Staff Attorney - HIAS Pennsylvania (Youth Advocacy Initiative), Philadelphia

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Job Title: Staff Attorney
Supervisor: Youth Advocacy Initiative Supervising Attorney

To apply, please send a cover letter and resume to Yvonne Leung at yleung@hiaspa.org. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Overview

HIAS Pennsylvania’s Mission: Driven by the Jewish value of welcoming the stranger, HIAS (the Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society) PA provides legal, resettlement and supportive services to immigrants and refugees from all backgrounds in order to assure their fair treatment and full integration into American society.

HIAS Pennsylvania is recognized by the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR) of the Department of Justice as a voluntary agency permitted to host immigration specialists known as accredited representatives who can provide immigration legal services. HIAS Pennsylvania is one of the largest non-profit immigration legal service providers in Pennsylvania. With a current staff of 39 individuals, including 11 attorneys and 4 accredited representatives, the organization assists low-income immigrants with adjustment of status, removal defense, family unification, citizenship, and asylum. HIAS Pennsylvania prioritizes providing services to vulnerable populations including survivors of interpersonal violence and unaccompanied and abused youth.

The only program of its kind in the state, HIAS Pennsylvania’s Youth Advocacy Initiative provides legal services to immigrant children and young people in Southeastern Pennsylvania. This work includes providing legal services to children facing removal proceedings in Immigration Court; to children involved in the domestic child welfare system; and to unaccompanied children in the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in facilities located in Bethlehem and Philadelphia, PA. We seek a Staff Attorney to provide services to youth in these facilities. The Staff Attorney will join a dynamic team of legal professionals dedicated to protecting the rights of immigrant youth.

Position Description

HIAS Pennsylvania seeks a staff attorney to work with our Youth Advocacy Initiative. The candidate should be licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, or licensed in another state with the ability to obtain PA licensure within 6 months of employment. The ideal candidate will also have a strong interest in working with youth; some experience in immigration or child welfare law; and experience serving victims of trauma or other vulnerable populations. Spanish language fluency is required.

Primary Responsibilities:

Direct Representation: The staff attorney will represent unaccompanied children who are in removal proceedings in Immigration Court and who are in the custody of the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) in shelter and foster care placements. Using a “universal representation” model, our program provides legal representation to certain children regardless of their eligibility for relief. As such, the attorney will represent children in seeking humanitarian forms of relief such as Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), asylum, and U and T visas, as well as children who have no relief options or who may seek voluntary departure or an order of removal. The attorney will represent children before USCIS and the Immigration Court and also in family courts in dependency matters related to SIJS.

Know Your Rights presentations, individualized screenings and pre-court orientations in appropriate language: The staff attorney will collaborate with HIAS PA’s Know Your Rights Coordinator and Specialists to provide Know Your Rights trainings to newly arrived children at ORR facilities. In collaboration with these staff, the staff attorney will also conduct legal screenings to evaluate children’s eligibility for legal relief and discuss legal options with children.

Pro Bono and Stakeholder Training: The staff attorney will assist periodically with HIAS PA’s efforts to recruit, train and mentor pro bono attorneys and to educate various stakeholders about the legal rights of immigrant youth. The attorney will maintain strong relationships with partner organizations.

Administrative: The staff attorney will maintain clear and detailed records to facilitate reporting to grantors.

Qualifications:

The candidate should be passionate about HIAS PA’s mission, understand the organization’s roots in and relationship to the Jewish community, and have a demonstrated ability to work with diverse collaborators and stakeholders. In addition, the candidate should possess:

  • J.D. degree and license to practice law in Pennsylvania (or ability to obtain PA licensure within 6 months of beginning employment)

  • Prior experience in immigration or child welfare law preferred (this could include law school coursework or clinical experience)

  • Prior experience working with youth, trauma survivors or other vulnerable populations preferred

  • Spanish fluency required: the candidate must possess sufficient fluency to work directly with clients on all aspects of legal representation without using an interpreter. We may consider candidates who demonstrate an ability to achieve such fluency within six months of beginning employment.

  • Excellent verbal and written communication skills

  • Excellent organizational and time management skills and ability to pay close attention to detail

  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office applications, database management and internet

  • Ability to work in a team of diverse professionals and human service workers

  • Ability to drive and possession a valid U.S. driver’s license

HIAS Pennsylvania is an equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate against anyone on the basis of race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, national origin, age, disability, political affiliation or belief.

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