Senior Attorney, Immigration & Legal Advocacy, Oakland or Washington, DC

The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) advances justice by defending the rights of children and improving the systems impacting their lives. We focus on complex challenges that disproportionately impact children and communities of color and on solutions that require multiple public systems to change their policies, practices and culture.

NCYL is committed to fostering, cultivating, and preserving a culture of equity, diversity, and inclusion. We built our reputation and organizational success on embracing and encourage the collective sum of individual differences among our staff.


NCYL seeks a Senior Attorney to help lead our immigration litigation, focused on ensuring immigrant children are not indefinitely detained, separated from their families, or denied their due process rights. Currently, NCYL is counsel in landmark litigation representing children detained in federal immigration custody.

  • As Flores counsel we represent a class of thousands of immigrant children and monitor the long-standing consent decree which establishes standards for custody, release and treatment of children in federal immigration custody.
  • As counsel in Lucas R., a more recent lawsuit brought on behalf of a similar class of children, we seek to expand due process protections for children in federal immigration custody and establish that their rights are grounded in the Constitution.

While an ideal candidate will have experience with immigration litigation, more important for this position is experience helping to lead complex impact litigation in the federal courts.

Essential Functions

  • Helping to lead impact litigation.
  • Case development, including on-site interviews in federal detention centers and investigations and analysis of legal claims.
  • Legal research and analysis.
  • Collaborating with other NCYL staff and with co-counsel.
  • Litigation, and post-litigation enforcement of judgments/settlements, including drafting complaints, motions, memoranda, and briefs; and engaging in discovery, including conducting depositions.
  • Collaborating with immigrant children’s advocates throughout the country on litigation.
  • Developing new impact litigation on behalf of immigrant children.

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree
  • Admitted to practice law in California OR eligible to be admitted to practice law in California
  • Minimum of six years of experience at a public interest law firm or government agency with a focus on litigation OR six years of experience at a law firm with significant pro bono experience.

Desired Qualifications

  • Fluency in oral and written Spanish.
  • Knowledge of immigration law.
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills.
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to manage complex projects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Outstanding oral communication skills.
  • Creative problem solving and ability to stay focused on the big picture.
  • Commitment to NCYL’s overarching goals and objectives.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.

Salary and Benefits

This is a full-time, exempt, position. Salary is competitive at $88,615.00 or $97,431.00. NCYL provides health, dental, life, generous vacation and sick benefits, commuter benefits, employer contribution to a retirement plan and short-term and long-term disability insurance.

How to Apply   

Applications will be accepted until the position is filled. Submit a cover letter and resume to apply. No phone calls or emails please.

Apply at:—Immigration

NCYL is an affirmative action / equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, color, marital status, personal appearance, family responsibilities, matriculation, or genetic information. Applicants of color and those who will increase the diversity of NCYL are strongly encouraged to apply.

Senior Attorney – Immigration & Legal Advocacy
Tagged on: