Staff Attorney
Immigrant Child and Family Rights Project
New York, NY US
Posted 14 days ago
Job Description
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for Staff Attorney, to be based in New York. This attorney will join the Young Center’s Immigrant Child and Family Rights Project, working cases involving the separation of immigrant children from their parents by U.S. immigration authorities and other cases where children face prolonged separation from family. The Staff Attorney will be appointed as the independent Child Advocate in some of these cases and will supervise volunteers appointed as Child Advocates for unaccompanied immigrant children who have been separated from their parents or family and are in federal custody in the New York area. In addition, the Staff Attorney will work with the Young Center’s Policy Program to conduct policy advocacy around family separations. 

The Young Center 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. In the last year, we have been appointed to an increasing number of children who arrived at the U.S. border with their parents but who were separated by immigration authorities. The Immigrant Child and Family Rights Project was created to respond to these cases, and other cases where children face separation from family.

The Young Center has programs in Chicago, New York, Harlingen, Houston, San Antonio, Washington DC, Phoenix, and Los Angeles. Our team is a passionate and interdisciplinary group of professionals—attorneys, social workers, volunteer coordinators 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 Staff Attorney’s primary responsibilities will be:
  • Serve as Child Advocate and supervise volunteers appointed as Child Advocate for separated and unaccompanied children in federal custody in New York.
  • Advance cases by gathering information about each child’s life from the child, family members and agencies with relevant information.
  • Apply a child’s-rights paradigm to identify and advocate for the best interests of these children with each federal agency with authority over the child, including shelter officials, the custodial agency, immigration judges, asylum officers, immigration attorneys, and state court judges, when applicable.
  • Prepare written best interests recommendations applying federal, state and international law.
  • Develop relationships and coordinate with stakeholders serving immigrant children in the New York area.
  • Train and supervise volunteer Child Advocates in the New York area.
  • Help develop strategies for family separation cases across all Young Center offices.
  • Engage in local and regional advocacy on the issue of family separation, under the direction of the Policy Program.
  • Gather and analyze data from the Young Center cases to inform policy briefs and media outreach.
  • Participate in coalitions working on family separation issues.
  • Assist with other program responsibilities as assigned

  • J.D. and authorization to practice law.
  • Proficiency in Spanish, including the ability to speak with children and communicate over the telephone with children, family members and others.
  • Excellent written and oral advocacy skills.  
  • Ability to take initiative, and to work independently and collaboratively. 
  • Enthusiasm for working with volunteers.
  • Passion, tenacity and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families.

  • At least two years practicing law, ideally in the fields of child welfare, juvenile justice or immigration.

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: 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. Salary is commensurate with experience. 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.

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.


Special Notes/Instructions
Please submit your resume, cover letter, and writing sample as a single file under "Resume".
Contact Information
Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Incomplete applications will not be reviewed. For inquires regarding the status of your application, please write to; no information will be provided by phone. For more information about the Young Center, visit us at
Job Summary
Employment Term and Type
Regular, Full Time
Salary and Benefits
Salary is commensurate with experience. 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.
Required Education
Required Experience
2+ years
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