Staff Attorney, Detained Adult Program

Status of Hiring 

Thank you for  your interest in applying for a position with CAIR Coalition. As of April 11th, 2024 the Detained Adult Program (DAP) is actively recruiting for this role. If you have further questions or need assistance with the application process, please email Thank you again for considering our organization as a potential employer.

Who We Are 

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

The Detained Adult Program (DAP) works with hundreds of adults who are detained by ICE each year, providing information, support, and legal representation. We provide trauma-sensitive, person-centered services, and deeply value the autonomy of the people we work with in detention as they navigate the fundamentally inhumane immigration system. 

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 workshops or staff-run committees. 

DAP staff is 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. 

Position Summary 

A Staff Attorney in the Detained Adult Program focuses on: (i) screening individuals for program eligibility and immigration relief, (ii) managing a caseload of direct legal services to immigrant adults held in facilities in Virginia, Maryland and outside the DMV region, (iii) maintaining client and stakeholder information up to date in the organization’s database, (iv) advocating with stakeholders and community representatives for program and clients, and (v) the mentoring of pro bono attorneys. 

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]  


  • Manage a caseload of in-house direct legal representation of detained clients in removal proceedings before the Arlington and/or Baltimore Immigration Courts and out-of-state courts via remote appearance as needed. This includes representation in cases such as Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Protection under the Convention against Torture, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, Board of Immigration Appeals, U-Visas, T- Visas, and Cancellation of Removal. An average staff attorney’s docket consists of four trial level cases going to individual hearing and other removal defense cases. 
  • Provide expert mentoring to outside pro bono attorneys representing detained immigrants on a pro bono basis. 
  • Prepare Post Release Plans and social service plans, in coordination with social services staff. 
  • Research, engage, and prepare experts on health, behavioral health, and country conditions. 

Detention Facility Services: 

  • Conduct government detention center visits as needed to prepare clients for their immigration hearings. 
  • Conduct individual intakes with immigrants at the detention facilities or remotely. Provide necessary follow-up after intakes to evaluate program eligibility and eligibility for relief, including performing research, securing criminal/juvenile delinquency records and obtaining additional information from family and community members. 

Organizational Services: 

  • Ensure the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion. 
  • 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. 
  • Conduct trainings and stakeholder meetings with detention center staff. 
  • Engage with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to lend a voice to the growth and strategy of the organization. 
  • Undertake own administrative functions, including casework (e.g., preparation of all aspects of filings). CAIR Coalition attorneys do not have dedicated paralegals for assistance on cases and non-attorney staff time is dedicated to client-facing tasks (e.g, jail visits). 

Program-Specific Duties and Responsibilities: 

  • Coordinate with all internal DAP Programs (e.g., LOP, NQRP, Safe Cities) to ensure all programs are kept abreast of developments and clients. 

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

Additional Role-Specific Details:  

Position Type 

Full-time, Exempt 

Reports To 

DAP Managing Attorney 

Supervisory Responsibility 

This position does not include primary supervision of other staff; however, it may involve temporary supervision of paralegals or interns depending on case-specific needs. 

Hiring Timeline 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 

Salary [2] 

$61,500 - $75,800 

[2] In 2018 CAIR Coalition implemented a compensation framework to be more straightforward, transparent, and provide assurance of internal equity. The compensation model we use is based on an individual's position and years of relevant work experience to avoid salary discrepancies and to reduce the risk of racial, gender, or other forms of bias affecting a candidate's salary. 

Location and/or Travel Requirements 

This position will be based at the Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, M.D. Office. Due to business related travel expectations, it is recommended candidates live within 30-miles of their assigned primary office.  


CAIR Coalition operates a hybrid work environment. Most staff are required to work at least one day per week in-office, but some roles require more office/on-site attendance or travel. 

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 or Baltimore, MD (dependent on employee’s primary office)
  • 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 insurance (CAIR Coalition pays a very high rate of the insurance package, for which we can provide additional information)
  • An annual data reimbursement of $300
  • life insurance valued at $50,000, as well as long and short term disability
  • the option to set up a Flexible Spending Account
  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a one-time employer contribution of $350 to the Health Savings Account (HSA)
  • 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 off 
  • Federal holidays 
  • Winter break closure 
  • 12 weeks of parental leave   

At CAIR Coalition, we embrace the fact that talented individuals come from diverse backgrounds and life experiences. We believe that diversity in all dimensions of the organization supports and bolsters the innovative thinking essential to our success. CAIR Coalition values your unique perspectives, skills, and potential, and we are committed to providing equal opportunities for growth and development. If you are passionate about CAIR Coalition's mission and are excited to contribute your talents to our team, we encourage you to submit your application.  Candidates from traditionally underrepresented groups are strongly encouraged to apply. If you are a candidate with a disability and require accommodations to apply for this position, please contact us at       

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. 

Our Anti-Racism Statement: 

How to Apply:

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


Competencies Required:

Legal Proficiency

The Staff Attorney demonstrates a developing understanding of legal concepts at a level that allows them to provide services to clients with moderate supervision. The Staff Attorney clearly and skillfully employs the law in written and oral presentations with limited supervision and input from supervisors. The Staff Attorney contributes substantively to case assessment discussions. 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 required in-jail and in-office programmatic obligations (intake, follow-up, case summaries, case development, etc.) with limited supervision. The Staff Attorney manages their in-house and pro bono mentoring caseload to allow for proper prioritization and thoughtful use of time and resources.


The Staff Attorney ensures that all administrative aspects of their position, attendant to the provision of services to clients, are carried out without managerial intervention, including timekeeping, file upkeep, database upkeep, etc.

Qualifications Required:

  • JD and 1 -3 years of relevant experience with at least one year of immigration law preferred.
  • Certification: Licensed to practice law or expecting attorney bar exam results in the fall of 2022. 
  • Written and oral Spanish fluency strongly preferred.
  • Ability to manage a docket of detained removal defense cases.
  • Strong trial advocacy skills preferred.
  • It is expected that the candidate will need to travel for work-related business. As a result, the candidate must possess a valid driver's license and be comfortable operating a vehicle upon hiring. This role requires travel, but qualified individuals with disabilities may be accommodated in a reasonable manner under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
Salary Description
$61,500- $75,800 commensurate with experience