Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 670 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America, and strengthen the protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND seeks a Staff Attorney at our Fresno Office location, to provide expert legal services to unaccompanied children needing legal representation through zealous direct representation as well as pro bono facilitation, including robust consultation, training, and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted KIND cases. As needed, supervise Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, interns, and/or other non-attorney staff. The Staff Attorney will report to the Supervising Attorney.
-Provide both mentoring to KIND pro bono attorneys and direct legal representation to KIND clients.
-In the pro bono mentoring function, provide robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case.
-In the direct representation function, perform ordinary functions of legal counsel including legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducting client interviews; appearing before immigration and/or state courts or agencies, and drafting and filing court pleadings and applications for benefits.
-Supervise interns and/or other non-attorney staff as needed including: Onboarding, skills training, daily support and coaching, review and quality assurance of filings, regular check-ins and performance evaluations, and provision of consistent and effective supervision and oversight.
-Place cases with pro bono attorneys and actively build relationships between KIND and the pro bono community.
-In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team and the local field office Senior Attorney/s, as needed, help develop pro bono training resources and local training curriculum, including sample filings and guidance packets. With supervision, present trainings to pro bono attorneys and community groups.
-Contribute to overall office functioning, including actively participating in the field office and KIND-wide calls and meetings, field office and KIND-wide committees, and assisting with office events.
-Ensure entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into KIND’s case management systems.
-Represent KIND at local coalitions, courts, and agencies.
-In coordination with KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team provide guidance and legal analysis within the office and engage actively as a mentor for more junior attorneys.
Qualifications and Requirements:
-J.D. and admitted to local state bar. (If candidate is not admitted to local state bar, must sit for bar exam or start waiver to be admitted within 6 months and be able to be admitted within one year of employment.)
-Must be fully bilingual in both English and Spanish.
-Minimum of 1 year of experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas.
-Minimum of 1 year of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
Experience working with law firm attorneys and/or other legal volunteers if the majority of the caseload is working directly with pro bono attorneys.
-Strong record of cultural competence and cross-cultural communication skills.
-Demonstrated ability to communicate effectively and persuasively both orally and in writing.
-Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
-Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
-Showing the ability to multi-task and work with a sense of urgency in a dynamic, fast-paced environment.
-Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
-Experience working and communicating in a remote environment.
This position may be eligible for relocation assistance
KIND requires all staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be considered for the desired role. (Acceptable to request writing sample for certain roles).
KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.