full time legal

Job Details

The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights invites applications for the position of full- time Staff Attorney to be based in Phoenix, Arizona. This position is a unique opportunity for an attorney to engage in written and oral advocacy on behalf of children in removal proceedings. The Staff Attorney will draft and submit best interest recommendations in immigration court, before asylum offices, to public interest attorneys, to the pro bono bar, and to the three federal agencies (DHS, HHS and DOJ) with responsibility for unaccompanied children in the United States. In Phoenix, the Staff Attorney will work directly with detained children and children released to families or sponsors, to advocate for their best interests with respect to their custody, conditions of release, and their immigration proceedings. The Staff Attorney will help recruit, train and supervise bilingual and bicultural volunteer Child Advocates—teachers, law students, social workers, community members—who will... work one-on-one with children. The Young Center team is a passionate and collegial group of professionals—attorneys, social workers, and administrative staff—committed to ensuring that children receive the full protection of federal immigration law, domestic child welfare law and international human rights law.


The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights is a national organization dedicated to protecting and advancing the rights and best interests—safety and well-being—of immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as Child Advocate (guardian ad litem for children in immigration proceedings) for unaccompanied and separated immigrant children pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. Our role is to identify and advocate for the best interests of immigrant children both while they are in federal custody and after they are released, applying federal and state law and long-recognized principles of the best interests of the child. The Young Center also does policy work, advocating with legislators, federal agencies and other stakeholders to promote consideration of the best interests of the child in all decisions concerning immigrant children and to create a dedicated juvenile immigrant justice system that treats children as children. The Young Center is headquartered in Chicago and has programs in Houston, San Antonio, Harlingen, Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, Phoenix, and Washington, D.C.


  • Supervise volunteers appointed as Child Advocate for unaccompanied and separated children in federal custody in Phoenix.
  • Serve as Child Advocate for particularly complex cases.
  • Visit children as needed, speak with parents, family members and stakeholders, draft case summaries.
  • Draft and submit best interest briefs to immigration judges, asylum officers, attorneys, and federal agencies, applying federal, state and international law.
  • Accompany children and their Child Advocates to immigration court, as well as state juvenile and family court.
  • Help recruit, train and supervise volunteer Child Advocates for the Young Center Child Advocate program serving children in the Phoenix area.
  • Develop relationships and coordinate with stakeholders serving unaccompanied children in the Phoenix area.
  • Assist with monthly reporting, attend stakeholder meetings, participate in working groups, and take on other program responsibilities as needed.
  • Other duties as assigned.


  • Generally has prior experience working with children, trauma survivors, or migrant/refugees to demonstrate an understanding of the population we serve. This may be first-hand experience or demonstrated interest in the field (coursework, internships, volunteer opportunities, etc.).
  • Critical thinking skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Collaborative
  • Strong writing skills
  • Aptitude and thoughtfulness in how to work with children
  • Proficient with Microsoft Office
  • Spanish
  • Valid drivers license
  • J.D., authorization to practice law


  • A commitment to public interest work
  • Ability to take initiative
  • An enthusiasm for working with volunteers
  • Excellent written and oral advocacy skills
  • Passion, tenacity, and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families

PHYSICAL DEMANDS: Physical demands include regular attendance; keyboarding; sitting for long periods (at least 5 hours a day); driving. Ability to use computer, telephone, and copy machine. Ability to travel by plane, car and other conveyances within U.S. Occasional lifting for event setup/preparation.

The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer that does not discriminate in and affirmatively factors diversity into its hiring practices. Young Center encourages applications from all qualified individuals without regard to race, color, creed, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, age, national origin, ancestry, marital or parental status, pregnancy, citizenship, non-disqualifying physical or mental disability, genetic information, or veterans’ status. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process; no applicant will be penalized for requesting an accommodation. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.

Clearance of a fingerprint-based criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANS), and tuberculosis test are conditions of employment

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