Supervising Staff Attorney

(anti)Detention Team

Immigrants’ Rights Project



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, social, 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 & Economic Justice, 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 are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.

Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP), staffed by 16 attorneys, seven support staff, and two social workers, provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, 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, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeal, and conducts impact litigation.  For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles.



Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP) is seeking a full-time Supervising Staff Attorney to lead its 5-person (anti)Detention Team. Housed within Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project, the (anti)Detention Team’s mission is to fight for the collective liberation of people harmed by the U.S. detention and deportation machines through client-centered legal advocacy. The team’s work focuses primarily on providing direct legal services to people incarcerated by immigration authorities in the Los Angeles region. The team also represents other individuals at the margins of our immigration system, including deported veterans, people subjected to unlawful border policies such as metering and the Migration Protection Protocols (MPP), and individuals with criminal convictions. We use our client-centered approach to inform our engagement in coalition-building, advocacy, and – in limited circumstances – federal litigation. The team, currently comprised of three staff attorneys and one paralegal, is funded through a combination of local (LA Justice Fund), state (CDSS Removal Defense), and private grants.

The supervising attorney will be responsible for the following tasks, though others may be required as the position demands:

  • Providing excellent supervision to team members on all aspects of their direct legal services work, advocacy efforts, and professional development;
  • Fostering strategic vision for mission-driven sustainability and growth of the team, including through pursuit of funding opportunities;
  • Managing multiple grants, ensuring compliance with deliverables and reporting requirements;
  • Engaging in local, state, and/or federal advocacy efforts in support of universal representation, abolition, and other priority areas impacting people harmed by immigration detention and deportation;
  • In collaboration with Public Counsel’s communications team, developing communications strategy and engaging with media as consistent with litigation and advocacy goals;
  • Maintaining small caseload of cases for individuals seeking relief before the Department of Homeland Security, Executive Office for Immigration Review, and/or federal courts;
  • Providing technical assistance to pro bono attorneys handling cases for immigration relief before the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and/or the federal courts;
  • Building and maintaining relationships with organizations across Los Angeles, California, and beyond advocating for the rights of immigrants impacted by detention and deportation;
  • Participating in efforts within the Immigrants’ Rights Project, and Public Counsel more broadly, to promote thoughtful leadership and a positive, equitable work environment.

The supervising attorney will benefit from being part of an experienced and creative team at Public Counsel, and also part of a larger community of advocates in Los Angeles and beyond.



  • JD and California Bar Admission (*Admission to another state’s bar may be acceptable)
  • A minimum of five (5) years of prior removal defense experience – including on behalf of individuals with criminal records – strongly preferred, and including but not limited to representation before the Department of Homeland Security, the Executive Office for Immigration Review, and the federal courts
  • Demonstrated ability to supervise a dynamic team a plus
  • Prior grants management experience a plus
  • Prior federal litigation and/or advocacy experience a plus
  • Prior media experience, or willingness to train and engage in media efforts, a plus
  • Fluency in Spanish preferred
  • Experience working with individuals of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds, including individuals with a history of incarceration and/or trauma
  • Willingness and ability to travel to/from detention facilities in Southern California region, public health conditions permitting
  • Ability to work independently, think creatively, and problem solve
  • Strong organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work well under pressure and in teams
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel’s (anti)Detention Team


  • This position is available immediately. The supervisory attorney position is a full-time, Exempt position. Salary is commensurate with experience.
  • Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including: (1) medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options, (2) the option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, (3) a 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and an employer contribution after a year of employment, and (4) employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
  • 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.


Continuous until position is filled.


We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume.

Please click on this link to apply:—antiDetention-Team



Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.


Public Counsel EEO Statement

Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

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.

Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.

Supervising Staff Attorney, Immigrants’ Rights
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