Staff Attorney for Deportation Defense Unit- Los Angeles

Job Title: Staff Attorney

Classification & FLSA Status: Full time | Exempt

Salary: $60,000 + Depending on experience

Department: Legal Department | Deportation Defense Unit

Reports to: Supervising Attorney

Location: Telecommute currently offered with transition to CARECEN’s Los Angeles Office


Job Summary: The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN) seeks a bilingual staff attorney to represent unaccompanied children and adults in removal proceedings. This is a full-time position based out of CARECEN’s Los Angeles Office.


Job Requirements/Essential Functions

  • Represents unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings. This includes representation in state court to obtain predicate orders related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, as well as representation in Immigration Court, before USCIS, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
  • Representing non-detained adults in removal proceedings before the Los Angeles Immigration Court. This includes representation in Immigration Court, before USCIS, and before the Board of Immigration Appeals.
  • Work under the supervision of supervising attorneys, handling all aspects of client’s cases.
  • Assist in coordinating referrals for medical, mental health, and educational services for clients, as necessary.
  • Responsible for complying with data and program reporting requirements and supervising legal assistants and their assignments.
  • Other duties as assigned by Supervising Attorney.


Required Skills/Qualifications

  • Juris Doctor degree with active bar membership (California required)
  • Fluency or high proficiency in Spanish (testing administered)
  • Experience in immigration law
  • 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
  • Ability to drive with a valid CA license and registered vehicle is required
  • The position will involve some evening and weekend work



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. 

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 Los Angeles Offices. The position is part of the bargaining unit represented by the union.

Travel Requirements

Ability to travel to different CARECEN offices, and other offsite locations. Work 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 required.



CARECEN offers a generous benefits package that has medical, dental, vision, life insurance and Flexible Spending. Supplemental insurance and a 403(b) retirement savings plan are also available. Paid time off is also provided along with 11 paid holidays.


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. Principals only; no search firms or legal recruiters (no exceptions). No inquiries.



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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