Staff Attorney - Family Services Unit
ABOUT NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT:
Founded in 1984, NWIRP is a nationally-recognized legal services organization on the front lines of defending and advancing the rights of immigrants. Each year, NWIRP provides direct legal representation and assistance in immigration matters to thousands of people with low incomes who come from over 150 countries and speak over 60 different languages. NWIRP challenges unjust policies through high-impact lawsuits and advocates for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants. NWIRP is also a trusted provider of immigration-related community education for immigrant communities and social service providers. NWIRP has a staff of over 120 and an annual budget of over $15 million. NWIRP serves the community through four offices in Washington State (Granger, Seattle, Tacoma and Wenatchee), but the impact of our work is felt nationwide.
Family Services Unit (Seattle, WA):
The Family Services Unit provides direct services to individuals and families in the family-based petition process. FSU processes the following case types: family-based petitions, petitions for fiancé(e), applications for adjustment of status, applications for a travel document or parole, assistance with consular processing, applications for waiver of grounds of inadmissibility, applications for permission to reapply for admission, petitions to remove conditions on residence, and general removal defense.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks a full-time bilingual staff attorney to work in our Family Services Unit in Seattle, Washington. Applicants must be fluent in English and another language and must be able to start their position as soon as possible. Fluency in another language other than Spanish is a plus.
Under NWIRP’s current COVID policies, new staff members must provide proof of COVID-19 vaccination (unless eligible for an exemption). At the time of this posting, NWIRP staff is operating in a hybrid model, and some in-office work will be expected of this position (at least two days per week). The position may also be eligible for the choice of a full-time in-person work model. A minimum two-year commitment to the position is preferred.
As a staff attorney, you will provide direct representation, individual consultations, and community outreach and education to immigrant community members seeking immigration protections before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the immigration courts. The staff attorney may also be assigned work relating to other immigration matters, including cases of people in immigration detention. This position will inherit an existing caseload. Therefore, experience working with high caseloads is a plus.
This position is expected to travel to immigration courts in Seattle or Tacoma and USCIS offices in Seattle, Spokane or Yakima in Washington State, and Portland, Oregon. A valid driver’s license will be required in order to meet these expectations. The position may involve evening and weekend work hours.
BENEFITS AND COMPENSATION:
As of 2023, the beginning salary is $75,490 for an attorney with no experience and not yet admitted to practice. The salary step will increase to $78,040 upon bar admission and is higher for attorneys with specific types of experience. For example, for someone with 10 years of qualifying experience, the annual salary would be $98,302.05; 20 years would be $113,948.39. (Salary may increase in 2024 per NWIRP’s CBA.)
NWIRP is proud to be a unionized employer and this full-time position is covered by NWIRP’s Collective Bargaining Agreement. NWIRP offers a generous benefits package, including:
● Fully paid health, vision & dental plans for employee-level coverage with employer-funded HRA and HSA options
● FSA and Dependent Care accounts
● Employer contribution of 3% to 403(b) retirement plan
● Generous paid vacation (16 days during your first year)
● Paid health and sick leave (12 days a year)
● 12 weeks of paid parental leave after 6 months of employment, plus the ability to extend with state paid leave
● 14 paid Holidays with the ability to float 5 holidays
● Subsidized transit pass if based out of Seattle
● Employer-paid disability/life/AD&D coverage; Long-term care insurance
● 4 weeks of paid sabbatical after every five years of employment at NWIRP
● Eligibility to earn compensatory time
● Opportunities for paid training
● If relocating more than 100 miles, eligible for a relocation bonus and help with moving expenses
COMMITMENT TO INCLUSIVITY, EQUITY AND REPRESENTATION:
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project is an equal opportunity employer committed to having a diverse staff, board, and volunteer base reflective of the communities we serve and that enhances our ability to create a vibrant environment where all members of the NWIRP community thrive. We strongly encourage applications from individuals who identify as Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC), immigrants (including people who were formerly detained, undocumented, or who have navigated the immigration legal system), women, people with disabilities, members of the LGBTQ+ community, and individuals with diverse cultural backgrounds and language abilities.
NWIRP is committed to providing a work environment free from discrimination and harassment. NWIRP does not discriminate on the basis of class, race, color, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, veteran status, political ideology, age, creed, religion, ancestry, national origin, or the presence of any sensory, mental, or physical disability. Excepting any undue hardship, NWIRP will provide reasonable accommodations upon request for candidates taking part in all aspects of the selection process. Please contact HR@nwirp.org.
All NWIRP staff attorneys are expected to:
● Provide direct representation to individuals in removal proceedings before the Immigration Court, on appeal to the Board of Immigration Appeals or before the federal courts, and before the Department of Homeland Security;
● Provide direct representation to persons submitting affirmative applications with USCIS and the Department of State;
● Conductpresentations, workshops, legal clinics, and intakes, by phone and in person;
● Conduct case analysis to determine eligibility for immigration protections/status under the immigration laws;
● Maintain a working knowledge of significant policies, laws, practices, and trends in immigration law, particularly as it impacts low-income immigrants and those impacted by the criminal justice system;
● Establish, organize, and maintain files up to date;
● Perform administrative tasks related to grant reporting such as timekeeping, submitting timesheets, tracking training, and other duties in a timely manner;
● Participate in NWIRP’s outreach, community education, and development efforts; and
● Perform other tasks and responsibilities assigned by supervisory staff depending upon NWIRP’s needs.
Physical demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to sit, stand and walk; use hands to finger, handle, or feel; reach with hands and arms; talk and hear; utilize a phone, computer, keyboard, pen, and paper. Occasional work on night and weekend hours. Travel may be required. Travel reimbursements apply.
Emotional demands: While performing the duties of this job, the employee is regularly required to discuss topics including, but not limited, to discrimination; child abuse, neglect, abandonment; domestic abuse; violence, and psychological trauma. Occasional work in a detention center environment.
SKILLS AND QUALIFICATIONS:
● Law degree;
● Admission to the practice of law in a U.S. state (but will consider law graduates who are awaiting admission to the Bar);.
● Demonstrated commitment to advancing and defending the rights of immigrants and willingness to support NWIRP’s mission, vision and values;
● Fluent in English and a second language (additional languages are a plus);
● Familiarity working with interpreters;
● Commitment to creating a welcoming and professional inclusive environment for staff and clients;
● Excellent written and oral communication skills, and ability to organize information in a clear and concise manner, including strong problem solving, research, and analytical skills;
● Previous work with remote legal assistance preferred;
● Ability to provide trauma-informed and culturally inclusive legal representation;
● Special consideration will be given to attorneys with at least two years of prior relevant legal experience;
● Have a strong sense of judgment and decision-making;
● Strong organizational skills;
● Ability to work independently as well as in a team environment;
● Proficiency in use of web-based software, Microsoft Office applications, including Word and Excel, and web peer-to-peer communication platforms; familiar with G-suite tools like Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Gmail; and
● The applicant must have a valid driver’s license as the position involves some travel.
You will need to upload a single file document including your cover letter, resume, and list of 3 references via our careers page: https://secure3.entertimeonline.com/ta/90199.careers?CareersSearch. For your cover letter, please indicate the position(s) and locations you would like to be considered for, and describe 1) how your lived or work experience makes you a good fit for this role; and 2) what are some challenges you are aware of that pose barriers to providing legal advocacy to immigrant client populations. Full consideration will be given to those who apply by July 14, 2023, but applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.