Staff Attorney, 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 that is exclusively focused on providing legal assistance to adult and child immigrants detained by the government in the Capital Region.  

The Detained Children’s Program provides legal orientation and screening to detained migrant children 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. 

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

Position Summary 

A Staff Attorney in the Detained Children’s Program works collaboratively with staff and leadership to:  

  • provide high-quality, culturally competent direct legal services to detained and released unaccompanied immigrant children,  
  • participate in, and assist with the coordination of, visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and Know Your Rights (KYR) presentations to detained children;  
  • mentor pro bono attorneys providing legal services to unaccompanied immigrant children,  
  • contribute to the success of the program, building a culture of collaboration and learning, and 
  • promote a team culture of equity and inclusion. 

General Duties and Responsibilities [1]  


  • Manage a caseload including representation of both detained and released clients. This includes representation before the local immigration courts, USCIS, and state courts 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. 
  • Participate in legal screenings and follow-up interviews to determine eligibility for legal relief and facilitation of case placement with in-house or pro bono attorneys. 
  • Remain abreast of new developments in the law by actively participating in legal trainings, reviewing written resources, and conducting legal research. 
  • Supervise legal assistants and interns on aspects of their work. 
  • Mentor pro bono attorneys from area law firms handling immigration cases, as needed. 
  • Handle own administrative tasks for casework (e.g., preparation and submission of filings, file maintenance, and recordkeeping). 

Organizational Services: 

  • Participate in regular facility visits for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and know your rights (KYR) presentations for detained children. 
  • Ensure the timely and accurate entry of case information into shared databases. 
  • Assist other program staff in completion of their workload during high-work/low- bandwidth periods. 
  • Participate in stakeholder relationship activities, including meetings with community groups, government agencies, and other legal service providers 
  • Engage with internal CAIR Coalition committees and working groups to participate in 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. 

Additional Role-Specific Details:  

Position Type 

Full-time, Exempt 

Reports To 

Assigned Senior or Managing Attorney 

Hiring Timeline 

Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis.  

Salary [2] 

$61,500- $82,000 

[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  
  • 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 client-centered services to clients with moderate supervision. The Staff Attorney effectively advocates through written and oral work with limited input from supervisors. The Staff Attorney is working towards self-sufficiency in hearings, interviews, and legal research and writing. 

Client and Programmatic Proficiency 

The Staff Attorney satisfactorily handles all programmatic obligations (including KYRs, legal intakes, follow-up interviewing, case placement, direct representation services, and pro bono mentorship) with limited supervision. The Staff Attorney manages their in-house and pro bono mentoring caseload to allow for appropriate prioritization and thoughtful use of time and resources. The Staff Attorney demonstrates a growing understanding of cultural competency and trauma-informed practices. The Staff Attorney demonstrates sound judgment and decision-making skills and identifies when issues must be elevated to a supervisor. 


The Staff Attorney ensures that all administrative aspects of their position are carried out with minimal managerial support, including timekeeping, file maintenance, and database entries. 

Qualifications Required: 

  • JD and 0-3 years relevant experience in immigration law (family law experience helpful but not required) 
  • Must be licensed to practice law in Maryland or Virginia, eligible to waive into the Maryland or Virginia bar, or willing to sit for the next scheduled bar exam 
  • Written and oral Spanish professional proficiency required; fluency 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). 
  • Favorable results on background check including driving record, Child Protection Registry, and state and federal criminal records 
  • Ability to work remotely temporarily but fulfill job responsibilities in-person as required.