Senior Legal Assistant, 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 migrant children detained 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. 

Role Description:

A Senior Legal Assistant (LA) 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; 
  • coordinate, participate, and supervise visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting know your rights presentations and intakes with detained children;  
  • support attorneys in providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children, including assisting with paperwork and case preparation;  
  • contribute to the program’s provision of services as a whole, including administrative tasks such as database maintenance and reporting to funders;   
  • supervision and training of junior staff with a focus on professional development (dependent on experience level); and  
  • regularly engage with senior staff and leadership to identify programmatic needs and implement program goals.  

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]  


Client Services: 

  • Supervises and participates in preparation and breakdown of detention facility visits, as needed. 
  • Conducts detention facility visits in Virginia and Maryland, for the provision of know your rights presentations, intakes, and follow-up conversations with immigrant children. 
  • Ensures that junior staff complete all shelter-involved tasks to a high standard. 
  • Demonstrates advanced understanding of common immigration relief eligibility and provides high-quality input during internal case reviews. 
  • Performs and can train other staff on performing administrative tasks, including database maintenance and reporting to funders. 
  • Supports attorneys representing detained and released clients before USCIS, Baltimore, Arlington, and Hyattsville Immigration Courts, and local state courts in Maryland, DC, and Virginia. This includes representation 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, in addition to limited social services assistance. 
  • Actively engages in CAIR Coalition’s training efforts of new staff and interns, as needed. 

Organizational Services: 

  • Ensures the timely and accurate entry of case information into shared databases. Troubleshoots data management system problems. 
  • Assists program leadership in planning and implementation of program goals. 
  • Assists other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low- bandwidth periods. 
  • Leads projects to improve systems or client services. 
  • Actively participates and contributes to stakeholder relationship activities. 
  • Engages with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to lend a voice to the growth and strategy of the organization. 

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

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 actively fostering innovation and adaptability. Supervisors in our program share a commitment to teaching, mentorship, and work life balance.  


What Else You Should Know:  

Position Type 

Full-time nonexempt

Supervisory Responsibility  


Reports To 



Deadline to Apply: July 01, 2022

Start Date: TBD


$50,000- $61,500 commensurate with experience


This position will be based from the Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, M.D. Office. 


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 Senior Legal Assistant (Senior LA) demonstrates a firm understanding of children’s removal proceedings, relief eligibility, and culturally competent legal services. The Senior LA plays an active role in client relationships and can independently advance work on cases with attorney approval and supervision. The Senior LA demonstrates understanding of legal information versus legal advice and educates others on appropriate limitations for non-attorney staff. The Senior LA is familiar with preparing client filings and can do so with limited or minimal attorney supervision and review. 

Client and Programmatic Proficiency 

The Senior LA will skillfully and clearly present legal information and know your rights presentations to detained children and clients with limited supervision. The Senior LA has, and continually improves upon, trauma-informed interviewing and rapport-building skills. The Senior LA effectively manages time and resources and appropriately prioritizes client needs and other program responsibilities. 


The Senior LA ensures that all administrative aspects of their position are carried out with limited supervisory support, including facility visit preparation and breakdown, file and database upkeep, etc. The Senior LA contributes to updates and adjustments, as needed, to administrative systems designed to support shelter and client work. 

Qualifications Required: 

  • Written and oral Spanish fluency 
  • 2-3 years of relevant experience in immigration legal service provision.  
  • 2-3 years of relevant experience interviewing / working with clients, preferably children.  
  • Management or supervision experience preferred. 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Favorable results on background check including driving record, Child Protection Registry, and state and federal criminal records 
Salary Description
$50,000- $61,500 commensurate with experience