Staff 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 Staff Attorney in the Detained Children’s Program works collaboratively with legal and social services staff and program leadership to: 

  • provide high-quality, culturally competent direct legal services to detained and released unaccompanied immigrant children; 
  • participate in, and assist with coordination of, visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations to detained children; 
  • mentor pro bono attorneys providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children; and 
  • contribute to the success of the program by building a culture of collaboration and learning. 

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. 
  • Remain abreast of new developments in the law by actively participating in legal trainings and meetings with community groups, government agencies, and other legal service providers. 
  • Supervise legal assistants and interns on aspects of their work. 
  • Mentor pro bono attorneys from area law firms handling children’s immigration cases, as needed. 

Organizational Services:

  • Participate in regular facility visits for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and Know Your Rights presentations for detained children. 
  • 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. 
  • Engage with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to participate in the growth and vision of the organization. 
  • Handle own administrative functions, including for casework (i.e. preparation of all aspects of filings) and social services referrals.   

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 $61,500-$67,500.

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 staff 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 Staff Attorney demonstrates a developing understanding of legal concepts at a level that allows them to provide client-centered services with moderate supervision. The Staff Attorney clearly and skillfully employs the law in written and oral presentations with limited input from supervisors. The Staff Attorney is working towards self-sufficiency in client hearings, interviews, and legal research and writing.  

Client and Programmatic Proficiency

 The Staff Attorney satisfactorily handles all programmatic obligations (including KYRs, legal intakes, follow-up interviewing, case placement, direct representation services, and pro bono mentorship) with limited supervision. The Staff Attorney manages their in-house and pro bono mentoring caseload to allow for appropriate prioritization and thoughtful use of time and resources. The Staff Attorney demonstrates a growing understanding of cultural competency and trauma-informed practices. The staff attorney demonstrates sound judgment and decision-making skills and identifies when issues must be elevated to a supervisor.  


 The Staff Attorney ensures that all administrative aspects of their position are carried out with minimal managerial support, including timekeeping, file maintenance, and database entries.

Qualifications Required:

  • JD and 0-3 years relevant experience in immigration law (family law experience helpful but not required). 
  • 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. 
  • Written and oral Spanish fluency. 
  • 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
$61,500-$67,500 (Commensurate with experience)