Staff Attorney – Immigrants’ Rights Project

Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) seeks a full-time, bilingual (Spanish/English) staff attorney to join its Unaccompanied Children’s team.  This attorney will focus on direct representation of unaccompanied children (UCs) and may also have the opportunity to participate in impact litigation on behalf of UCs.  The attorney will join our UC team that includes five attorneys, a social worker and four support staff.  This position is currently grant funded through March 31, 2021.  The grant is contingent on renewal each year.



Public Counsel is the largest pro bono public interest law firm in the country.  Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community.  Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law.  Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 130.  We seek to have a racially inclusive staff.


Public Counsel’s IRP is fighting for a world where all (im)migrants live with dignity, power, and opportunity. IRP collaborates with clients and communities to fight fearlessly for legal protections and a just immigration system. IRP provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), VAWA, T and U visas, and other relief in immigration court.  In addition to direct representation, IRP engages in advocacy at the local and national levels, represents detained immigrants, recruits and trains hundreds of pro bono attorneys each year, handles appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and conducts impact litigation challenging governmental action.  For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles.




Public Counsel seeks an attorney for its UC team.  The UC Staff Attorney will provide direct representation to UCs in removal proceedings before the Los Angeles and Van Nuys Immigration Courts.  This includes representing children in state courts throughout Southern California to obtain predicate orders related to SIJS and representation before USCIS for those children with asylum claims, SIJS petitions, and/or other applications for relief.  The staff attorney will work handle all aspects of a client’s case, including appeals to the California Court of Appeals and Board of Immigration Appeals if necessary. The attorney may also have the opportunity to work with our UC Impact Litigation Team, which represents unaccompanied children in appeals and litigation in individual and class action cases in federal and state court.



  • Juris Doctor degree with California Bar membership;
  • Fluency in Spanish;
  • Excellent research, analytical, and written skills;
  • Strong case management, legal research and writing skills;
  • Ability to work well under pressure;
  • Competence in and dedication to working with others of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds including individuals with a history of severe trauma;
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel;




  • Prior work experience with children;
  • Two years experience practicing immigration law, with particular preference for experience in removal defense and representation of children seeking asylum and/or SIJS (will consider law school clinic experience and internships);



This position is available immediately.  The UC Staff Attorney is a full-time, exempt position.  Salary is commensurate with abilities and experience.  Excellent benefits.




Continuous until position is filled.  Candidates are encouraged to apply immediately as we anticipate hiring within weeks of this posting.


Public Counsel follows all emergency state and local orders arising from the current COVID-19 crisis. Though generally this position is office based, currently all staff must work remotely from their homes. Public Counsel will assess when the physical office will reopen in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders.



Please email in one PDF the following: cover letter, resume, at least two references, and a legal writing sample.  Write in the email subject line: “UC Staff Attorney Position.”  Send this to:
Sara Van Hofwegen, Supervising Senior Staff Attorney, at


Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.  No phone calls please.


Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer


All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.


All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

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