Staff Attorney, Detained Children's Program

Who We Are:

CAIR Coalition fights every day alongside immigrant children and adults who are detained and facing deportation. We provide legal and social services to immigrants in the Capital Region and beyond.

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

Role Description:

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, 
  • coordinate and carry out visits to detention centers for the purpose of conducting legal intakes and Know Your Rights 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, with supervision, of direct legal representation of detained and released clients in removal proceedings before local state and immigration courts and USCIS 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 client intake and follow-up to determine eligibility for legal relief, facilitation of case placement with in-house or pro bono attorneys, and social services referrals.
  • 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.

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 clearly and skillfully employs the law in written and oral presentations 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 required programmatic obligations (including KYRs, legal intakes, follow-up interviewing, case placement, and direct representation services) 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.

What Else You Should Know:

Position Type

Full-time, exempt


Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. 


$61,500- $82,000 commensurate with experience


This position will be based from the Washington, D.C. or Baltimore, M.D. Office. 


 All CAIR Coalition staff, interns, and volunteers are working a hybrid-work model (in-person and virtual/remote) as long as they are in compliance with CAIR Coalition's COVID-19 policies. 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.

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, 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: