LA-Staff Attorney (CHIRP)


Job Title: Staff Attorney

Classification & FLSA Status: Full time | Exempt

Salary:  Depending on experience

Department: Legal Department | Deportation Defense Unit

Project: Children’s Holistic Immigration Representation Project (CHIRP)

Reports to: Managing Attorney and/or Supervising Attorney

Location:   Hybrid- Telecommute and CARECEN’s Los Angeles Office


Job Summary: The staff attorney will focus on providing direct legal services to unaccompanied children in the Southern California region as part of CARECEN’s holistic legal advocacy. This holistic representation model is made possible through funding from the California Department of Social services to pilot a two-year project, the Children’s Holistic Immigration Representation Project (CHIRP).

The project’s aim is twofold— to support the expansion of legal and social services with a goal of building capacity and promote best practices in holistic legal representation of unaccompanied children. Cases under this model are selected on a first come, first serve basis without regard to the merits of the case. We are currently seeking to hire a staff attorney with a proven interest in working with this population to partner with our social services staff (case manager and/or social worker) in providing holistic representation.

Job Requirements/Essential Functions

  • Represents unaccompanied children (non-detained) in removal proceedings, including representation before the Los Angeles, Santa Ana, and Van Nuys Immigration Courts, before USCIS, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals
  • Represents children in state court to obtain predicate orders related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status
  • Work under the supervision of the managing attorney and/or supervising attorney in handling all aspects of clients’ cases
  • Collaborate with the case manager and/or social worker in coordinating referrals for medical, mental health, educational services, and other social services for clients, as necessary
  • Responsible for complying with data and program reporting requirements
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor


Required Skills/Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree with active bar membership (California required)
  • Fluency or high proficiency in Spanish (testing administered)
  • Experience in immigration law (preferred)
  • Strong case management, legal research, writing skills, and oral communication skills
  • Ability to manage time-intensive caseload with numerous deadlines
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently
  • Competence in and dedication to working with others of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds, including clients with a history of severe trauma and criminal records
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of CARECEN
  • Commitment to working in a diverse professional environment


Work Environment and Physical Demands

This job operates in a professional office environment. The position requires the ability to lift files, open filing cabinets and bend or stand as necessary. Telecommute currently offered, with transition to CARECEN offices. Work is performed in a variety of work settings, including CARECEN’s offices, workspace provided by others, libraries and other government facilities, among others. Due to the COVID -19 pandemic, work is currently being performed remotely with limited access to CARECEN Offices.

Classification and Work Schedule

The position is a full-time exempt position. Office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday, with flexibility required based on the needs of the organization. The normal workweek for this full-time exempt position is 35 hours, but a greater emphasis is placed on meeting the responsibilities assigned to the position. The position will involve some evening and weekend work. Exempt employees do not receive overtime compensation, compensatory time off, or additional compensation beyond the salary assigned to the position. 

Travel Requirements

This position is based out of CARECEN’s Los Angeles office and requires occasional travel to CARECEN’s San Bernardino office and Van Nuys office. The position also requires occasional travel to Immigration Court in Los Angeles, Van Nuys, and Santa Ana and States Courts around the Southern California Region. The position may comprise up to 50% of travel time. Mileage reimbursement is available. Ability to drive with a valid CA license and a registered vehicle is preferred.


CARECEN offers a generous benefits package that includes medical, dental, vision, and life insurance. Supplemental insurance and a 403(b) retirement savings plan are also available. Paid time off is also provided.


Application Deadline

Candidates encouraged to apply immediately.

To Apply:

Please email cover letter, resume, three references, and brief writing sample (maximum 10 pages) to Lilit Melkonyan ([email protected]). Candidates are urged to be specific regarding level of Spanish fluency in the cover letter. Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. CARECEN will not consider applications through legal recruiting/staffing agencies. No inquiries or phone calls from applicants or legal recruiters please.

CARECEN is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

All qualified applicants shall receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ethnic group identification, ancestry, sex, age, marital status, political affiliation, condition of physical or mental disability, or sexual orientation, in accordance with requirements of Federal and State laws.

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