Policy and Practice Associate
WFH Flexible Washington, DC
Job Type

We Are

Headquartered in downtown, Washington, DC, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is an organization with over 16,000 individual attorney members who practice and teach immigration law. For our members, we provide continuing legal education, information, advocacy, professional services, and expertise. Founded in 1946, AILA's mission is to promote justice, advocate for fair and reasonable immigration law and policy, advance the quality of immigration and nationality law and practice, and enhance the professional development of its members.

The Government Relations (GR) team advocates for immigration-related legislative, regulatory, and policy reforms before Congress and the executive branch, consistent with AILA’s principles and priorities. The GR team tracks the development of law, policy and practice and prepares and shares resources and information with AILA members. 

Your role

The Policy and Practice Associate will work with AILA Government Relations leadership and assigned AILA government relations committees to identify emerging legal and practice issues and trends, participate in the development of AILA’s policy positions and assist in developing recommendations on key advocacy priorities, in furtherance of AILA’s administrative and legislative advocacy goals. The Policy and Practice Associate will serve as a strategic resource to members in connection with case-specific inquiries and provide support in accordance with AILA’s High Impact Liaison Program. The Policy and Practice Associate contributes to AILA’s written work product by drafting and editing practice resources, policy briefs, regulatory and legislative analyses, blogs, web updates, and communications to AILA members. This position will focus on family, business, and humanitarian benefits immigration issues.  

Essential Job Functions 

Administrative Advocacy - 30%

  • Collaborates with AILA staff, leadership and assigned AILA committees to identify, monitor and analyze emerging practice issues. 
  • Actively participates in the development of policy positions and agenda items for agency liaison meetings and participates in those meetings.  
  • Represents AILA in related advocacy activities with government agencies. 
  • Coordinates and contributes to the drafting of AILA’s policy documents, regulatory comments, and communications-oriented products. 
  • May also work closely with other government relations staff to develop and promote policy campaigns and engage in legislative advocacy. 

Information Sharing and Education - 30%

  • Drafts informational materials to maximize AILA's impact with AILA members, including policy analyses, practice alerts and pointers, and other products designed to educate broad segments of AILA’s membership.  
  • Works with AILA's communications and online content teams to facilitate publication of informational materials. 

Staff Resource to AILA Committees and Membership - 20%

  • Supports, tracks, and guides the work of AILA’s subject matter committees, both local and national, that engage in formal liaison with the government.  
  • Serves as a resource on policy and practice issues for AILA members.   
  • Supports the department’s membership engagement efforts. 

Member Guidance and Training on Case-Related Issues - 20%

  • Provides strategic guidance to members on case-related inquiries in accordance with AILA’s High Impact Liaison Program.  
  • Conducts research in response to member inquiries and assists in identifying solutions and resources to address legal and procedural questions, including analysis of inquiries to ensure they align with AILA’s High Impact Liaison policies, and escalating them to relevant agencies as appropriate. Coordinates, leads, and participates in training sessions and briefings for AILA members on various issues. 

Your Background

  •  Bachelor's or master's degree in public policy or related field.
  •  Two to three years of training in or understanding of immigration law, policy and procedures.
  •  Prior experience in an immigration law firm, an administrative agency, Congress or state legislatures, or immigration coalition organizations is helpful, as is experience in an association, member-service, or customer service environment.  

This position is eligible for Remote/Hybrid work. Preference will be given to candidates who reside near the DC Metro area and have the ability to commute downtown as needed. Due to the nature of the role, candidates may be required to work extended hours, including evenings and weekends. Travel is required occasionally for conferences and attendance before Congress and with the Administration in their role as representing AILA.

Our Workplace

We offer a dynamic and collaborative work environment with a competitive compensation package based on your experience and qualifications. Our generous benefits include 90% of an employee’s Medical/Rx, Dental, and Vision premiums paid, as well as contributions towards dependents’ premiums; a 401(k) with up to 3% matching contribution upon enrollment, employer-paid disability, and life insurance, commuter subsidy for those commuting to our National office. In addition, we provide employees with flexible scheduling and telecommuting options and plenty of time away from the office to bolster creativity and recharge. Added perks: eight-week paid parental leave after one year of service and a four-week sabbatical every tenth year of service.

Statement on Diversity

The American Immigration Lawyers Association ("AILA") is an equal opportunity employer and is committed to treating all applicants and employees without regard to unlawful considerations of race, religious creed, color, religion, sex, gender, gender identity, gender expression, sexual orientation, national origin, ancestry, age, marital status, physical disability, mental disability, medical condition (cancer or genetic characteristics), genetic information, military and veterans status, citizenship and immigration status, or any other classification protected by applicable local, state, or federal laws. This equal employment opportunity commitment applies to all aspects of employment, including but not limited to, advertising, recruiting, hiring, job assignment, compensation, promotion, demotion, benefits, training, discipline, and termination.

AILA believes that diversity is a strength. AILA is committed to being a safe, respectful, and inclusive space, where a broad range of viewpoints and experiences are encouraged and every member of its staff and board is given the opportunity to thrive.