Temporary Staff Attorney- Immigrants' Rights Project
Los Angeles, CA Immigrants’ Rights Project
Job Type
Full-time, Temporary



Public Counsel is the nation’s largest provider of pro bono legal services. Founded in 1970, it is dedicated to advancing equal justice under law and addressing economic, racial, social, and other inequities by delivering free legal and social services to the most vulnerable members of our community. Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights & Economic Justice, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law. 

Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 130. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.



Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP), envisions a world where all (im)migrants live with dignity, power, and opportunity. Staffed by approximately 25 attorneys, support staff, and social workers, IRP provides direct legal representation to non-citizens seeking asylum, cancellation of removal, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA, T and U visas, and other relief in immigration court.  In addition to direct representation, IRP engages in advocacy at the local and national levels, represents detained immigrants, recruits, trains, and mentors hundreds of pro bono attorneys each year, handles appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeal, and conducts impact litigation. For 30 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles.  



Reporting to the Supervising Staff Attorney, the Temporary Staff Attorney will:

  • Provide zealous and trauma-informed direct representation to individuals in bond proceedings, and detained and non-detained removal proceedings before the Adelanto and Los Angeles-area immigration courts 
  • Position may also involve representing clients before U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in asylum applications and other applications for relief and representing deported persons, including veterans, in humanitarian parole applications to return to the United States
  • Work collaboratively with a small team to provide client-centered, holistic, trauma-informed, and interdisciplinary services for clients
  • Collect case data and contribute to grant reports
  • Perform other duties as assigned

The Anti-Detention Team provides representation to individuals in detention and upon release in their removal and bond proceedings. The Anti-Detention Team’s mission is to fight for the collective liberation of people harmed by U.S. immigration detention and deportation machines through client-centered legal advocacy. Our team values providing excellent representation that is client-centered, collaborative, creative, and trauma-informed. We strive to work collaboratively with our clients and their families to ensure that they are informed and empowered to make decisions about their case. 




  • Juris Doctor degree with any state bar membership, OR awaiting results from or studying for a state bar exam
  • Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred, but not required 
  • Experience practicing immigration law strongly preferred, with particular preference for experience in removal defense (will consider law school clinical experience and internships)
  • Strong legal research and writing skills, and attention to detail
  • Comfort and experience working  with clients from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those with criminal history and/or complex trauma
  • Willingness and ability to travel to/from detention facilities, the asylum office, and immigration courts in Southern California region when needed (mileage reimbursable)
  • Ability to work independently, think creatively, and problem solve
  • Commitment to working well as a member of a collaborative team that includes administrative staff, a social work intern, and attorneys; ability to effectively and respectfully communicate with other team members. Prior experience as a non-attorney in an administrative role a plus 
  • Desire to learn and grow as an advocate, and openness to giving and receiving feedback
  • Ability to manage a large caseload and capacity to juggle and prioritize multiple competing tasks
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of the Anti-Detention Team
  • A commitment to economic and racial justice, including participating in and advancing the equity and inclusion work at Public Counsel



  • Full-Time commitment (40 hours per week) preferred; will consider Flexible Full Time (at least 30 hours per week) and Part-Time (20 to 30 hours per week)
  • Exempt position
  • Bargaining
  • Temporary position – this position will last for a total of 6 months, starting around 1/3/23, or as soon as the position is filled thereafter
  • Salary Range: Salary is commensurate with experience and ranges from $65,000 per year for a new attorney to $75,700 per year for an attorney with 6 years of experience. Salary is based on an income scale determined by the attorney’s years practicing law and will be prorated for the length of the position.
  • Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package to full-time employees including:
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options, 
  • The option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account, 
  • A 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and a discretionary employer contribution after a year of employment, and   
  • Employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
  • Generous paid time off for full-time employees
  • Parking and transit benefits



We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume. 



Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs,   unless doing so would pose an undue hardship.

Public Counsel is generally office-based, but remote work has been permitted during the pandemic. As of June 6, 2022, all employees with Public Counsel will be required to work in the office at least one day per week, at the discretion of the head of department. This policy is subject to redesign by leadership. Public Counsel will work in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders. 



Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law.

All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles   Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring.

Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.