Staff Attorney, Immigration Impact Lab

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 Immigration Impact Lab ("the Lab") is CAIR Coalition’s federal court impact litigation program. The Lab team seeks to reduce the disproportionate legal injustices immigrant adults and children at risk of detention and deportation face by bringing cutting-edge impact litigation to engender systematic change through legal precedent that benefits broad groups of immigrants.

Role Description

We are seeking a Staff Attorney to help lead the Immigration Impact Lab’s efforts to expand its impact litigation and referral systems in new circuits, particularly the Third, Sixth, and Eleventh Circuits. A Staff Attorney in the Immigration Impact Lab focuses on working with the appellate and federal litigation team to meet the Lab’s goals, including (i) conducting broad-based legal research, case development, and written pleadings involving a host of issues that touch on novel immigration claims; (ii) the provision of direct legal services to immigrants through appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and federal circuit courts of appeals and litigation in the district court, (iii) working with pro bono attorneys through co-counseling, mentoring, and trainings, (iv) the supervision of  legal assistants, and interns, and (v) the management of program projects and contribution to program development efforts including fundraising and thought leadership opportunities such as media, panels, and webinars.

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]


Work on federal impact litigation, including habeas petitions and appeals and taking on the following tasks:  

  • Conduct legal research.
  • Draft legal pleadings for filing in federal courts and/or immigration agencies.
  • Represent clients at the BIA, federal circuit courts of appeals, and federal district courts and/or draft amicus briefs.
  • Investigate and collect information to support federal court litigation, including plaintiff searches and case referrals.
  • Support the implementation of program projects supporting impact litigation.
  • Assist staff of other programs to (i) create innovative arguments and strategies for direct legal representations of detained clients, (ii) identify novel issues for appeals and impact litigation, and (iii) preserve issues for appeal.
  • Manage a caseload of in-house cases and pro bono co-counseling and mentorship cases to ensure timely completion and submission of all filings, forms, etc.
  • Provide technical legal assistance to other advocates on a variety of legal issues affecting immigrants at risk of detention and deportation.
  • Mentor and co-counsel with teams of pro bono law firm and other nonprofit organization attorneys through the life of cases.
  • Educate pro bono attorneys and other advocates through trainings and panels, development and maintenance of practice advisories and other legal resources, litigation coordination, and outreach.
  • Implement the programmatic priorities of CAIR Coalition’s Immigration Impact Lab, including implementing program projects and supervising, and mentor other CAIR Coalition staff on complex litigation and appeals. 

Organizational Services:

  • Ensure the input 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.
  • 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 for 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, pro se assistance).  

[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 Immigration Impact Lab is a highly collaborative work environment. CAIR Coalition is 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 organization by embracing interconnectivity. We strive to create systems that provide structure while actively fostering innovation and adaptability. 

What Else You Should Know:

Position Type

Full-time, exempt

Reports To

Sam Hsieh, Managing Attorney


Applications are being accepted on a rolling basis. Interviews will be conducted in August and September 2022. 

The anticipated start date is approximately September 2022.  


$61,500- $75,800 commensurate with experience


This position will be based from Washington DC, however, remote work can be considered 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 Staff Attorney demonstrates a developing understanding of legal concepts at a level that allows them to provide services to clients. The Staff Attorney clearly and skillfully employs the law in written and oral presentations and input from supervisors. The Staff Attorney contributes substantively to case assessment discussion. 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 and supervises all required programmatic obligations (follow-up, brief drafting, filings, consultations, trainings, etc.). 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 relevant experience in federal appellate and/or district court litigation is a plus, but not required
  • Excellent legal research and writing skills.
  • Dedication to immigrants’ rights.
  • Creative, entrepreneurial thinking, a willingness to think outside the box and innovate, and a self-starter attitude.
  • Demonstrated ability to identify and successfully implement innovative litigation approaches.
  • Demonstrated ability to adapt to changing priorities, strategies, and circumstances. 

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Immigration law experience.
  • Preference is given to Spanish speaking candidates.
  • Experience building systems. 
Salary Description
$61,500- $75,800 commensurate with experience