The full-time Supervising Litigation Attorney will lead our strategic litigation practice, and also have the flexibility to participate in IDP’s other programmatic work (policy advocacy, legal resource development, communications) as needed. The Attorney will also perform general supervisory functions within our office. The Attorney’s litigation work will focus on monitoring and participating in litigation before the federal and state courts and BIA to ameliorate the immigration consequences of criminal convictions and criminal legal system contact, and to counter ICE enforcement practices. Core responsibilities include: 1) supervising a broad docket of immigration appeals before the Supreme Court, federal Courts of Appeals and BIA through case monitoring, technical assistance, strategic coordination, amicus briefing, and direct representation; 2) recruiting and maintaining a wide network of pro bono partners; 3) supervising staff attorneys, legal fellows, and law students; 4) representing IDP in coalitions, meetings, and working groups; 5) contributing to IDP’s fundraising efforts through grant and fellowship proposals; 6) contributing toward IDP’s legal resources and trainings. The Attorney will work primarily with a staff of three litigation attorneys/legal fellows, and IDP’s Senior Counsel and Executive Director.

Responsibilities:

  • Manage IDP’s broad docket of immigration appeals through monitoring, technical assistance, and amicus coordination. IDP’s docket consists primarily of cases at various stages of litigation before the U.S. Supreme Court, federal Courts of Appeals, and BIA that involve appeals of deportation orders predicated on criminal convictions or criminal legal system contact. The Attorney will also be involved with federal district court litigation involving ICE abuse during enforcement and detention, and information requests under FOIA and state information laws
  • Recruit and maintain a wide network of pro bono litigation partners, including law firms, non-profit organizations, and law school clinics
  • Participate in IDP’s policy work
  • Field media inquiries and produce editorial content on immigration litigation and policy issues
  • Represent IDP and its litigation and policy work in a spectrum of coalitions, meetings, and working groups
  • Develop and participate in advanced trainings and webinars, and produce written practice advisories, on complex immigration litigation concepts
  • Supervise law school clinic teams on collaborative litigation and advocacy projects
  • Participate in IDP’s fundraising efforts through grant and fellowship applications
  • Provide general supervisory functions within IDP’s office and program areas


Qualifications:

  • Five or more years of experience that includes complex removal defense litigation before the federal courts or immigration agencies on issues involving criminal legal system contact and ICE enforcement, or other significant litigation experience before the federal courts
  • Excellent legal research, writing, and editing skills
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights and social justice issues
  • Exceptional organizational and written and oral communication skills; ability to timely respond to and balance numerous requests for assistance
  • Ability to work in a respectful, non-judgmental manner with impacted individuals (including people accused or convicted of serious crimes), and to work collaboratively, respectfully and supportively
  • Experience and ability to supervise and develop staff members
  • Ability to speak publicly on IDP’s behalf in coalitions, meetings, and before the media
  • JD degree. Admission in good standing to the bar of any state, and an ability to seek admission in the Second Circuit and other federal courts
  • Oral fluency in Spanish a plus
  • Strong command of Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Excel, Google Suite (Docs, Slides, Sheets, etc.), Adobe Acrobat, and other standard productivity software


Benefits:
Salary commensurate with relevant experience. Generous benefit package provided by IDP’s fiscal sponsor, Fund for the City of New York.

How to Apply:
We are looking to fill this position as soon as possible and will be screening applications and interviewing on a rolling basis. Please submit cover letter, resume, and salary requirements to jobs@immdefense.org with the subject line “Supervising Litigation Attorney.” Writing samples and three references will be requested for those interviewed. No phone calls please.

The Immigrant Defense Project is an Equal Opportunity Employer that actively recruits women, people of color, persons with disabilities, persons with diverse gender and sexual identities, immigrants, and formerly incarcerated persons.