the Florence Project is hiring a
The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to thousands of adults, youth, and children detained in Eloy, Florence, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona on any given day. In 2001, the Florence Project implemented our Integrated Social Services Program, one of the first of its kind in this field. The Florence Project provides high quality legal and social services and supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.
Primary Purpose of the Job:
The Staff Attorney will work on a team to provide pre-court counseling sessions and direct representation, including challenging casework, and appeals, for unaccompanied children in front of the Department of Justice, including EOIR and the BIA, juvenile courts, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. The position includes extensive client contact with youth, including indigenous youth and youth who have suffered abuse, abandonment, neglect or other emotional and physical trauma. It requires significant time in state and immigration court. The position also provides “Know Your Rights” presentations as needed and the opportunity to participate in outreach activities and collaborative projects within a national network of legal service providers for unaccompanied immigrant children.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
Provide legal representation in cases accepted through the Children’s Program. Legal representation includes representation in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court, representation before the Board of Immigration Appeals, representation before the Arizona Juvenile Courts, and other related services reasonably necessary to complete these proceedings.
Supervise legal assistants assigned to each case.
Provide direct representation in front of the immigration court, juvenile court, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including challenging casework, and appeals before the appropriate bodies.
Develop and recommend case strategy consistent with immigration law and procedure.
Prepare cases, draft legal papers, present required evidence, and engage in negotiations, in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
Conduct assessment of client’s social, economic, and psychological functioning.
Collaborate with Children’s Program social workers by identifying needs of the client and making appropriate referrals.
Determine appropriate range of services, interventions and referrals needed.
Attend and is engaged in all team meetings and trainings.
Remain current in immigration law and policy, and on impact of criminal and civil law on the immigration case.
Complies with required ethical standards, preserves client confidentiality, and avoids conflict of interest.
Maintain complete and accurate case notes and client records.
Prepare timely statistical reports.
Conduct periodic case audits for presentation and review.
Participate in training on immigration procedures and develop and conduct training sessions as assigned.
Conduct intake interviews and provide “Know Your Rights” information to detained and non-detained unaccompanied immigrant children, as needed
Appear as Friend of the Court before Immigration Court (EOIR).
Liaise with children’s detention shelters as part of a team with legal assistants.
Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with local and national community partners, including but not limited to private immigration attorneys, public officials, law enforcement officials, and other nonprofits that provide services to the immigrant population.
Develop and maintain professional relationships with the Immigration Court (EOIR), Superior Court of Arizona Juvenile Courts, and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations, and community organizations.
Communicate with the Managing Attorney about possible advocacy initiatives and legal trainings for the community.
Support Florence Project advocacy, outreach and development activities as needed.
Perform other administrative duties as needed.
Other Duties & Responsibilities:
Participate in organizational fundraising and outreach efforts as requested.
Participates in developing and implementing special projects or presentations.
Other duties as assigned.
J.D. and admission to any state bar.
If not licensed in AZ, must commit to applying to waive into practice in Arizona after two years of bar licensure in any jurisdiction, under the Arizona Rule 38(f) (a provision that allows for non-Arizona-barred attorneys to practice in Arizona state courts while under the employment of an approved legal service provider such as FIRRP, no fee required
Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish required.
Demonstrate commitment to advocating for indigent immigrant clients in a respectful and empowering way. Must be comfortable working with people with criminal convictions.
Demonstrate a zealous support of the Florence Project’s mission.
Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
Strong legal research.
Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse populations.
Highly organized, an innovative thinker, and work in high-volume settings with limited resources.
Excellent problem solving, research and analytical skills.
Effectively manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
Demonstrate to be a hardworking, flexible, respectful team player that can work effectively in a collaborative, innovative, and client centered work environment.
Ability to work independently, be adaptable and reliable in the face of conflict, pressure, crisis or changing priorities.
Exhibit high ethical standards and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
Must be able to pass federal and state background checks.
Travel is required for this position.
Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
Proven computer skills. Advanced understanding of basic office applications.
License to practice in Arizona.
Experience practicing before the Arizona Juvenile Courts, the Immigration Courts, BIA, or USCIS is strongly preferred.
Prior experience working with children/teenagers and trauma survivors or individuals with mental health issues is a plus.
Experience providing direct representation to immigrants in removal proceedings, and extensive knowledge of immigration law, specifically deportation defense, asylum, and criminal-immigration law issues is strongly preferred.
Prior advocacy work in immigrant rights, human rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, or experience working with trauma survivors is a plus.
Experience with databases and data tracking (i.e., Legal Server) is a plus.
Working Conditions/Physical Demands:
Operate in a professional office environment and requires the ability to sit for long periods of time with intermittent walking, standing, bending, squatting, pulling and pushing.
Requires the ability to use standard office equipment such as scanners, computers, keyboards, phones, shredders, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Requires the ability to lift-up to ten pounds - accommodations may be available.
Requires to travel regularly between offices, and secondary work locations.
Require frequent time in children’s shelter detention facilities and immigration courts located in Tucson and Phoenix, and Florence and Eloy as necessary.
The Florence Project has three offices: Florence, Tucson, and Phoenix. Depending on the needs of the program, the position may be based in any of the three offices.
Effective September 1, 2021, FIRRP has implemented a mandatory COVID-19 vaccine policy. To comply with this policy, active employees must be fully vaccinated by October 15, 2021. Employees seeking an exemption due to a medical condition or sincerely-held religious belief should contact our Human Resources Department at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Salary & Benefits
This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive for our field and geographical area and is commensurate with experience: $64,000-$75,000 Annually. We strive to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff.
We offer excellent benefits, including:
Medical plans including health, dental, vision coverage, subject to plan terms
Short Term Disability
Eligibility for group benefits such as voluntary life insurance, subject to applicable waiting periods
Retirement plan, subject to plan terms
Paid Time Off earned on a biweekly accrual basis- Twenty-five (25) Days of Vacation Time, annually
Five (5) Days of Medical/Sick Time, annually
One (1) Day of Personal Time, monthly
Eight (8) Week Paid Sabbatical, after three years of employment
Company-paid federal holidays, all observed
Eligible for Parental Leave which includes Twelve (12) paid weeks
Mileage reimbursement for travel between offices and places of work.
Relocation Assistance for out of state new hires available for some positions.
This is an immediate opening. Salary is commensurate with experience. The position will remain open until we receive enough qualified applicants. To apply, please submit a cover letter detailing your interest in the position as well as your resume, three professional references. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply early. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities.
At FIRRP, we recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the requirements of a job. If your experience is close to what you see listed in our current job opportunities, please still consider applying. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and excellence, which is very much valued at FIRRP. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions. Please let us know if you require accommodations during the interview process.
This job announcement is for informational purposes only and is subject to change and modification without notice. This job announcement includes a non-exhaustive list of responsibilities, qualifications and requirements of the position, but does not necessarily include all the job functions of the position. This position is eligible for membership in the union Proyecto Solidaridad-FIRRP affiliated with OPEIU Local 251.