Senior 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 Maryland Universal Representation Program focuses on (i) working with detained people and their attorneys 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, including through intakes and administrative tasks such as database maintenance and reporting to funders. This position will primarily focus on supporting attorneys handling appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) and the U.S. Courts of Appeals. Secondarily, the legal assistant will support the team in client visits and evidence collection for immigration detention centers.   

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]:

Client Services:

  • Supports attorneys representing detained and released clients before immigration courts in Maryland, Virginia and remote locations (virtually), USCIS, ICE and local state courts. This includes representation in the following types of cases: Bond, Asylum, Withholding of Removal, Protection under the Convention Against Torture, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U-Visas, T-Visas, and Cancellation of Removal. Support includes assistance in developing client and witness declarations, coordination, drafting and preparing filings, country conditions research, and input in case strategy.  
  • Assists attorneys with legal research in support of appeals. 
  • Prepares appellate filings and ensures compliance with BIA and court filing rules. 
  • Completes intakes and 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 detention facility visits in Maryland, Virginia, Georgia, and Pennsylvania, for intake and client meetings, and other regions where people are detained.     
  • Assists with the staffing of the detention hotline and oversight of volunteers for jail visits, the jail hotline, or translation/interpretation volunteer work, as needed. 
  • Carries out 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, in preparation and execution of post release and social services plans.   

Organizational Services:

  • Ensures the inputting and accuracy of data and case information into shared databases in a timely fashion. 
  • Assists other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low-bandwidth periods. 
  • Takes part in stakeholder relationship activities, including in-person and remote meetings with community groups, governmental bodies and representatives, and other legal service providers. 
  • 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 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 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 set up new advocates for success. 

What Else You Should Know:

Position Type:

Full-time, non-exempt

Reports To:

Staff Attorney

Recruitment Timeline:

Application will be reviewed on a rolling basis and will be considered through February 2, 2023. 

This role will start as early as February 26, 2023. 


Commensurate with experience working in immigration legal services. The starting salary is $50,000.

Position Location:

This position may be based in our Baltimore, Maryland or Washington, DC office. Remote work is available for candidates in locations near the primary detention facilities housing CAIR Coalition clients (including in Georgia and Pennsylvania). This position may also require in-person attendance in immigration court, circuit courts of appeal, and detention facilities as needed. 


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:

  • 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 and respond to our screening questions 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, homeless 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 and will demonstrate increasing understanding of how to prepare legal filings.

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 will develop trauma-informed interviewing and rapport building skills. 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 program reporting, are carried out without managerial intervention, including intake logging and case tracking, file upkeep, database upkeep, etc.

Qualifications Required:

  • Written and oral Spanish proficiency required; 
  • Driver’s license required, or ability to work with team on transportation to remote locations; 
  • Two years of experience working as a legal assistant or in a similar role; 
  • Strong candidates will have experience working in the immigrant community, particularly in immigration law, and/or experience working with people in detention. 
Salary Description
Starting $50,000 commensurate with experience