The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the position of Managing Attorney to be based in Los Angeles. The Young Center’s mission is to promote the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied immigrant children in the United States. The Young Center is a children’s rights organization dedicated to bringing a holistic child welfare lens to children in the immigration system. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as federally-appointed Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem) for unaccompanied immigrant children. The Young Center also conducts policy advocacy at the federal level, advocating for reform of the immigrant justice system, in which children are treated as adults, into a justice system that recognizes children as children, with rights and protection needs all their own.
The Managing Attorney will supervise the Child Advocate casework done by Los Angeles-based Staff Attorney and Social Worker, along with a Case Support Specialist, and the work of a Volunteer Coordinator. In that capacity, the Managing Attorney will work with program staff to develop advocacy strategies on cases to which the Young Center is appointed as Child Advocate and will review all work product within the Los Angeles office. This position will work closely with the Child Advocate Program Director to ensure that the office is meeting its case goals and producing high quality work, and that advocacy strategies align with and are consistent with the Child Advocate program’s approach and protocols. This position will be responsible for developing and maintaining relationships with local stakeholders, including ORR Federal Field Specialists, facility staff, legal service providers and immigration judges. In addition, this position will work closely with the Child Advocate Program Director to coordinate hiring and training new staff in Los Angeles.
This position is a unique opportunity to supervise a dynamic team engaging in written and oral advocacy on behalf of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children. Young Center attorneys advocate for the best interests of unaccompanied and separated children, applying federal law, domestic child welfare law, and international human rights law, including the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, and UNHCR Guidelines for Determining the Best Interests of the Child. The Young Center’s best interests recommendations focus on the child’s safety, permanency and well-being. By way of example, a Child Advocate may recommend that a child: be released from detention and reunified with a parent; be stepped down to a less restrictive setting; or not be repatriated to his/her home country because that child will not be safe.
The Young Center team is a passionate and interdisciplinary group of professionals—attorneys, social workers, and administrative staff—committed to ensuring that immigrant children are recognized as children, first and foremost, and receive the full protection they deserve under the law, even though they’re caught in an immigration system that often views them as adults-in-miniature.
Duties and Responsibilities: The Managing Attorney, under the supervision of the Child Advocate Program Director, will:
Supervise the casework of a Staff Attorney, Social Worker, and Case Support Specialist, including assigning cases, facilitating case rounds and leading staff meetings.
Supervise the work of the Volunteer Coordinator, including outreach and recruiting for volunteers as well as providing administrative support in the office.
Assist staff in developing case advocacy strategies.
Review and approve case strategy on all work product, including oral and written best interests recommendations for submission to stakeholders (immigration judges, USCIS, ORR, ICE, etc.).
Work with the Deputy Director for Written Advocacy on developing written best interests recommendations.
Ensure staff meet all case goals under Young Center’s government contract and private grants for the Child Advocate program.
Supervise performance, work flow, and professional development of individual supervisees, including conducting weekly meetings with each direct report; performing 90-day and annual reviews; and providing feedback and support.
Assist as needed with site or program grant proposals and drafting of reports to funders, including putting together the first draft of the ORR monthly report.
Coordinate hiring and training of attorneys, social workers, and case support specialists.
In collaboration with the Child Advocate Program Director, develop strategic partnerships in the Los Angeles area to support the work of the Child Advocates and meet regularly with stakeholders (ORR Federal Field Specialists, facility directors and other staff, legal service providers).
Oversee program staff communication and engagement with local stakeholders (e.g., engage in regular meetings and conduct ongoing presentations to develop working relationships).
Foster a supportive, collaborative work culture, leading and motivating staff to engage in creative, thoughtful, high-quality, and effective advocacy.
Other duties as assigned.
J.D. and license to practice law in at least one state.
A valid driver’s license.
Proficiency in Spanish, including the ability to speak with children in Spanish and to communicate over the telephone in Spanish with children, family members, and others.
Excellent writing, time management, and organizational skills.
Minimum of 4 years practicing law or 2 years doing Child Advocate work.
The ideal candidate will have at least 4 years of experience practicing law in the immigration or child welfare field.
Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a team to outcomes, including reviewing and editing writing.
Skills and temperament to build and maintain relationships with other stakeholders.
Experience working with immigrant and refugee children or survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other traumatic experiences.
A commitment to public interest work.
Ability to take initiative, to work collaboratively, and an enthusiasm for working with volunteers.
Passion, tenacity and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families.
Physical demands include regular attendance; keyboarding; sitting for long periods (at least 5 hours a day); driving. Ability to use computer, telephone, and copy machine. Ability to travel by plane, car and other conveyances within U.S.
Job offer is conditioned on clearance of fingerprint criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANTS) and tuberculosis test.
The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in its hiring practices and actively seeks a diverse applicant pool. Young Center encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, marital status, citizenship, disability, or veterans’ status. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
Additional Salary Information: The Young Center provides excellent benefits including health/dental/vision insurance (employee & dependents) at no cost to the employee, paid vacation and sick time, and a 401(k) plan.
About Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is dedicated to promoting the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem in immigration proceedings) for unaccompanied and separated children pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. The Young Center is at the forefront of best interests advocacy for unaccompanied immigrant children and is the only organization in the country serving as Child Advocate for detained, unaccompanied children pursuant to the TVPRA.