Human Rights First

Since 1978, Human Rights First has worked in the U.S. and abroad to create a secure and humane world by advancing justice, human dignity and respect for the rule of law. We support human rights activists who fight for basic freedoms and peaceful change at the local level; protect refugees in flight from persecution and repression; promote fair economic practices by creating safeguards for workers' rights; and help build a strong international system of justice and accountability for the worst human rights crimes. Collaboration, innovation, and the search for lasting solutions are the hallmarks of our approach to the toughest human rights problems.

Jul 22, 2019
The  staff attorney  in the Los Angeles office will assist in administering Human Rights First’s pro bono asylum legal representation work, primarily within the Los Angeles metro area. The staff attorney will mentor law firm attorneys providing representation in asylum cases in removal proceedings (detained and non-detained) and affirmative cases before the asylum office. In addition, the staff attorney will engage in direct representation of asylum cases (both affirmative and in removal proceedings).    MAJOR DUTIES & RESPONSIBILITIES Conduct legal screenings and intake interviews with asylum seekers in the Los Angeles area, including at detention facilities in Southern California; Assist in identifying cases appropriate for pro bono placement and direct representation within our program;  Ensure that refugees represented by Human Rights First’s pro bono team receive high-quality legal representation by providing (1) in-depth mentoring to volunteer attorneys and (2) direct representation; Provide volunteer attorneys with prompt and thorough legal and procedural support on our pro bono asylum cases, including conducting trainings, strategizing on individual cases, reviewing draft submissions, and informing volunteers of significant legal developments in asylum law; Build and maintain strong relationships with local law firms and volunteer attorneys; Assist in placing our cases with volunteer attorneys and promote attorney interest in pro bono representation of asylum seekers; Collaborate with other local service providers to strategize on how to best meet the needs of the immigrant population and improve access to legal representation Southern California; Identify, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts; Provide legal advice and guidance to in-house legal services coordinators and social worker; Assist in recruiting and supervising law school and college interns; Assist in furthering advocacy initiatives by meeting with local officials at government agencies and detention facilities, and engaging in other advocacy efforts in collaboration with the Refugee Protection team, as needed; Promote Human Rights First’s mission by participating in local community events, promotional events, and other professional networking events that will increase the organization’s profile in the community; Support organizational efforts that seek to serve and advance refugee representation and protection goals at the United States’ Southern border by means of representation, advocacy, and litigation strategies; Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and refugee representation activities, including collecting data for funding proposals and reports; and Other duties as requested based on the team and/or organization’s need. REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND EXPERIENCE A U.S. law degree (J.D.) and admission to the bar, preferably in California (admission to other state bars acceptable); At least two years of direct representation of asylum seekers at all levels of the administrative process, with preference for immigration court experience; Fluency in Spanish is  highly desirable  (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is a plus; Commitment to working with volunteer lawyers and experience in mentoring other attorneys, especially on immigration law matters; Ability to manage numerous tasks simultaneously, work under pressure and meet deadlines, and to identify and analyze legal issues; Knowledge of U.S. immigration law and policy; Ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals from a variety of backgrounds as well as survivors of trauma or torture; Strong interpersonal and written/oral communication skills; Demonstrated ability to work independently and collaboratively, particularly in a collegial, team-based approach to work; Adaptability to embrace and navigate new, dynamic projects, and an ability to recognize and maximize opportunities on behalf of the organization; Demonstrated ability to work successfully across organization lines, to work comfortably in a variety of settings, including legal, academic, and advocacy, and to work confidently with government officials and the media; and The ability to travel by car to local detention facilities and the United States’ Southern border, including into Mexico.  Possession of a valid driver’s license highly preferred   APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS:  Interested candidates should apply at Please include a cover letter, resume, and short writing sample, all in PDF format.   Only selected applicants will be contacted for phone or in-person interviews.  NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE Human Rights First is committed to equal employment opportunity and recruiting talent from across all diverse groups. We do not discriminate against any person because of the individual’s race, color, creed, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, affection preference, gender identity, marital status, national origin, citizenship status, disability, status as a war veteran, status as a victim of domestic violence, or on any other basis prohibited by law. We believe a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives make us a stronger and more effective organization.   Level of Language Proficiency Fluency in Spanish is  highly desirable  (reading and writing); fluency in additional languages, particularly French or Arabic, is a plus;  
Human Rights First Los Angeles, CA, USA Legal