Immigration Law Staff Attorney/Advocate




Immigration Law Staff Attorney/Advocate (Bilingual, Spanish-speaking) – San Francisco, CA 

Full-Time, Exempt

Hybrid – 2-3 days in-office 


About Us: 

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.” – Nelson Mandela


We believe that even the biggest problems can be broken down into small, achievable steps. We believe poverty and access to justice are part of the same problem. And to solve this, we just need to discover what the steps are. At Open Door Legal, we’re pioneering the country’s first system of universal access to civil legal representation to dramatically reduce poverty and prove that the law really can belong to all of us. We’ve grown 100x since our founding and in the next 3 years, we hope to finish scaling across San Francisco and eventually become a model across the country. To achieve this ambitious goal, we’ve created an award-winning and best-in-class legal aid organization full of creative, results-oriented people. We believe that injustice is the heart of poverty and we’re looking for someone to help us make a systemic impact on how we, as a society, ensure justice for all. 


Overview of Position: 

Immigrants are the lifeblood of our city. With almost 40% of San Francisco’s residents being foreign-born, San Francisco would literally not function without immigrants. Since studies have found that immigrants are more than 5x more likely to obtain legal status when represented, we believe that the only way to create the best-case scenario for our immigrant neighbors is to ensure that everyone who qualifies for immigration relief is able to obtain legal representation. Even more than that, obtaining legal status for everyone who qualifies will help reduce poverty in our city by dramatically improving each immigrant’s earning potential. 


We are hiring an Immigration Law Staff Attorney to help ensure that everyone who lives in Open Door Legal’s service area who needs immigration legal assistance can access timely, competent representation. Currently, we handle only affirmative, family-based and humanitarian petitions in-house, with the flexibility to take on representation of existing clients in removal proceedings in limited cases. Cases your team will handle include family petitions, naturalization, adjustment of status, affirmative asylum, U-visas, T-visas, VAWA, SIJS, and more, consistent with our universal access model which enables us to accept any viable case, even if it doesn’t fit neatly into any pre-existing category. Because we are a full-service legal aid organization representing clients in nearly every area of civil law, we can and do frequently collaborate across teams to provide comprehensive legal assistance to clients in every area of need, including Family Law, Housing Law, and Employment Law.


Overall, this position is intended to be a challenging and rewarding experience. Cultural humility is not just conceptual to you, you embody it and commit to growth. Success in this role requires grit, dynamism, teamwork, care, and passion (our team’s five values).  You will report directly to our Lead Immigration Attorney.



  • Directly represent clients, including monolingual Spanish speakers, in every type of affirmative immigration petition as well as the occasional case in removal.
  • Provide bilingual (Spanish) services and support to our low-income clients with sensitivity and awareness to various cultural, socio-economic, and disability barriers to service and skillfully navigate difficult or tense situations. Deliver a consistently positive client feedback rating for the Immigration Law Department.
  • Own a full caseload, and be responsible for making sure the clients’ goals are met.
  • Perform immigration law intakes in-person and virtually across multiple physical Open Door Legal locations.
  • Appear in court and USCIS representing clients as needed.
  • Gain and maintain the skills and knowledge needed to competently represent clients before the relevant government agencies and components, including but not limited to VAWA, asylum, removal defense, U-visas, T-visas, TPS, DACA, Family-based applications, SIJS, and Consular processing.
  • Empower immigration law clients to know their rights, navigate the immigration system, protect themselves and their loved ones, and resolve their immigration law issues.
  • Embrace and embody our values of teamwork, grit, caring, passion, and dynamism. 



    •  Membership in good standing with the California State Bar. Applicants without active California bar membership will not be considered. However, those without a license are encouraged to apply to volunteer with us at 
  • Advanced Spanish proficiency (speaking, reading, and writing).
  • Must genuinely enjoy and be motivated by working with low-income clients, the vast majority of whom are people of color, and be able to work effectively with clients impacted by trauma (emotional, mental, and physical). 
  • Familiarity with immigration court procedures and an enthusiasm for professional growth and learning as well as for staying on top of the rapid and often substantive changes in immigration law.
  • High level of comfort in learning and using technology and cloud-based case management systems. We use Salesforce, Dropbox, and the Google Suite.  
  • Must be willing to make a minimum two-year commitment to the organization. 


Bonus Points: 

  • Experience working in a high-volume legal aid or similar environment. 
  • Experience living in Central America or working with Central American populations.
  • Having lived a significant period of your life in San Francisco proper. 
  • Additional language ability in Cantonese.


Starting compensation for an advocate is $70,500-$86,500; for an attorney it’s $83,000-$99,000 per year per year based on experience.



  • Loan Repayment Assistance – for staff pursuing 10-year public interest debt forgiveness, we will pay the minimum payment on all qualifying loans so that you don’t need to worry about student loan debt (this is a conditional benefit).
  • Medical/Dental/Vision Plan offerings at 100% coverage.
  • Paid mental health benefit.
  • Generous paid time off.
  • Flexible work hours.
  • Generous paid parental leave.
  • 401K/Retirement Account.
  • We believe everyone is always learning. We financially invest in individual learning plans for each staff member and provide many internal and external mentorships, coaching, and learning opportunities (conferences, workshops, etc.).
  • We are a fun and hard-working office with best-in-class technology solutions for anyone who’s passionate about making a meaningful and measurable difference.


Applications received before April 19 will receive priority consideration.

Apply here: 

Ideal starting date: May 2024


Open Door legal is proud to be an Equal Opportunity employer. We do not discriminate based upon race, religion, color, national origin, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions), sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, gender expression, transgender status, sexual stereotypes, age, status as a protected veteran, status as an individual with a disability, or any other applicable legally protected characteristics. We also consider qualified applicants with criminal histories, consistent with applicable federal, state, and local law.

We are committed to providing reasonable accommodations for candidates with disabilities in our recruiting process. If you need any assistance or accommodations due to a disability, please let us know at whitney [at] opendoorlegal [dot] org.

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