Legal Assistant, 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 

A legal assistant in the Legal Orientation Program focuses on (i) the coordination and execution of visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting know your rights presentations and intakes with detained adults, (ii) working with detained people throughout the course of removal proceedings, including assisting with paperwork and case preparation, and (iii) supporting the program’s provision of services as a whole.  

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]  

Client Services: 

  • Participates in preparation and breakdown of detention facility visits. 
  • Conducts detention facility visits throughout Virginia and Maryland (normally 2-4 full visit days per month, including one overnight visit), for the provision of know your rights presentations and intake/follow-up. 
  • In-person services have been suspended since March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic; however, we anticipate returning to some in-person visits as early as June 2022. 
  • Assists with the recruitment and training of volunteers for jail visits, the jail hotline, or translation/interpretation volunteer work. 
  • Participates in intake review, additional case research, and preparing cases for pro bono placement.  
  • Provides follow-up after intakes to evaluate eligibility for relief from removal, including legal research, securing criminal records, and obtaining additional information from family and other community members. 
  • Conducts administrative tasks, including database maintenance and reporting to funders. 
  • Actively engages in CAIR Coalition’s training and advocacy efforts, as needed. 
  • Interfaces with social services staff, where needed. Preparation of Post Release Plans and social service plans, in coordination with social services staff. 

Organizational Services: 

  • Ensure the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion. 
  • Help with the transfer of clients to internal representation programs (e.g.,  the National Qualified Representative program, the Immigration Impact Lab, local Safe Cities universal representation programs) and facilitation of pro bono attorney communications with detained clients. 
  • Assist other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low-bandwidth periods. 
  • Take part in stakeholder relationship activities, including in-person and telephonic meetings with community groups, governmental bodies and representatives, and other legal service providers. 
  • Engage 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 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.    

We value our brain trust and are constantly finding ways to ensure that we maintain and grow, in ways that acknowledge those with expertise but also sets up new advocates for success.    


What Else You Should Know:  

Position Type 

Full-time nonexempt

Supervisory Responsibility



Reports To 

Staff Attorney


Deadline to Apply: 06/27/2022

Start Date: 08/15/22


Commensurate with experience working in immigration legal services. The starting salary is $47,500.


Washington, DC


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 understands legal concepts at a level to allow for meaningful contribution to client intake, follow-up, and casework with moderate supervision. The employee is working towards self-sufficiency in client-facing legal activities.  

Client and Programmatic Proficiency 

The employee adequately presents legal and procedural concepts to detained individuals and clients with moderate supervision, including working with clients and their families/support community throughout the course of a case. The employee provides educational presentations to clients efficiently and effectively. The employee adequately prioritizes time and resources.  


The employee ensures that all administrative aspects of their position, attendant to the provision of services to clients and jail visits, are carried out without managerial intervention, including jail visit preparation and breakdown, file upkeep, database upkeep, etc. 

Qualifications Required:

  • Written and oral Spanish proficiency required. 
  • Driver’s license and willingness to drive long distances required.