11 September, 2019 10:13 AM

Legal Assistant - Deportation Defense Unit


The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) seeks a bilingual legal assistant to support attorneys in our Deportation Defense Unit, representing unaccompanied children and adults in removal proceedings. The legal assistant position is a full-time (35 hour a week) position located in our Los Angeles Office.



CARECEN was founded in 1983 by Salvadoran refugees and other human rights activists who worked to secure legal status for the thousands of Central Americans fleeing civil war. Today, CARECEN’s mission is to promote the human and civil rights of Central Americans and all immigrant communities through legal and educational services, and by advocating and organizing to transform immigration and education policies. CARECEN is committed to coordinating a community response to serve the needs of unaccompanied minors fleeing violence in Central America.


The CARECEN Legal Department offers a dynamic work environment for passionate, social justice-oriented advocates. Our legal program provides direct legal representation to thousands of clients each year seeking family-based immigration assistance, citizenship, asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), VAWA, T and U visas, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Temporary Protected Status, NACARA, and other relief, both affirmatively and in immigration court. In addition to direct representation, CARECEN engages in advocacy at the local and national levels on the issues of immigration reform, combating notario fraud, and advocating for the legal and non-legal needs of the Pico-Union community of Los Angeles.



  • Conduct intake of potential and retained clients.
  • Assist clients in gathering supporting documents, preparing their declarations, and preparing for hearings/interviews.
  • Assist clients in preparing state court forms, motions before the Executive Office of Immigration Review, asylum applications, Special Immigrant Juvenile applications, Naturalization applications, Adjustment of Status applications, and other immigration-related forms.
  • Assist clients in accessing services, including mental health and medical services.
  • Assist Staff Attorneys with data reporting requirements and other administrative matters.
  • Translate documents from Spanish-to-English (and vice versa).
  • Provide simultaneous Spanish-English interpretation at interviews with US Citizenship & Immigration services, including asylum interviews.
  • File documents at immigration court, state court, and USCIS.
  • Assist other departments as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned by supervisor.



  • Experience preparing state court forms, including family and probate court (preferred)
  • Experience in immigration law (preferred)
  • Verbal and written fluency in Spanish and English languages required.
  • Excellent communication, interviewing, and writing skills required.
  • Self-confidence, ability to interact with government agencies and advocate on behalf of client's interests required.
  • Sensitivity and desire to work with low-income, immigrant families.
  • Attention to detail and effective time management skills strongly preferred.
  • Ability to work effectively with diverse groups of clients and volunteers.
  • Demonstrated commitment to mission and goals of CARECEN.
  • Demonstrated willingness to work under minimal supervision.



This is a permanent, full-time position paid at an hourly rate of $15.00 – 19.00, depending on experience. The position includes benefits.




Please email a cover letter, resume, and three references to: Camila Alvarez (calvarez@carecen-la.org). Candidates are urged to be specific regarding level of Spanish proficiency and preferred area(s) of focus in the cover letter. CARECEN will give preference to candidates with professional experience in state court matters and/or immigration law. Candidates should describe experience with these matters in their cover letter. Only those applicants selected for interviews will be contacted. Applicants must apply directly; no search firms or legal recruiters (no exceptions). No inquiries 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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