About the Legal Aid Justice Center:
The Legal Aid Justice Center is a nationally recognized, non-profit organization that partners with communities and clients to fight for racial, social, and economic justice. We understand that the harms our clients endure are inextricably linked to overarching systems of injustice. Together we are dismantling those systems through a combination of community organizing, litigation, policy advocacy, public relations, and individual legal services.
Very recently, we helped lead the fight to reform Virginia’s unemployment insurance system including advocacy that resulted in the distribution of over $1 billion in illegally withheld payments to over 160,000 Virginians. During the pandemic, we helped hundreds of families avoid eviction through a combination of legal representation and help accessing rent relief funds. Our staff are on the front lines of some of the most important anti-poverty fights happening today.
Founded in 1967, LAJC has offices in Charlottesville, Richmond, Petersburg, and Falls Church and provides services under six key program areas: Civil Rights & Racial Justice, Economic Justice, Youth Justice, Health Justice, Immigrant Justice, and Worker Justice. For more information, visit www.justice4all.org.
LAJC’s latest strategic plan is available at https://www.justice4all.org/lajc-strategic-plan-2022-2026/#area%20d.
About the Immigration Justice Program:
LAJC has a long history of serving immigrant communities across Virginia, including individuals without documentation and facing deportation. LAJC’s Immigrant Justice Program works to end mass detention and deportation of immigrants in Virginia, and to break the ties between immigration enforcement and local and state government and law enforcement. We work to ensure that immigrant communities remain intact and protected in Virginia, fight the separation of immigrant families and the exclusion of immigrants from state benefits, and protect young immigrants across the Commonwealth whether in federal custody or in their communities. Previously, the team also supported farmworker campaigns, but in 2022 as the result of its significant growth, LAJC launched a new Worker Justice Program to house the farmworker campaigns, in addition to other worker justice efforts.
LAJC’s recent wins include a coordinated effort to drastically reduce the population of a local immigration detention center down to historically low levels through impact litigation, partnership with long-time organizing efforts and litigating individual habeas corpus petitions; increasing the eligible age for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status children; ending mandatory ICE notifications for misdemeanor arrests; and establishing in-state tuition and state-funded financial aid for undocumented students with pending asylum applications who graduate from Virginia high schools. In addition to individual legal defense of immigrants facing removal proceedings and federal litigation on behalf of detained immigrants, our attorneys and organizers partner with local community members and community groups as well as national advocacy organizations to promote systemic reforms reducing the abuse and exploitation of immigrants, and to advocate for policies that promote integration and protection of immigrant communities.
About the Position:
The Immigrant Justice Program seeks to hire an Attorney in our Falls Church office. Working on an interdisciplinary team, the attorney will work closely with organizers, families, community members, local, state, and national-level partners, and other LAJC advocates to advance systemic change in immigrants' rights in Virginia through a combination of individual representation, impact litigation, community outreach, organizing, and policy advocacy. This position will maintain legal practice that initially will focus on removal defense and later take on impact and affirmative case work; it also could incorporate cross-program legal matters as needed. While the work in this position will exist on a statewide level, the Attorney is expected to build community and focus organizing and advocacy efforts locally, beginning with a focus in Alexandria and the surrounding areas.
- Provide individual immigration consultations and know-your-rights presentations to immigrant communities.
- Represent clients before various agencies including immigration court, ICE, USCIS, and state and federal courts in applications and advocacy for relief from removal.
- Take a leadership role in one or more impact campaigns (including federal litigation, state and local advocacy, and grassroots community lawyering) affecting immigrant communities in and around Northern Virginia and statewide.
- Participate in various work groups, coalitions, etc., and attend community events.
- Assist with advocacy communications efforts, e.g., drafting press releases, responding to media inquiries, and drafting content for social media.
- As needed, assist the director of the George Mason Immigration Litigation Clinic in supervising student casework and leading seminars.
- Supervise legal interns.
- Actively participate in program decision making by attending regular team retreats and contributing to the creation and implementation of team-wide systems.
Racial equity: Promote racial equity across all dimensions, including within LAJC, by doing the following:
- Helping to recruit, retain, and support both staff and leadership that reflect the racial composition of our community.
- Cultivating respect for the work of and expanding resources for non-attorney staff that are disproportionately people of color.
- Creating spaces for staff to discuss issues of racial, gender, and all other issues of marginalization.
- Pushing for institutional and cultural changes by management, the board, and staff to further promote racial equity.
Location: This role will be based in our Falls Church office. Occasional travel between offices will be required. Although a regular presence in the office is required, LAJC offers a remote work policy to support employees in co-creating schedules and arrangements that allow us all to do our best work.
Salary: The salary scale for this position is $62,000 - $80,000 based on the LAJC salary scale, upward 12% cost-of-living adjustment is available for positions based in Falls Church. Placement on the range will be based on factors such as years of relevant experience, budget, and internal equity. To allow for salary growth within the position over time, the anticipated hiring range for this position is between the beginning to the middle of the range ($62,000 - $71,000).
Benefits: Our mission is compelling, and our team members are passionate about their work, and so we recognize the need to provide generous benefits and encourage rest and a healthy work environment. For example, we provide:
- Generous paid time off every year, including 3 to 6 weeks of vacation, 12 days of health leave, 6 weeks parental leave, and 14 holidays (not including bonus holidays/rest days allocated as needed)
- 100% employer paid health, dental, and vision insurance, plus excellent family insurance with annual max of $2,400 premium contribution to LAJC-sponsored health plan.
- 403(b) retirement plan with 4% employer contribution (no required match) Strong commitment to professional development
- Relocation package
Vaccination Requirement: The Legal Aid Justice Center requires all employees to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 or have an approved medical or religious exemption as a qualification of employment. Proof of vaccination or accommodation request must be provided within one day of employment.
The Legal Aid Justice Center is an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, and communities to apply. The Legal Aid Justice Center is committed to strengthening the voices of our low-income clients, working in collaboration with community partners, and rooting out the inequities that keep people in poverty. We strive to take on the issues that have broad impact on our client communities and to be responsive to client input. Recognizing the particular impact of racism on our clients and staff, we devote special attention to dismantling racial injustice. All applicants must be dedicated to working in and sustaining an environment that enables staff and clients to feel empowered, valued, respected, and safe. In reviewing applications, we look for evidence that applicants have experience and/or thoughtfulness in working with traditionally marginalized populations.
- Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
- At least one year of practice as an immigration attorney with significant experience handling removal defense, petitions before USCIS, and advocacy with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and the Office of Principal Legal Advisor (OPLA).
- Experience (formal or lived experienced) working directly with immigrant community members.
- A sufficient level of Spanish fluency to interview and counsel clients in Spanish without the assistance of an interpreter. Membership in the Virginia State Bar, or eligibility and willingness to become a member of the VSB promptly – either by passing the bar exam in July 2023, or meeting requirements to “waive” into bar membership without taking the bar exam. (Note: this position may be eligible for the newly enacted Virginia Supreme Court rule allowing for any attorney working exclusively for a legal aid organization to practice without examination as long as they are in good standing in another state).
- An ability to balance and manage a variety of responsibilities.
- Strong commitment to social, economic, and racial justice.
- Ability to work effectively across multiple teams.
- Ability to communicate effectively across lines of identity.
- Willingness to travel statewide occasionally.
- Familiarity with Virginia state and/or federal court practice.
- Familiarity with community lawyering approaches.
- Experience with impact advocacy.
- Expertise in one or more of the Immigrant Justice Program’s core issue areas, including deportation defense, ending the jail-to-deportation pipeline, and shutting down immigration detention centers.
- Experience with coalition building
Application Deadline: February 29, 2024. We accept applications on a rolling basis and encourage candidates to apply as soon as possible.
Application Instructions: Complete the online application which may require a cover letter, resume, relevant writing sample, and contact information for three references. You can direct the cover letter to the hiring manager, Rohmah Javed at Rohmah@Justice4all.org. Please note, we will not contact references without advance consent from candidates.