Temporary Staff Attorneys
ABOUT NORTHWEST IMMIGRANT RIGHTS PROJECT:
Founded in 1984, Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (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 130 and an annual budget of over $20 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.
NWIRP’s Granger Office is located in Granger, WA, a city of over 3,000 people located in a rural area 25 miles southeast of Yakima. From this location, the office serves clients from across Central and Southeastern Washington. Its work involves direct representation in various forms of immigration relief, including, but not limited to, asylum, cancellation of removal, humanitarian relief under VAWA and TVPRA, family based, naturalization, and representations for children and youth. The office has a staff of ten and serves a client base consisting largely of farmworkers and their families. NWIRP’s Granger office is housed within a community center which includes a public Spanish language radio station, medical, and financial services for the farmworkers and their families.
NWIRP’s Children and Youth Program (CYAP) (Seattle, WA) provides direct representation, individual consultations, and community outreach and education to children and youth under the age of 21 who live in counties including King, Snohomish, Skagit, and Whatcom. Many of CYAP’s clients are unaccompanied children and youth facing removal (deportation) proceedings. CYAP assists children and youth with applying for various forms of immigration protection including Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification, asylum, self petitions under VAWA, U visas, T visas, and adjustment of status before USCIS. CYAP attorneys also handle Washington State court proceedings related to a child or youth’s eligibility for SIJ classification. This position will also include cases within NWIRP’s Unaccompanied Children Program (serving unaccompanied children following a universal representation model) and some cases involving adults in removal proceedings and family asylum claims.
NWIRP’s Tacoma and South Unit (TSU) and Detained Immigrant Advocacy (DIA) unit (Tacoma, WA)
NWIRP’s Tacoma Office
NWIRP’s Tacoma office serves immigrants detained at the Northwest Detention Center through our Legal Orientation Program and through direct representation. Northwest Detention Center is a regional immigration detention facility that houses up to 1575 individuals facing deportation. The Tacoma office also serves immigrants with low incomes living in the South Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula and Southwestern Washington region. Staff in all units of the Tacoma office represent clients on a wide variety of forms of immigration relief before EOIR, the BIA, and the 9th Circuit. The Detained Immigrant Advocacy Unit (DIA) provides direct representation to detained individuals, and the Tacoma and South Unit (TSU) provides direct legal assistance to individuals living in the South Puget Sound, Olympic Peninsula, and Southwestern Washington region.
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) seeks 3 full-time bilingual staff attorneys to work in our Granger, Seattle, and Tacoma offices.
- Applicants interested and selected to work with clients served by the NWIRP-Granger office are asked to commit to a minimum of 6 months (with a possibility of an extension) and can be placed in a NWIRP office location of your choice (Seattle or Tacoma), working remotely with clients served by the Granger office. For this role, we seek applicants with immigration law practice experience.
- Applicants interested and selected to work with clients served by the Children and Youth Program are asked to commit to a minimum of 12 months and will be placed in NWIRP’s Seattle office.
- Applicants interested and selected to work with clients served by the Tacoma and South Unit and the Detained Immigrant Advocacy unit of the Tacoma office are asked to commit to a minimum of 12 months and will be placed in NWIRP’s Tacoma office. This position requires regular visits to the Northwest Detention Center.
All applicants must be fluent in English and Spanish and be able to start the position as soon as possible.
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 required of each position (at least two days per week).
As a staff attorney, you will provide direct representation and individual consultations to immigrant community members seeking immigration protections before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). NWIRP attorneys also practice before the immigration courts.
This position is expected to travel to USCIS offices in Seattle, Spokane or Yakima in Washington State, and occasionally in 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.
This position is temporary and not covered by the CBA. However, 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 health-related leave and vacation (16 days during your first year)
- 14 paid Holidays with the ability to float 5 holidays
- Subsidized transit pass if based out of Seattle; parking access in Granger, Tacoma and Wenatchee
- Employer-paid disability/life/AD&D coverage; Long-term care insurance
- Eligibility to earn compensatory time
- Opportunities for paid training
COMMITMENT TO INCLUSIVITY, EQUITY AND REPRESENTATION:
NWIRP 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. 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;
- Provide direct representation to persons in State court proceedings (specific to attorneys admitted in WA State and working with children and youth seeking Special Immigrant Juvenile classification);
- Conduct presentations, 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; admitted or eligible for admission to the Washington Bar; or graduating 3Ls who will take the July 2023 Washington Bar will be considered;
- Demonstrated commitment to advancing and defending the rights of immigrants and willingness to support NWIRP’s mission, vision and values;
- Fluent in English and Spanish (additional languages are encouraged);
- 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 applicants 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.
Directing or Supervising Attorney
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.