Staff Attorney - Los Angeles

Job Title: Staff Attorney

Classification & FLSA Status: Full time | Exempt

Salary: Depending on experience

Department: Legal Department | Deportation Defense Unit, Children’s Team

Reports to: Managing Attorney

Location: CARECEN Los Angeles Office


Job Summary:

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


Organizational Background:

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 immigrant community.


Essential Functions:

  • Represents unaccompanied minors in removal proceedings before the Los Angeles Immigration Court. This includes representing children in state court to obtain predicate orders related to Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, as well as representation in Immigration Court and before USCIS.
  • Work under the supervision of a managing and supervising attorney, handling all aspects of client’s cases, including appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals if necessary.
  • Assist in coordinating referrals for medical, mental health or 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 supervisor.



  • Juris Doctor degree with active bar membership (California strongly preferred)
  • Fluency or high proficiency in Spanish (testing administered)
  • Experience in immigration law
  • Strong case management, legal research, and writing skills
  • Ability to manage time-intensive caseload with numerous deadlines
  • Competence in and dedication to working with others of diverse cultural, geographic, and economic backgrounds, including children with a history of severe trauma
  • Commitment to immigrants’ rights and the mission of CARECEN
  • Strong organizational skills and ability to work independently
  • The position will involve some evening and weekend work



Salary is depending on experience. This is a full-time, salaried position.



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


Work Schedule:

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. Exempt employees do not receive overtime compensation, compensatory time off, or additional compensation beyond the salary assigned to the position. Office hours are 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday – Friday, with flexibility required based on the needs of the organization. Work is performed in a variety of work settings, including CARECEN’s offices, workspace provided by others, libraries and other government facilities, among others.

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 preferred.


Application Deadline:

Candidates encouraged to apply immediately.


To Apply:

Please email cover letter, resume, three references, and brief writing sample (maximum 10 pages) to Camila Alvarez ([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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