The Center for Gender & Refugee Studies (CGRS) defends the human rights of refugees seeking asylum in the United States. With strategic focus and unparalleled legal expertise, CGRS champions the most challenging cases, fights for due process, and promotes policies that deliver safety and justice for refugees. We are the trusted partner and proven resource for legal services providers and human rights organizations and bring invaluable data and compelling personal stories to shape the public narrative. We use strategic litigation to advance sound asylum laws and protect due process rights. Through policy advocacy and education, we provide critical expertise to policymakers at all levels of government, leading the movement to honor our commitments to refugees and asylum seekers under U.S. and international law. Through technical assistance and training, we empower advocates to take on complex asylum cases, providing them with the tools they need to craft winning arguments and secure protections for their clients. CGRS is committed to building an anti-racist and anti-oppression organization that lives its values internally and externally.


CGRS is seeking a highly motivated individual passionate about refugee rights with significant federal litigation experience and a strong commitment to working with directly impacted individuals and using litigation, in combination with other advocacy strategies, to promote the rights of asylum seekers. The position is a dynamic one that will reflect the vision and flexibility of the organization in the changing landscape of attacks on refugee rights. This position may be remote within the contiguous United States.

The Federal Litigation Staff Attorney reports directly to the CGRS Director of Litigation. This role will focus primarily on systemic litigation and direct representation but may be involved in other CGRS core program areas as they relate to ongoing litigation efforts. Working in close collaboration with the Director of Litigation and other Staff Attorneys, the Federal Litigation Staff Attorney will be responsible for the following:

  • Collaborate in developing and leading innovative federal litigation and advocacy to protect and expand the rights of asylum seekers. This includes conducting factual investigations; performing legal research; drafting motions, briefs, and other court filings; conducting discovery; and appearing in court.
  • Develop and maintain relationships with the private immigration bar, pro bono counsel, non-profit immigration practitioners and other stakeholders supporting asylum seekers (e.g., public interest organizations and community groups).
  • Represent CGRS in various fora, including local, national, and international coalitions, working groups, and the press.
  • Maintain open communication and collaboration with directly impacted individuals and community-based organizations.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Litigation, other Staff Attorneys, the Policy & Advocacy Director, and other staff to identify and support the advancement of CGRS policy priorities.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Litigation and the Communications & Advocacy Manager to develop communication strategies around cases and campaigns; serve as spokesperson upon request.
  • Collaborate with the Director of Litigation and the Director of Technical Assistance and Training to conduct trainings, webinars, and other presentations for attorneys and other advocates and produce practice advisories and other training materials related to pending litigation.
  • Participate in other litigation-related projects and duties on an as-needed basis.


Education and Experience

  • D. degree and admission to practice law in California or Washington, DC, as well as state of residence if working remotely.
  • At least five (5) years of federal court civil litigation or comparable experience, including demonstrated knowledge of procedural and substantive law relating to the litigation of constitutional and statutory claims.

Knowledge, Skills and Abilities

  • Excellent legal research, analysis, fact investigation, drafting, and editing skills.
  • Experience in asylum and/or removal defense preferred.
  • Initiative, vision, and a proven commitment to CGRS’s mission and goals.
  • Experience mentoring junior attorneys, pro bono attorneys, law clerks and/or support staff and interns.
  • Excellent oral communication skills.
  • Solid organizational and time-management skills.
  • Ability to juggle competing priorities and adjust as needed.
  • Proficiency with relevant software programs, e.g. MS Word, Excel, PowerPoint.
  • Ability to work independently and within a team.
  • High level of productivity.
  • Ability to prioritize and meet deadlines.
  • Willingness to travel.
  • Demonstrated commitment to refugee, human rights, and social justice issues.
  • Commitment to building and maintaining an inclusive, anti-racist working environment.
  • Fluency in Spanish or Haitian Creole a plus.

SALARY $80,000 – $110,000


Health and Welfare Benefits

  • Comprehensive medical, dental and vision insurance coverage
  • Flexible Spending Accounts for transportation-related, healthcare, and dependent care expenses
  • Employee Assistance Program

For Your Financial Future

  • Life Insurance, Disability Insurance, and Legal Insurance
  • University of California Retirement Plan (a defined benefit plan)
  • Deferred Compensation Plans/Pre-tax Retirement Savings Programs

For Your Work/Life Balance

  • Fifteen paid holidays per year
  • Generous vacation and sick leave
  • Commuter Benefits Program


To apply, please submit a cover letter and resume at this link. CGRS will begin reviewing applications on November 22, 2022.

Failure to provide the information as required on the application and/or instructions to apply shall immediately disqualify an applicant from employment consideration.

Please note: This position has been designated as “sensitive” and requires a pre-employment background check.

Federal law requires employers to provide reasonable accommodation to qualified individuals with disabilities. Please contact Human Resources if you require a reasonable accommodation to apply for a job. Examples of reasonable accommodation include making a change to the application process, providing documents in an alternate format, using a sign language interpreter, or using specialized equipment.


Applicants who meet the position requirements will be competitively evaluated to identify the individuals whose breadth and depth of experience and education most closely relate to the stated requirements and the needs of the College. Not all applicants will be contacted for an interview.

The position is open until filled.

The skills listed above are comprehensive, and we understand there are great candidates who possess only a subset of those skills, or who have other important skills. If you match some of these skills, please do not hesitate to apply.

UC Hastings College of the Law is an Equal Opportunity Employer. UC Hastings strives to provide a diverse and inclusive educational environment that fosters cultural awareness, mutual understanding and respect. UC Hastings College of the Law is interested in candidates who will contribute to diversity and equal opportunity in higher education through their teaching. Qualified women and members of underrepresented minority groups are strongly encouraged to apply.

Federal Litigation Staff Attorney
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