The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. Through our programs today, we provide services to thousands of adults, youth, and children detained in Eloy, Florence, Phoenix, and Tucson, Arizona on any given day. In 2001, the Florence Project implemented our Integrated Social Services Program, one of the first of its kind in this field. The Florence Project provides high quality legal and social services and supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.
Staff Attorney – Trafficking Response Team
The Children’s Program Trafficking Response Team will identify and screen clients who are victims of trafficking in order to provide appropriately integrated legal and social services. The Trafficking Response Team will additionally serve as an internal liaison for the training of staff on the provision of legal and social services to victims of trafficking and as an external liaison with community partners and stakeholders involved with the provision of services to victims of trafficking. The Trafficking Response Team will perform community outreach and education on legal and social services available to victims of trafficking.
Specifically, the Staff Attorney in the Children’s Trafficking Response Team will provide legal services to victims of trafficking and screen clients for T-visa eligibility. The Staff Attorney will provide direct representation to clients applying for T-visas and potentially for other forms of relief from immigration removal, including Special Immigrant Juvenile Status and asylum. This position will engage with challenging casework and will have extensive client contact with immigrant children, including indigenous children, who have been trafficked, abused, abandoned, neglected, or have a fear of returning to their home country.
The Staff Attorney in the Children’s Program Trafficking Response Team will work collaboratively with the Social Worker and the Legal Assistant that also form part of the team. The Staff Attorney will participate in the Florence Project’s Children’s Program, which is part of a national network of legal service providers for unaccompanied immigrant children.
Essential Duties & Responsibilities:
- Adequately identify, screen, and track for trafficking.
- Assess and serve trafficking victims, and screen for T-visa eligibility.
- File 15-20 T-visa applications per year for children who qualify.
- Develop or coordinate 10 legal trainings per year.
- Train legal staff on identifying and screening for trafficking and pursuing T-visa eligibility.
- Provide legal representation in cases accepted through the Children’s Program. Legal representation includes representation in immigration proceedings before the Immigration Court, representation before the Board of Immigration Appeals, representation before the Arizona Juvenile Courts, and other related services reasonably necessary to complete these proceedings.
- Supervise legal assistants assigned to each case.
- Provide direct representation in front of the immigration court, juvenile court, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, including challenging casework, and appeals before the appropriate bodies.
- Develop and recommend case strategy consistent with immigration law and procedure.
- Prepare cases, draft legal papers, present required evidence, and engage in negotiations, in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
- Conduct assessment of client’s social, economic, and psychological functioning.
- Collaborate with Children’s Program social workers by identifying needs of the client and making appropriate referrals.
- Determine appropriate range of services, interventions and referrals needed.
- Attend and is engaged in all team meetings and trainings.
- Remain current in immigration law and policy, and on impact of criminal and civil law on the immigration case.
- Complies with required ethical standards, preserves client confidentiality, and avoids conflict of interest.
- Maintain complete and accurate case notes and client records.
- Prepare timely statistical reports.
- Conduct periodic case audits for presentation and review.
- Participate in training on immigration procedures and develop and conduct training sessions as assigned.
- Provide “Know Your Rights Presentation,” legal screenings, and follow up support for unaccompanied children as needed.
- Develop and maintain cooperative relationships with the Phoenix trafficking unit, local and national community partners, including but not limited to private immigration attorneys, public officials, law enforcement officials, and other nonprofits that provide services to the immigrant population, particularly as they relate to victims of trafficking.
- Develop and maintain professional relationships with the Immigration Court (EOIR), Superior Court of Arizona Juvenile Courts, and the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), government and social service organizations, and community organizations.
- Communicate with the Managing Attorney about possible advocacy initiatives and legal trainings for the community.
- Support Florence Project advocacy, outreach and development activities as needed.
- Perform other administrative duties as needed.
Other Duties & Responsibilities:
- Participate in organizational fundraising and outreach efforts as requested.
- Participate in developing and implementing special projects or presentations.
- Other duties as assigned.
- J.D. and admission to any state bar.
- Must be licensed to practice law in Arizona (or willing to take Arizona bar exam), or eligible to waive into practice in Arizona (have two years of good standing in another state bar or have received a score of 273 or greater on the Universal Bar Exam).
- Demonstrate commitment to advocating for indigent immigrant clients in a respectful and empowering way.
- Demonstrate a zealous support of the Florence Project’s mission.
- Must be comfortable working with people with criminal convictions.
- Strong litigation experience and/or oral advocacy skills.
- Strong legal research.
- Strong interpersonal skills and the ability to work with diverse populations.
- Ability to communicate effectively verbally and in writing.
- Highly organized, an innovative thinker, and work in high-volume settings with limited resources.
- Excellent problem solving, research and analytical skills.
- Effectively manage multiple projects and meet deadlines.
- Demonstrate to be a hardworking, flexible, respectful team player that can work effectively in a collaborative, innovative, and client centered work environment.
- Ability to work independently, be adaptable and reliable in the face of conflict, pressure, crisis or changing priorities.
- Exhibit high ethical standards and the ability to maintain confidentiality.
- Must be able to pass federal and state background checks.
- Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish required.
- Travel is required for this position.
- Must have a valid driver’s license and reliable transportation.
- Proven computer skills. Advanced understanding of basic office applications.
- Experience providing legal representation to victims of trafficking.
- 2+ years of minimum experience providing direct representation to immigrants in removal proceedings, and extensive knowledge of immigration law, specifically related to T-visas, deportation defense, asylum, and criminal-immigration law issues is strongly preferred.
- 2+ years of prior experience practicing before the Arizona Courts, the Immigration Courts, or USCIS is strongly preferred.
- Prior advocacy work in immigrant rights, human rights, trafficking victims, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, or experience working with trauma survivors is a plus.
- Experience with databases and data tracking (i.e., Legal Server) is a plus.
Working Conditions/Physical Demands:
- Operate in a professional office environment and requires the ability to sit for long periods of time with intermittent walking, standing, bending, squatting, pulling and pushing.
- Ability to use standard office equipment such as scanners, computers, keyboards, phones, shredders, photocopiers, and filing cabinets. Requires the ability to lift up to ten pounds.
- Travel regularly between offices, and secondary work locations.
- This position requires travel and frequent time in detention facilities and shelters in Tucson and Phoenix and travel to the border as needed.
Salary & Benefits:
This is a full-time position. Salary is competitive for our field and geographical area and is commensurate with experience. We strive to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for all staff.
We offer excellent benefits, including:
- Medical plans including health, dental, vision coverage, subject to plan terms
- Short Term Disability
- Eligibility for group benefits such as voluntary life insurance, subject to applicable waiting periods
- Retirement plan, subject to plan terms
- Paid Time Off earned on a biweekly accrual basis- Twenty-five (25) Days of Vacation Time, annually
- Five (5) Days of Medical/Sick Time, annually
- One (1) Day of Personal Time, monthly
- Eight (8) Week Paid Sabbatical, after three years of employment
- Bereavement leave.
- Company-paid federal holidays, all observed
- Eligible for Parental Leave which includes Twelve (12) paid weeks
- Mileage reimbursement for travel between offices and places of work.
- Relocation Assistance for out of state new hires.
This is an immediate opening. Salary is commensurate with experience. The position will remain open until we receive enough qualified applicants. To apply, please submit a cover letter detailing your interest in the position as well as your resume, three professional references and email a writing sample to email@example.com (choose a writing sample that you consider will be most relevant to this position). Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply early. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities.
At FIRRP, we recognize that people come with a wealth of experience and talent beyond just the requirements of a job. If your experience is close to what you see listed in our current job opportunities, please still consider applying. Diversity of experience and skills combined with passion is a key to innovation and excellence, which is very much valued at FIRRP. Therefore, we encourage people from all backgrounds to apply to our positions. Please let us know if you require accommodations during the interview process.
This job announcement is for informational purposes only and is subject to change and modification without notice. This job announcement includes a non-exhaustive list of responsibilities, qualifications and requirements of the position, but does not necessarily include all the job functions of the position.
This posting has a tentative closing date of 9/24/21 -- we reserve the right adjust dates to fit organizational needs.