Senior Attorney, Detained Children's Program

Who We Are:

The Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is the only non-profit organization in the Washington, D.C. area focused exclusively on providing free legal assistance to child and adult immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region. 

The Detained Children’s Program provides legal orientation and screening to detained migrant children in the Maryland and Virginia region. We also offer free legal services to children released from Office of Refugee Resettlement custody to the greater Washington/DC Baltimore region. 

Our Work Environment:

CAIR Coalition’s Detained Children’s Program (DUCs) is a highly collaborative work environment. We are committed to providing high-quality, trauma-informed legal and social services and a culture of professional growth and support for staff. Although aspects of our work are completed in smaller teams, we work towards integrated and client-focused services across the program by embracing interconnectivity. We strive to create systems that provide structure while fostering innovation and adaptability. Supervisors in our program share a commitment to teaching,?mentorship, and work life balance. 

Position Summary:

A Senior Attorney in the Detained Children’s Program works collaboratively with staff and leadership to: 

  • ensure clients receive high-quality, culturally competent legal services while detained and after release; 
  • participate in visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations to detained children, 
  • provide direct legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children; 
  • mentor pro bono attorneys providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children; 
  • supervise legal assistants, interns, and staff attorneys (depending on experience level); and  
  • promote a team culture of equity and inclusion. 

General Duties and Responsibilities:


  • Manage a caseload of direct legal representation of detained and released clients in removal proceedings before local state and immigration courts and USCIS in the following types of cases: asylum, withholding of removal, protection under the Convention against Torture, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas. 
  • Participate in client intake and follow-up to determine eligibility for legal relief and facilitation of case placement with in-house or pro bono attorneys. 
  • Support the program’s efforts to remain abreast of new developments in the law and to train staff on immigration and relevant aspects of family law. 
  • Supervise legal assistants, interns, and staff attorneys on aspects of case work. Supervision of other attorneys is dependent on experience.  
  • Provide expert mentoring to pro bono attorneys from law firms handling children’s immigration cases. 
  • Handle own administrative tasks for casework (e.g., preparation and submission of filings, file maintenance, and recordkeeping).  

Organizational Services:

  • Assist program leadership with the implementation of long-term program plans and contract compliance. 
  • Facilitate and/or participate in regular facility visits for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and KYR presentations for detained children. 
  • Ensure a smooth operation of administrative aspects of the program such as processing referrals and the internal case placement process. 
  • Ensure the timely and accurate entry of case information into shared databases. 
  • Assist other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low- bandwidth periods. 
  • Participate in stakeholder relationship activities, including meetings with community groups, government agencies, and other legal service providers. 
  • Conducts trainings and stakeholder meetings with detention center staff. 
  • Engages with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to participate in the growth and strategy of the organization. 


What Else You Should Know


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Applicants must attach their resume and cover letter to the application link. 


Commensurate with experience working in legal services ranging from $67,800-$79,000.

Position Location

Washington, DC or Baltimore, MD


Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all CAIR Coalition staff, interns, and volunteers are working remotely. However, due to the duties and responsibilities of the senior attorney role, they are required to live within daily commuting distance of their assigned primary office. Staff have the option to work from the office following a hybrid model, as long as they are in compliance with CAIR Coalition's COVID-19 policies. 


CAIR Coalition’s benefits package includes (a) subsidized health, dental insurance, and vision insurance (CAIR Coalition pays a very high rate of the insurance package, for which we can provide additional information); (b) life insurance valued at $50,000, as well as long and short term disability; (d) the option to set up a Flexible Spending Account (beginning January 1, 2022); and (d) the option to set up a 403(b) account (the equivalent of a 401(k) account for nonprofits) which the organization has the option, for all employees on an annual basis, to match at a certain percentage after one year of continuous employment.

Paid Time Off

  • 23 personal days per calendar year
  • Up to 20 days of sick time per calendar year
  • 1 day of volunteer time
  • Federal holidays.
  • Winter break closure

Competencies Required:

Legal Proficiency

The Senior Attorney demonstrates a solid understanding of legal concepts, allowing them to provide competent and client-centered services with limited supervision. The Senior Attorney effectively advocates through written and oral work and assists junior staff in doing the same. The Senior Attorney has experience litigating and preparing for hearings or interviews for clients with limited supervision. The Senior Attorney competently supervises aspects of the work of staff attorneys, legal assistants and interns on client relationships and legal strategy, research, and writing. The Senior Attorney demonstrates cultural competency and trauma-informed practices. 

Client and Programmatic Proficiency

The Senior Attorney competently handles, and supervises, all required program obligations (including KYRs, legal intakes, follow-up interviewing, case placement, direct representation services, and pro bono mentorship). The Senior Attorney manages their in-house and pro bono mentoring caseload to allow for appropriate prioritization and thoughtful use of time and resources. The Senior Attorney supervises junior staff to ensure programmatic efficiency and efficacy. The Senior Attorney exercises sound judgment and decision-making skills and identifies when issues must be elevated to leadership. 


The Senior Attorney ensures that all administrative aspects of their position (and that of their supervisees) are carried out without managerial intervention, including timekeeping, file maintenance, database upkeep, etc. 

Qualifications Required:

  • JD and 3-5 years relevant experience in immigration law (family law experience a plus). 
  • Experience working with child clients preferred.  
  • Written and oral Spanish fluency. 
  • Must be licensed to practice law in Maryland or Virginia, eligible to waive into the Maryland or Virginia bar, or willing to sit for the next scheduled bar exam. 
  • Driver’s license. 
  • Favorable results on background check including driving record, Child Protection Registry, and state and federal criminal records. 
  • Ability to work remotely temporarily but fulfill job responsibilities in-person as required. 


Additional Job Requirements: 

All employees are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19 by their first day of employment, except for those receiving medical or religious exemptions. To be fully vaccinated means having completed the full dosages required for the type of vaccine obtained as designated by the CDC. If boosters are subsequently recommended by the Centers of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) then employees will be required to receive the booster within thirty (30) days of their eligibility to access the boosters. 

Salary Description
$67,800-$79,000 (Commensurate with experience)