Immigration Justice Project - Staff Attorney - Children's Representation (2 positions)

ABA IJP, 2727 Camino Del Rio, San Diego, California, United States of America ● San Diego, CA, USA Req #1601
Tuesday, April 2, 2024

The American Bar Association (ABA) was founded on a commitment to advance the rule of law in the United States and beyond by providing practical resources for legal professionals, conducting law school accreditation, developing model ethics codes and more. Today, the ABA remains a member-based organization that works to ensure access to justice for all, a fair legal process, and respect for the rule of law at home and across the globe.


The ABA is committed to service and refining the standards that guide the legal profession. ABA staff are provided multiple types of continuing education and career development opportunities. Your work will help eliminate bias, enhance diversity, and advance the rule of law throughout the US and around the world.


The ABA recognizes the value staff contribute to our success through a generous benefits package that protects their health and their financial security.  The ABA’s wide array of benefit offerings include 401(k), medical, dental, vision, flexible spending accounts, health spending accounts, supplemental life and disability insurance, prepaid legal programs, and a complimentary membership to the American Bar Association, which offers additional benefits.

Flexible/hybrid work arrangements may be available for residents of CA, DC, IL, IN, IA, MD, MI, MN, TX, VA, and WI.  Residency requirements may apply. ABA employees are eligible to apply for the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program (PSLF). 

Job Summary/General Purpose of Job

  • Accountable for providing legal services to unaccompanied children in immigration removal proceedings, in the border region. This position will require regular involvement with individuals living in difficult circumstances and who may have experienced trauma.
  • In accordance with the federal policies and contractor funding requirements, clearance of federal background checks will be required for this position.

Essential Job Functions and Responsibilities

  • Primarily provides legal services including direct representation to locally released children in immigration removal proceedings.
  • Reviews legal screenings conducted by non-attorney staff. Reviews and assigns follow-up services, including additional interviewing, referrals to other legal services providers and advocates, or in- house representation.
  • Regularly appears in immigration court to represent children in removal proceedings and to act as Friend of Court for other youth as appropriate. May also appear in California state court as related to a child’s immigration case.
  • Develops and maintains legal competency relating to immigration detention work, specifically as applied to unaccompanied minors. Builds and maintains relations with local stakeholders. Observes ethical practices relating to client confidentiality using division’s case management system.
  • Builds and maintains relationships with local stakeholders.
  • Performs other related duties as required.

Required Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • Juris Doctorate or Master of Law (LLM) from an ABA-accredited law school and be in good standing. Licensed to practice law and member in the State Bar of California.
  • Licensed to practice law in the State of California.
  • Written and spoken fluency in a secondary language may be required based upon the location and client base served.
  • Intermediate proficiency with online research and Microsoft Office products (Word, Excel, OneDrive, teams)
  • Must be familiar with conducting virtual meetings, training, and observations on software such as Zoom, Teams, etc.
  • Must be able to pick up on client verbal and non-verbal cues.
  • Reliable transportation to travel to off-site work locations.
  • In accordance with the federal regulation, background checks will be required for this position.


Preferred Education, Qualifications, Experience

  • One year’s work experience.
  • Prior work experience with children, particularly from Spanish-speaking countries.
  • Prior volunteer, community, or work experience regarding immigration or detention.
  • Prior non-profit experience, particularly involving immigration detention.

Physical Requirements

  • Typical office setting with frequent visits at immigration detention facilities and/or immigration court, requiring an ability to move about the facility grounds, with documentation materials weighing up to 15 pounds, for up to 15 minutes or more in temperatures that may exceed 90 degrees.

Extent of Travel Required in the Job

  • As a normal course of business, this job will typically require travel of less than 15% of the time.

The American Bar Association is an Equal Opportunity, Affirmative Action Employer of all protected classes including veterans and individuals with disabilities. Women, minorities, veterans, and individuals with disabilities are encouraged to apply. In compliance with the ADA Amendments Act (ADAAA), if you have a disability and would like to request an accommodation in order to apply for a position with the American Bar Association, please call 312-988-5188.

Other details

  • Pay Type Salary
  • Min Hiring Rate $72,236.00
  • Max Hiring Rate $80,000.87
  • Travel Required Yes
  • Travel % 15
  • Required Education Doctorate
Location on Google Maps
  • ABA IJP, 2727 Camino Del Rio, San Diego, California, United States of America
  • San Diego, CA, USA