Staff Attorney (LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative and Litigation Project)
National Immigrant Justice Center

The staff attorney provides legal representation and immigration service counseling to immigrants and refugees appearing before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and advocates for clients before other government administrative agencies and before other service agencies, as needed and/or as appropriate. This position is for a staff attorney whose time will be split between the LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative and the Litigation Project. The LGBT project represents individuals who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, and those who are living with HIV. NIJC’s Litigation Project litigates before various federal courts; the staff attorney position will focus on affirmative litigation in district court.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • LGBT Immigrant Rights Initiative:
    • Client Representation: Part of the staff attorney’s responsibilities will involve representing individuals, primarily those who are detained, in immigration court and before the Board of Immigration Appeals. The most common applications for relief will include asylum, withholding of removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Bond hearings and challenges to criminal grounds of removability will also be frequent.
    • Pro Bono Support: In addition to providing direct representation, the staff attorney will be responsible for providing pro bono support to some of the Initiative’s cases that are assigned to pro bono attorneys.
    • Case Screening: The staff attorney will participate in the Initiative’s case‐screening procedures and will participate in the process of deciding which cases are appropriate for acceptance. This work will include reviewing transcripts and administrative records in order to make recommendations regarding appellate representation.
  • Litigation Project
    • Legal Research: The staff attorney will focus on projects for affirmative (generally district court) litigation. S/he will research litigation ideas, write memos on those ideas, and participate in NIJC’s decision making process for pursuing affirmative litigation. In addition to researching substantive litigation ideas, the attorney will investigate issues such as jurisdictional hurdles, venue selection, class‐viability, and identifying potential plaintiffs.
    • Litigation Case Support: The staff attorney will assist the National Litigation Project attorney in drafting briefing in affirmative cases. This work will include drafting complaints, conducting discovery, responding to motions to dismiss or for summary judgment, trial preparation, and appeals.
    • Performs other duties and special requests as assigned.


  • Law degree from ABA accredited law school and a law license
  • At least 2 years’ experience working with immigrants or in the field of immigration litigation
  • Fluency in Spanish required
  • Excellent writing, editing, organizational, analytical, and computer skills
  • Strong preference for demonstrated legal drafting ability
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines
  • Ability to work in fast paced, professional, environment
  • Attentive to detail and able to take initiative to execute projects independently
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems, and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance

Please use the specific job description above when completing your application. Please apply at the link below, where there is also a more general description of staff attorney requirements and roles.

Get the newsletter