Senior Staff Attorney, Pro Bono Project, International Child Abduction Initiative
New York, NY Legal Department
Job Type


Sanctuary for Families is New York’s leading service provider and advocate for survivors of domestic violence, sex trafficking and related forms of gender violence. Every year, Sanctuary empowers thousands of adults and children to move from fear and abuse to safety and stability, transforming lives through a comprehensive range of services. We provide a range of wrap-around services to help survivors rebuild their lives in the aftermath of abuse, and work to end gender violence through three key strategies: direct services, outreach and training, and systems-change advocacy. Our services are available in 11 locations throughout New York City.



The Narkis Golan International Child Abduction Initiative, named in the memory of a courageous Sanctuary client, is a new and exciting initiative within Sanctuary’s Pro Bono Project. The Narkis Golan Initiative is dedicated to increasing access to justice for survivors of gender-based violence involved in international parental abduction cases. In the context of our work, many of these cases involve survivor parents fleeing abuse with their children, or an abusive parent kidnapping the children across international borders. Most of these cases fall within the purview of the Hague Convention on the Civil Aspects of International Child Abduction (the “Hague Convention”). 

The Narkis Golan International Child Abduction Initiative is seeking a Senior Staff Attorney to help the Initiative increase services to survivors in international cross-border custody disputes by working in close partnership with the Pro Bono Project Director and Project Assistant to (i) train and educate judges, attorneys, survivors, and advocates across the country, (ii) establish a nationwide network of trained pro bono attorneys willing to take parental abduction cases on behalf of survivors; (iii) provide assistance, advice, and mentorship to domestic violence advocates and lawyers who work on these cases pro bono; (iv) conduct client screenings and provide advice and/or find clients pro bono representation with private attorneys; (v) advocate with relevant government agencies to improve implementation of child abduction laws for survivors; and (vi) other tasks as relevant to achieve the Initiative’s access to justice goals. The ideal candidate will be an attorney with experience working on Hague Convention International Child Abduction cases and/or international cross-border custody disputes with strong advocacy and project management skills. The ideal candidate should be passionate about working with survivors of gender-based violence and about working with private attorneys to increase access to justice through pro bono. 


  • Work with the Pro Bono Project Director, Project Assistant, and the Narkis Golan Initiative Advisory Committee to plan and launch the Narkis Golan Initiative
  • Conduct client pro bono screenings and, if appropriate, work to find pro bono counsel representation for client
  • Provide mentorship and supervision to pro bono attorneys working on international child abduction cases 
  • Develop and/or update training materials for different constituents, including but not limited to judges, legal practitioners, victim advocates, and survivors 
  • Coordinate and conduct trainings
  • Respond to requests for advice and assistance from attorneys and DV advocates by providing information and/or appropriate referrals
  • Coordinate with the Pro Bono Project Director to create and execute process for recruiting, vetting, and maintaining relationships with a nationwide network of trusted attorneys who will represent survivors in child abduction cases on a pro bono or very low bono basis
  • Develop and maintain relationships with peer legal services providers, Hague Convention experts, and other stakeholders critical to expanding the Narkis Golan Initiative and assisting survivors 
  • Complete required Office of Violence Against Women grant activities, including financial and grant reporting 
  • Work with Sanctuary’s Communications Department and the Pro Bono Project Assistant to create materials and helpful resources for a section of Sanctuary’s website devoted to the Narkis Golan Initiative 
  • Advocate with relevant government agencies, including the U.S. State Department, to improve implementation of child abduction laws for survivors
  • Supervise staff attorneys, project assistants, volunteer attorneys, legal fellows, and/or interns as appropriate
  • Perform other duties relevant to the work of the Narkis Golan Initiative and its access to justice goals
  • J.D. 
  • Admission to the New York State Bar.
  • At least five (5) years relevant legal experience, with significant experience litigating custody cases with a focus on cross-border disputes and/or litigating Hague Convention International Child Abduction cases. 
  • Demonstrated project management skills.
  • Strong public speaking, communication, and writing skills.
  • Sensitivity to issues of gender, racial, cultural, and ethnic diversity, and ability to collaborate well with diverse people (including clients and staff).
  • Strong commitment to increasing access to justice through promoting and elevating pro bono work, and an enthusiasm for working with and mentoring pro bono attorneys.

Budgeted Salary: $80,000/yr - $90,000/yr annually

Work position is currently Hybrid must be able to meet job location schedule obligations

Vaccination Policy: Proof of vaccination or proof of 1st dose with scheduled 2nd dose within 30 days is required.


  •     Health, Dental and Vision Insurance 
  •     Employer-paid life insurance 
  •     Employer retirement contribution
  •     Paid time off
  •     Flex spending account 
  •     Student loan assistance
  •     Tuition reimbursement program
  •     Gym reimbursement program  
  •     Employee Assistance Program
  •     Wellness Program and rewards

All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, creed (religion), color, sex, national origin, sexual orientation, military status, age, disability, predisposing genetic characteristics, marital status or domestic violence victim status, and other categories protected under Federal, New York state or New York city laws. Sanctuary for Families follows the requirements of the Human Rights Law including with regard to non-discrimination on the basis of prior criminal conviction and prior arrest.

People of color, trans and gender non-conforming people, people with disabilities, and survivors of gender-based violence are strongly encouraged to apply.

We recognize that the safety, healing and self-determination of survivors of domestic violence and related forms of gender violence is at the intersection of racial, gender, economic, immigrant, LGBTQ+, and disability justice, as well as many other critical issues. In order to realize our mission, Sanctuary strives to center DEI principles at every level of the organization and continues to deepen that commitment.

Salary Description
$80,000/yr - $90,000/yr