Supervising Appellate Attorney, Detained Adult 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 legal assistance to adult and child immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region.  

Role Description

This role focuses on appellate litigation and leadership of the CAIR Coalition Appeals Squad, a team of 6 Detained Adult Program (DAP) attorneys who work on appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and Federal Circuit Courts of Appeals. The role will involve leading the Appeals Squad and overseeing the DAP Appeals caseload, guide Appeals Squad attorneys in their appellate briefing and argument, and liaise with the Immigration Impact Lab to develop novel areas of appellate litigation in furtherance of justice for immigrants and refugees. The Supervising Appellate Attorney will oversee all appeals in DAP and also have the opportunity to directly represent or co-counsel on a caseload of appellate matters.  

The approximate case load to manage will be between 40-75 appeals per year, depending on changes in ICE/OPLA priorities and enforcement. The Appellate Attorney will monitor and coordinate appeal internal referrals with managing attorneys in DAP and the Appeals Squad.  

This position may be based in our Baltimore, Maryland or Washington, DC office. Remote work is available, with preference given to local candidates. This position may also require in-person attendance in immigration court and circuit courts of appeal, as needed.

Our Work Environment:

CAIR Coalition’s Detained Adult Program is a highly collaborative work environment. Each team lead works directly with a focused team, but all colleagues are interconnected through, for example, case workshopping or staff-run committees such as Equity and Inclusion Committee.   

DAP staff has been a source of expertise in the highly complex and ever-changing immigration system. They have persisted through administration changes, policy shifts, and attacks on the rights and freedoms of immigrants through project-focused cohorts that arise to address challenges or to brainstorm and implement affirmative strategies.   

We center impacted people in our advocacy and media. We embrace the movement in our work while also staying focused on the practicalities we trained for, as well as where we are most useful in this movement. We grow our reach and skill set when resources permit and there is passion. We do not limit our push or dreams for this world based on the limits we know but try to imagine how to navigate around them.   

General Duties and Responsibilities[1]:

Direct Representation

  • Take on direct legal representation or co-counseling a caseload of detained clients’ appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals and relevant circuit courts each year, with a greater focus on clients who are Maryland residents.  

Leadership and Support

  • Lead and expand the CAIR Coalition appeals team, a team. The Appeals Attorney is ultimately responsible to ensure that CAIR Coalition represents on all appeals.  
  • Create or make available substantive trainings on appeals.
  • Prioritize development of program structure encompassing both BIA appeals and as opportunities arise, Petitions for Review (PFRs), including support of direct representation and pro bono mentoring.  
  • Work directly with the Deputy Program Director(s) to solicit feedback on process and program.  
  • Create agendas for and facilitate regular appeals team meetings, which include a representative from the Immigration Impact Lab. 
  • When new Appeals team members join, implement training requirements, support new members in their first case assignments, and provide feedback on those assignments.  
  • Support Appeals team members in becoming growing supervisors themselves, depending on appropriate experience of the team members the Supervising Appellate attorney supervises.  
  • Attend weekly case distribution meetings and assist in placing appeals cases across DAP, where appropriate.
  • Strategize how to monitor appeals as DAP expands into more circuits.  

Relationship with Immigration Impact Lab

  • Conduct regular meetings with CAIR Coalition’s Immigration Impact Lab to assess priorities for impact litigation cases at the Circuit Court level.
  • Update Lab as different issues in removal defense and detention arise and help inform any necessary revision of Lab priorities

Relationship with DAP Teams

  • Work directly with DAP attorneys and their supervisors, co-counseling or mentoring them on appeals cases.
  • Support oversight of internal appeals cases per year depending on trial level outcomes, contract goals, and merits.  
  • Prioritize appeals cases and teach others how to prioritize appeal making decisions.  
  • Work with IJ Decision bank team to monitor trends in judge decisions and OPLA patterns.  
  • Update pro se PFR and BIA appeal templates and information

Stakeholder relations

  • Assist in mentoring appeals cases (to BIA or circuit courts) that have been placed at law firms on a pro bono basis. 
  • Attend various stakeholder meetings related to BIA and circuit court work.

Data tracking and systems development

  • Develop a database of appeal briefs that is searchable by topic or issue and accessible to all of CAIR Coalition in harmony with already existing systems.
  • Ensure equity in how work is spread across DAP and reinforcing equity for staff attorneys to have access to same support and resources as skills develop
  • Support /guide attorneys in making final decision on whether to represent on appeals or not and track that development. 
  • Track pending appeals, including monitoring timelines, court deadlines and issues raised
  • Manage the Appeals Pipeline on Salesforce and run reports, as needed.
  • Develop systems for recruiting and selecting new appeal team (Appeal Squad) members.
  • Ensure knowledge is not held by a few, but that there is flexibility and growth for all.

Organizational Services:

  • Work with DAP management to set long-term program plans including those for appeals.
  • Interface with leadership of other CAIR Coalition programs to ensure cross-program information and partake in forming organizational legal strategy. 
  • Ensure the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion for program staff. 
  • Take part in stakeholder relationship activities, including in-person and telephonic meetings with community groups, governmental bodies and representatives, and other legal service providers, as needed.

Program-Specific Duties and Responsibilities:

Members of the Detained Adult program, in addition to the responsibilities above, also:

  • Coordinate with all internal DAP Programs (e.g., LOP, NQRP, Safe Cities) to ensure all programs are kept abreast of developments and clients.
  • Ensure Equity & Inclusion is key component of practice and professional development.  

[1] This list is illustrative and not intended to be a complete classification of all job functions or tasks.

What Else You Should Know:

Position Type

Full-time nonexempt

Supervisory Responsibility


Reports To

Deputy Program Director


Application Deadline: July 01, 2022

Start Date: TBD; Late Summer- Early Fall


Salary range $70,000- $100,000 commensurate with experience


This position will be based from the Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, M.D. Office. This job can be performed fully remotely for the right candidate.  


All CAIR Coalition staff, interns, and volunteers are working remotely. However, due to the duties and responsibilities of certain positions, certain staff members will be required to live within 30 miles 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.

COVID-19 Vaccination

All employees are required to be fully vaccinated and boosted against COVID-19. 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. 


  • CAIR coalition’s benefits package includes:  
  • Free gym access located in Washington, D.C.; 
  • Flexible working hours after successful completion of trainings and with approval of supervisor; 
  • Pre-tax commuter benefits for those living in the DMV; 
  • Subsidized health, dental insurance, and vision 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);  
  • An annual data reimbursement of $240 
  • life insurance valued at $50,000, as well as long and short term disability;  
  • the option to set up a Flexible Spending Account; and  
  • the option to set up a 403(b) account (the equivalent of a 401(k) account for non-profits) 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 includes:

  • 23 personal days per calendar year 
  • Up to 20 days of sick time per calendar year 
  • 7 hours of volunteer time 
  • Federal holidays 
  • Winter break closure 
  • 12 weeks of parental leave 

How to Apply:

Submit your resume, a cover letter that explains your interest in this role, and a writing sample with your Paylocity application .

EEO Statement:

Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights (CAIR) Coalition is an equal opportunity employer. In accordance with anti-discrimination law, it is the purpose of this policy to effectuate these principles and mandates. CAIR Coalition prohibits discrimination and harassment of any type and affords equal employment opportunities to employees and applicants without regard to race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, pregnancy, age, national origin, disability status, genetic information, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law. CAIR Coalition conforms to the spirit as well as to the letter of all applicable laws and regulations. 

Anti-Racism Statement: 


Competencies Required:

Legal Proficiency

The employee demonstrates a mastery of the law and legal procedure and can deploy innovative and thoughtful approaches to assisting clients. The employee stays abreast of developments in the law and ensures that their supervisees are trained in new developments.

Client and Programmatic Proficiency

The employee proficiently helps to manage all of the program’s in-jail, client, and in-office programmatic obligations. The employee proficiently manages their caseloads and the caseloads of the staff they supervise. The employee skillfully supervises their staff and ensures that staff are in a position to grow professionally.


The employee ensures that all administrative aspects of their position (and their staffs’ positions), attendant to the provision of services to clients, are carried out without managerial intervention, including timekeeping, file upkeep, database upkeep, etc.

Qualifications Required:

  • Strong interpersonal skills and ability to coordinate across programs
  • JD and relevant experience for 5-7 years as an immigration attorney required
  • Strong candidates will have a minimum of 3-5 years’ experience in appellate work in total.  
  • At least three years of experience writing appeals before the BIA. 
  • Strong candidates will have 1-3 years’ experience in detained removal defense, preferably in the Third and Fourth circuits.
  • Strong candidates will have 1-2 years supervisory experience.
  • Admittance to practice before the Third or Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals preferred.
  • Some trial experience preferred.
  • Must be licensed to practice law.
Salary Description
$70,000-$100,000 commensurate with experience