Staff Attorney- Immigrants Rights Project



Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles. 

Public Counsel operates eight legal projects: Children’s Rights, Community Development, Consumer Rights & Economic Justice, Homelessness Prevention, Immigrants’ Rights, Veterans’ Rights, the Audrey Irmas Project for Women & Girls’ Rights, and our impact litigation project, Opportunity Under Law. Public Counsel has a full-time staff of over 150. We are committed to building a diverse staff and encourage applications from people of color, people with disabilities, and people of all gender identities, gender expressions, and sexualities.



Public Counsel’s Immigrants’ Rights Project (IRP), envisions a world where all (im)migrants live with dignity, power, and opportunity. Staffed by approximately 30 attorneys, administrative staff, and social workers, IRP provides direct legal representation to detained immigrants and non-citizens seeking asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, VAWA, T and U visas, and other relief in immigration court.In addition to direct representation, IRP engages in advocacy at the local and national levels, recruits, trains, and mentors hundreds of pro bono attorneys each year, handles appeals before the Board of Immigration Appeals, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, and California Court of Appeal, and conducts impact litigation. For 35 years, IRP has been at the forefront of protecting the rights of immigrants in Los Angeles. 



Reporting to the Supervising Senior Staff Attorney, the new Staff Attorney will;

  • Provide zealous and trauma-informed direct representation to unaccompanied children in removal proceedings before the Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Van Nuys Immigration Courts; 
  • Represent children in state courts throughout Southern California to obtain predicate orders related to SIJS;
  • Represent children before US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in asylum applications, SIJS petitions, and other applications for relief;
  • Work collaboratively with social workers, administrative staff, and other attorneys to provide client-centered, holistic, trauma-informed, and interdisciplinary services for clients;
  • Collect case data and contribute to grant reports;
  • May provide technical assistance to pro bono attorneys, including managing case status to completion, and reporting data for grants and other publicity 
  • Other duties as assigned.



  • Juris Doctor degree with California Bar membership 
  • Fluency in Spanish strongly preferred 
  • Experience practicing immigration law preferred, with particular preference for experience in removal defense and representation of children seeking asylum and/or SIJS (will consider law school clinic experience and internships)
  • Strong legal research and writing skills, and attention to detail
  • Comfort and experience working with clients from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds, including those with criminal history and/or complex trauma
  • Willingness and ability to travel to/from the asylum office, superior courts, and immigration courts in Southern California region
  • Ability to work independently, think creatively, and problem solve
  • Commitment to working well as a member of a collaborative team that includes administrative staff, social workers, a case coordinator, and attorneys; ability to effectively and respectfully communicate with other team members. Prior experience as a non-attorney in an administrative role a plus 
  • Desire to learn and grow as an advocate, and openness to feedback
  • Ability to manage a large caseload and capacity to juggle and prioritize multiple competing tasks
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of Public Counsel
  • A commitment to economic and racial justice, including participating in and advancing the equity and inclusion work at Public Counsel
  • Humility, kindness, and a sense of humor



  • Job Type: Full-Time/Exempt
  • Bargaining
  • Probationary Period: 9 Months
  • Salary Range for Attorney with 0-11 years of experience is $75,000-$102,400. DOE. 
  • Public Counsel offers a competitive benefits package including:
  • Medical, dental, and vision coverage with both HMO and PPO options; 
  • The option to enroll in a Flexible Spending Account;         
  • A 403(b) retirement plan with elective contribution and a discretionary employer contribution after a year of employment; and 
  • Employer-paid life insurance and disability plans.
  • Generous paid time off and compensatory time up to 60 hours per calendar year
  • On-site parking or public transportation reimbursement available 



We value lived experiences and experiences working with clients across a range of settings. Please consider discussing such experiences in your cover letter, especially if they are not reflected in your resume. 



Public Counsel requires vaccination against COVID-19 for all employees, including new hires. Pursuant to federal and state laws, Public Counsel will provide reasonable accommodations to qualified employees with disabilities or sincerely held religious beliefs, unless doing so would pose an undue hardship. Public Counsel is generally office-based, but remote work has been permitted during the pandemic. 

All employees with Public Counsel are required to work in the office at least one day per week, at the discretion of the head of department. Some positions require additional in-office days. This policy is subject to redesign by leadership. Public Counsel will work in a manner consistent with public health and local and state emergency orders. 



Public Counsel is an Equal Opportunity Employer that does not discriminate against employees or prospective employees on the basis of union membership or activity, race, religious creed, religious observance, ethnicity, color, gender, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, genetic information or predisposition, military service, military and veteran status, pregnancy, child birth and related medical conditions, marital and family status, national origin, ancestry, age, medical conditions as defined by state or federal law, or disability, or any other basis prohibited by law. 

All qualified applicants with criminal histories will be considered in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative for Hiring. Our leadership team is dedicated to this policy with respect to recruitment, hiring, placement, promotion, transfer, training, compensation, benefits, employee activities discipline, discharge and general treatment during employment.