Staff Attorney- El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras

About KIND:

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. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 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.

Position Summary:

KIND seeks a Staff Attorney to provide representation to Central American children applying for refugee resettlement and family reunification before USCIS through the Central American Minors (CAM) program. The Staff Attorney will be responsible for managing their own direct representation caseload, and may also mentor pro bono attorneys providing representation. This position may require some travel within Central America.

This position is based in El Salvador, Guatemala or Honduras.

Essential Functions:

  • Work with the Director of Legal Protection and the Supervising Attorney to develop case acceptance criteria.
  • Conduct individual legal screenings and accept cases consistent with acceptance criteria, consulting with Director of Legal Protection and Supervising Attorney on more complex cases.
  • Counsel clients on the CAM process and provide updates on case processing.
  • Regularly meet with clients and other individuals relevant to the child’s claim to gain trust and gather information relevant to potential bases of refugee claim.
  • Conduct case analysis including evaluation of the child’s refugee claim and bars to eligibility, conducting legal research as needed.
  • Gather relevant evidence to support the claim and/or support child or family to gather evidence to support the claim.
  • Prepare declarations from child and/or other relevant actors, supporting evidence and legal memoranda on an as needed basis.
  • Prepare children for refugee interview and, if permitted, represent children at the interview (remotely or in person).
  • Seek case updates from USCIS and/or the International Organization for Migration (IOM), other actors involved in decision making and/or processing the case.
  • File requests for re-interview or for reconsideration (appeals) as needed.
  • Support children through the travel process, including making local referrals for assistance seeking travel documents and authorizations as needed and coordinating with family in the U.S.
  • Identify and make referrals for high-risk protection cases requiring expedited processing and short-term protection solutions in country.
  • In coordination with US-based KIND staff, recruit, train and mentor pro bono attorneys and other volunteers to provide representation and other case support as needed.
  • Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KIND’s case management systems, and provide quantitative and qualitative information as needed to support project reporting requirements and other functions.

Qualifications and Requirements:

  • J.D. and admitted to state bar.
  • Advanced fluency in the Spanish language.
  • Minimum of 1 year of experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients both in and outside the United States in humanitarian immigration claims such as humanitarian parole or other programs such as CAM, asylum or refugee proceedings, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas.
  • Experience working with children or adolescents, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
  • Experience with unaccompanied children and ability to represent and counsel client with culturally sensitive and trauma informed approach.
  • 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.
  • Experience living or working in Central America is preferred.

Salary Range: $67,440-$84,300 dependent on experience

How to apply

Application Instructions: Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role in https://supportkind.hrmdirect.com/employment/job-opening.php?req=2109879&cust_sort1=100304&&jbsrc=1025 .

KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.

Disclaimer: KIND is committed to an ethical recruitment and hiring process and maintains a firm “no fees” recruitment policy. We will never charge a fee or ask for money as part of the application process. KIND also conducts all interviews via telephone or video conference, and at no time will KIND engage in a text or mobile app-based application or interview process. For more information, please visit the following website: https://supportkind.org/join-the-team/kind-employment-practices/.

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