KIDS IN NEED OF DEFENSE (KIND)
STAFF ATTORNEY - DETAINED
Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has provided nearly 18,000 children with high quality representation in their immigration proceedings by training more than 41,000 attorneys and legal staff and cultivating partnerships with over 600 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
To provide expert legal services to unaccompanied children currently in or recently released from local immigration detention facilities, facing removal proceedings through zealous direct representation as well as pro bono facilitation, including robust consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND cases. As needed, supervise Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-attorney staff.
May be responsible for one or more of the following:
- Train a team of paralegals to ensure the provision of high quality intakes and legal orientations for unaccompanied children residing in immigration detention facilities.
- Communicate regularly with shelter staff regarding the status of cases in detention.
- Oversee the referral process regarding children who are set to be released outside of the Houston area.
- Once children are released locally from detention, based on caseloads and experience, funding streams, and institutional priorities, perform hybrid mentoring and direct legal representation functions, including providing robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case as well as providing zealous legal advocacy to KIND’s clients in direct representation cases. Percentage of mentoring and direct representation caseloads will be determined by management in the Legal Services component;
- As needed, represent a smaller docket of children in their applications for relief who do not have reunification options and must remain longer in detention.
- Perform ordinary functions of legal counsel providing direct representation, including: legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration and/or state court or agencies; and drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits;
- Place cases with pro bono attorneys and build relationships between KIND and the pro bono community;
- In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team and the local field office Senior Attorney/s, as needed, help develop pro bono training resources and local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. With supervision, present trainings to pro bono attorneys and community groups;
- Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KIND’s case management systems;
- Contribute to overall office functioning, including joining field office and KIND-wide calls and meetings, participating in field office and KIND-wide committees, and assisting with office events; and,
- As needed, supervise Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-legal staff including: onboarding, skills training, daily support and coaching, review and quality assurance of filings, regular check-ins and performance evaluations, and provision of consistent and effective supervision and oversight.
- J.D. and admitted to Texas bar;
- Minimum 1 year experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas and T visas;
- Minimum 1 year experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, or experience working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma;
- Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills;
- Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing;
- Ability to take initiative, multi-task, and work independently.
- Advanced fluency in Spanish language required.
- Experience working with law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers preferred.
PHYSICAL DEMANDS AND WORK ENVIRONMENT
- Ability to work within an office environment and have regular interaction via telephone, videoconference, IM, and email with KIND's team
- Regular/weekly travel to local immigration detention facility required.
- Possibly Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-attorney staff.
Job is dependent on contractor funding
Applications, including a cover letter, resume, salary requirement, writing sample and contact information for three professional references, should be submitted online at: https://supportkind.org/jobs/. Applications that do not contain all of the above-listed required materials will not be considered.
Applications should be submitted as soon as possible and will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Applicants selected for interviews will be duly notified. Please no inquiries or phone calls.
KIND is an EOE committed to inclusive hiring and dedicated to diversity in both its staff and work. The selected applicant will be asked to undergo a background check before acceptance of the final offer.