The Bronx Defenders – an innovative, progressive, holistic indigent defense office in the South Bronx – seeks an energetic advocate with a commitment to social justice to fill a position as Civil Legal Advocate in our Immigration Practice.
Since opening our doors in 1997, The Bronx Defenders has served over 300,000 clients in Bronx County. The Bronx Defenders pioneered a model of legal representation called holistic defense, designed to fight both the causes and consequences of court-involvement. Our staff of over 280 lawyers and advocates work on interdisciplinary teams made up of criminal defense, civil, immigration, and family defense attorneys, as well as social workers, legal advocates, parent advocates, investigators, and team administrators, all of whom work to provide holistic legal and social service advocacy to our clients. The Bronx Defenders also houses a community organizing and an impact litigation team, serving as a community resource and force for systemic change. We engage with clients, community residents, and policymakers as we seek ways to better serve the Bronx community and enhance access to justice for all.
The Bronx Defenders pioneered the model of integrated criminal defense and immigration representation over fifteen years ago. Immigration attorneys work closely with clients and their advocates throughout the pendency of their cases in both Criminal and Family Court to avoid or mitigate negative immigration consequences. Additionally, immigration attorneys at The Bronx Defenders represent clients in deportation proceedings in both detained and non-detained settings, provide affirmative immigration services, and pursue community-based systemic reform litigation and advocacy aimed at reforming unforgiving federal immigration laws. Since November 2013, our immigration attorneys have also served as assigned counsel at the Varick Street Immigration Court under the New York Immigrant Family Unity Project, the first-ever universal representation project in immigration court. Our Immigration Practice consists of 29 attorneys (including the managing director and 4 supervisors), 2 social workers and 3 legal advocates.
The Bronx Defenders seeks a college graduate with prior immigration experience in a legal context, possessing strong advocacy skills and a commitment to social justice to fill the role of Immigration Civil Legal Advocate for NYIFUP. The Civil Legal Advocate will work with detained clients at the New York Immigration Court on Varick Street as part of an interdisciplinary team of Immigration Attorneys and Social Workers from The Bronx Defenders. The Immigration Civil Legal Advocate will provide extensive assistance to the Immigration Attorneys in the preparation of applications for relief from removal.
· Completing application forms, gathering supporting documents, assisting family members in preparing written declarations to the Court, gathering medical, tax, educational, employment, and other relevant records,
· Gathering and analyzing country conditions materials
· Communicating with family members
· Preparing filings for Court
· Advocating on behalf of our clients to Immigration & Customs Enforcement agents regarding logistics of their imminent release and removal
· Frequent travel to Immigration Detention Centers located in New Jersey and upstate New York
Applicants must have:
· Spanish fluency or high proficiency, as the job requires extensive legal counseling and representation in the Spanish language
· Bachelor’s Degree
· Excellent organizational and verbal and written communication skills
· Strong interpersonal skills with individuals from diverse backgrounds and in crisis circumstances
· Ability to work resourcefully and independently with limited supervision
· Ability and desire to work collaboratively in interdisciplinary teams
· Prior immigration experience in a legal context
· Demonstrated commitment to defending indigent immigrant populations charged with criminal offenses
· A valid driver’s license, as some clients are detained in facilities a short drive from New York City (a car is provided)
Salary commensurate with experience. Excellent benefits.
Level of Language Proficiency: Fluency/high proficiency in Spanish
Professional Level: None specified
Minimum Education Required: 4-year degree
How To Apply
Applications will be accepted through March 1, 2018. To apply, please visit our career portal at the link above, select the position of interest, click APPLY TO THIS JOB ONLINE and upload your resume and cover letter in one document when prompted. Applications without cover letters will NOT be considered. The start date for this position is immediate or as soon as possible.
Please contact Sarah Deri Oshiro, Managing Director, Immigration Practice, via email at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions regarding the position. Please do not call to inquire about the position.
The Bronx Defenders is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, committed to inclusive hiring, and dedicated to diversity in our work and staff. We strongly encourage candidates of all identities, experiences, orientations, and communities to apply.