Managing Attorney – Immigration
The Senior Attorney effectively leads the Immigration Team in all aspects of client representation and administrative responsibilities. The Senior Attorney represents clients in preparation, submission, and representation on affirmative filings, as well as in all phases of immigration court proceedings. The Senior Attorney trains, supervises, and co-counsels with lesser experienced staff. Provides and supervises community education presentations as well as substantive trainings to staff and others partner organizations. Recruits, trains, and supervises pro bono attorneys, students, and volunteers. Is responsible for administrative functions and grant requirements specific to the team.
About the Organization
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (LASSD), the largest poverty law firm serving San Diego County since 1953, strengthens our communities by redressing our clients’ legal problems, empowering our clients to access and effectively participate within the legal, governmental, and social systems and encouraging self-empowerment in the fight against poverty and injustice. LASSD continues to be a proud, committed, and compassionate group of people dedicated to providing equal access to justice for San Diegans through aggressive, quality legal services. #justicebeginshere
• Oversees the substantive and administrative responsibilities of the practice team.
• Interviews prospective clients, renders legal advice, and represents clients in all phases of affirmative immigration applications and immigration court removal defense; maintains an increasingly complex caseload.
• Prepares affirmative filings for USCIS and accompanies clients to USCIS interviews and filing appeals from denied applications.
• Trains and assists less experienced staff attorneys and accredited representatives to become effective in representation of their clients through trial preparation, drafting of pleadings, effective research, and case preparation and litigation strategy.
• Evaluates the work of and creates professional development plans for staff underneath his/her direct supervision.
• With assistance from Lead Attorney, monitors team productivity and quality of work, helps to maintain the team calendar, conducts team meetings and case reviews.
• Manages all team-specific grants, including grant writing, ensuring timely completion of deliverables, drafting, and submitting grant reports, responding to funders, preparing for, and participating in monitoring visits.
• Proposes new funding strategies and solicits increased funding via grant proposals and submissions for their team.
• In concert with the Lead Attorney, assists in the implementation of substantive and administrative policies and procedures.
• Attends community outreach and education events, conducts substantive workshops, trainings, and clinics; conducts screenings and assessments of applicants and clients.
• Develops and maintains a positive working relationship with client communities, community-based organizations, partner organizations, the immigration court, and government agencies.
• Timely and accurately performs all required personal administrative duties for the benefit of the program and as an example for their staff (e.g., is punctual, sets a good attendance example for staff, daily entry of time and case notes into the Case Management System, and timely completes administrative and required regulatory and contractual tasks).
• Assists in the development and implementation of creative strategies for resolution of systemic problems which adversely affect our client communities, including legislative and administrative advocacy.
• Ensures compliance with all program and grant requirements.
• Works closely with Executive Management and meaningfully reports to the Board of Directors annually.
• Answers questions about immigration eligibility for all LASSD staff.
• Other duties as assigned by Management.
• Must be a member in good standing with the bar and eligible to practice in the highest court of any state, possession, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or the District of Columbia.
• Must have five (5) years’ experience as a practicing attorney, three (3) years of which must be in civil poverty law or public interest law.
• Fluency in written and spoken Spanish required.
• Must have substantive and procedural expertise in all aspects of the practice of immigration law.
• Skill in working independently and following through on assignments with accuracy and minimal direction, as well as supporting team efforts, and to strategize and plan to timely and consistently meet grant deliverables and reporting requirements.
• Demonstrated skills in managing others in a regulated climate and ensuring personal and team compliance with such regulations.
• Excellent interpersonal skills and demonstrated ability to work with other teams, the public, volunteers, court
personnel, government agencies, and partner organizations.
• Must have the desire and ability to work with and mentor less experienced attorneys and staff.
• Must have demonstrated knowledge, skills, and experience in the proposed area of practice with the ability to develop procedural and substantive strategies to effectively represent clients and undertake resolution of structural inequities affecting our client population.
• High level of attention to detail required.
• Must have experience in working with and representing our client communities and demonstrated commitment to serving low-income people.
• Education and/or experience that demonstrates an understanding of the needs of low-income persons, immigrants and/or other under-served, under-represented populations.
• Ability to work successfully with people from diverse backgrounds.
• Ability to work occasional evenings and weekends as required by events and deadlines.
• Must have reliable transportation.
Desired Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:
• Experience with grant writing, reporting and management.
• Excellent Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint skills.
Salary and Benefits:
The Immigration Senior Attorney is an exempt position with an annual salary range of $110,000 – $165,000. The starting salary is $110,000. In addition, there is a bilingual pay increase of 2% for passing an oral test and 2% for passing a written test for threshold languages other than English.
LASSD offers a generous benefits package, a 35-hour workweek, paid vacation leave and sick leave and 100% employer-paid medical premium, 50% employer-paid premium for dependents under LASSD health plan, as well as dental, vision and life benefits. Staff also have the option to participate in a 403(b)-retirement plan and dependent and health flex savings accounts (FSA). LASSD has its own law school loan repayment program and is an eligible nonprofit employer for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) Program.
LASSD is an equal opportunity employer, we hire without regard to race, color, religion, religious creed (including religious dress and grooming practices), national origin, ancestry, citizenship, physical or mental disability, medical condition (including cancer and genetic characteristics), genetic information, marital status, sex (including pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, or related medical conditions), gender, gender identity, gender expression, age (40 years and over), sexual orientation, veteran and/or military status, domestic violence victim status, political affiliation, and any other status protected by state or federal law.
Hybrid Work Environment:
Legal Aid Society of San Diego (“LASSD”) has adopted a hybrid work environment in which most staff are required to work in the office part of the week and permitted to work remotely for the remainder of the week, provided their job duties allow. All employees are issued LASSD computers and provided with appropriate supplies to perform their work. LASSD has implemented and continues to explore additional technologies to make our hybrid working environment as efficient and connected as possible. All employees must be available to travel to LASSD offices and service locations throughout San Diego County as needed and in compliance with public health advisories. Applicants must reside in or near San Diego County or plan to relocate in or near the County prior to their start date and must be able to commute to the physical Legal Aid Society of San Diego office locations or service delivery locations within San Diego County. LASSD’s normal business hours are 9am-5pm, but we are open to providing flexible work schedules to the extent feasible for the position. LASSD reserves the right to change these policies at any time.
Diversity and Inclusion:
It is vitally important to LASSD that we represent the community that we serve. LASSD is a signatory to the San Diego County Bar Association’s Diversity Pledge. We pledge to promote diversity and inclusion through hiring and retention, promotion and leadership, engagement of outside counsel, and participation in legal community diversity initiatives. We strongly encourage applicants of diverse backgrounds to apply.
Legal Aid Society of San Diego is an equal opportunity employer.