Kids in Need of Defense (KIND) is a global leader in the protection of unaccompanied refugee and migrant children. Launched in 2008, KIND champions a world in which every child’s rights and well-being are protected throughout their journey to safety. Since 2008, KIND has accepted over 23,000 referrals of children seeking legal representation in their immigration proceedings. KIND has welcomed more than 41,000 attendees to trainings since its founding, cultivating partnerships with over 700 law firms, corporate legal departments, law schools, and bar associations across the country.
KIND’s social services program ensures that migrant and refugee children – who have often endured trauma – receive counseling, educational support, medical care, and other comprehensive services.
To address the root causes of child migration from Central America and strengthen the protection of unaccompanied children, KIND advocates for policy changes and educates lawmakers, the media, and the broader public on the conditions that drive these children to flee their home countries. KIND supports children returning to their home countries by connecting them to essential support services and sponsors gender-based violence prevention programs in Central America to protect children in countries of origin and transit.
KIND is also building upon its expertise in the protection of unaccompanied children to encourage the development of pro bono initiatives across Europe in partnership with European NGOs.
KIND’s Fresno office seeks a Managing Attorney, Fresno-Detained to provide senior-level expertise and program management in the provision of legal services by KIND attorneys and pro bono partners to unaccompanied children in California’s Central Valley, including ORR long-term foster care placements and those released into an Unaccompanied Refugee Minors (URM) program. As needed, the incumbent will supervise Staff Attorneys, Senior Paralegals, Paralegals, and program staff. The Managing Attorney, Fresno-Detained will report to the Managing Director, Fresno.
This position is based out of KIND’s office in the city of Fresno, California the gateway to Yosemite, Kings Canyon, and Sequoia National Parks. The Managing Attorney will oversee provision of services in a Sacramento based URM program and clients released into the Central Valley.
The Managing Attorney, Fresno-Detained practices in federal and state venues and interfaces with national NGOs, state, and federal agencies.
A relocation stipend may be available.
- Provides both mentoring to KIND pro bono attorneys and direct legal representation to KIND clients:
- In the pro bono mentoring function, provides robust consultation and technical assistance to pro bono attorneys who have accepted a KIND case.
- In the direct representation function, performs ordinary functions of legal counsel including legal research and formulating the legal strategy for the case; conducts client interviews; appears before immigration and/or state courts or agencies; drafts and files court pleadings and applications for benefits.
- Supervises and leads Detained Program staff in the relevant jurisdiction(s), in consultation with the Managing Director, Fresno including program oversight, supervising casework, managing caseloads and other assignments, promoting, and advising supervisees on professional growth, conducting employee performance evaluations, meeting regularly with each supervisee, and providing consistent and effective supervision to ensure high-quality legal work and achievement of deliverables.
- Serves as an organizational leader, advisor, and resident expert on the special needs of detained children, and the tailored provision of services in the detained context.
- Liaisons with shelter staff and other stakeholders as needed to maximize efficient and effective services to detained children. Maintain ORR and other stakeholder relations.
- Participates in local coalitions of various stakeholders supporting unaccompanied immigrant children.
- Monitors daily arrivals, transfers, and discharges of immigrant children housed in local ORR facilities.
- Oversees the timely and high-quality provision of legal orientation presentations and intakes of children upon arrival at ORR shelters.
- Reviews intakes by the detained team and makes determinations regarding eligibility for immigration relief.
- Provides referrals for children to be transferred out of state for long-term foster care placement.
- Oversees the preparation and organization of the monthly detained juvenile docket in Immigration Court.
- Collaborates with Managing Director, Fresno, and Managing Attorney, Fresno-Released, to determine in-house and volunteer pro bono case placements.
- Develops and implements effective recruitment, mentoring, and case placement strategies to increase pro bono representation of unaccompanied immigrant children with support from the Managing Attorney, Fresno-Released and Deputy Director for Pro Bono Partnerships and local field office staff.
- Provides legal skills training and technical case assistance to in-house staff, pro bono attorneys, or other stakeholders, in coordination with field office colleagues and KIND’s Training and Technical Assistance Team.
- Assists with the development of resources, local training curriculum, sample filings, and guidance packets; assists with development and conducting of a local and national KIND training for both staff and external partners and stakeholders in coordination with local field office staff responsible for pro bono training and mentoring,
- Represents KIND at local coalitions, courts, and agencies; participates in and lead local and national KIND meetings, committees, retreats, and events.
- Support the Managing Director, Fresno to develop and implement management strategies to meet ambitious programmatic and funding deliverables, including staff recruitment and development-support functions, employee engagement, and quality control of KIND’s legal services delivery.
- Oversees data management, ensuring data integrity through regular case audits, technical fluency with KIND’s case management systems, and oversight of data upkeep and accuracy by supervisees.
- In collaboration with the Managing Director, Fresno, leads and manages large and complex programs, including oversight and drafting of grant reports, metrics oversight, and assisting in the drafting of funding proposals as needed.
- Travels to ORR facility in the Sacramento area is required.
Qualifications and Requirements:
- J.D. and admitted to the California bar.
- Fluent in English and Spanish.
- Minimum of 6 years of experience practicing immigration law, which should include representation of clients in humanitarian immigration claims such as asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U visas, and T visas.
- Minimum of 4 years of experience working with children, preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or other trauma.
- Minimum of 3 years of experience supervising attorneys and non-attorney staff.
- Minimum of 2 years of experience in program management, including experience such as project management, tracking deliverables, hiring, planning, and development.
- Minimum of 2 years of experience working in a detained setting.
- Experience working with law firm attorneys and or other legal volunteers.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and Spanish.
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites (such as Teams, Excel, etc.).
- Ability to work collaboratively and multi-task in our KIND environment, managing numerous priorities and emerging opportunities.
- Excellent organizational skills with ability to work on multiple projects in a deadline-oriented environment. Ability to prioritize tasks and to delegate as appropriate.
- Ability to work effectively with people of diverse backgrounds, lived experiences, and communication styles.
- Committed to prioritizing diversity, equity, and inclusion as well as embracing transparency and authenticity in daily work life.
- Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core mission of access to justice and protection of children’s wellbeing and rights.
- Showing the ability to multi-task and work with a sense of urgency in a dynamic, fast paced environment.
- Committed to practicing and supporting wellbeing and a work-home life balance.
- Experience working and communicating in a remote environment.
Salary Range: $93,040 – $116,300 dependent on experience
KIND requires all U.S. based staff be COVID vaccinated with the exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs exemptions.
How to apply
In order to be considered for the desired role please apply here.
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be submitted along with your resume and cover letter.
KIND has an organization-wide commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion. We strive to create a work environment where everyone has a sense of belonging. Individuals from historically underrepresented or underserved communities are strongly encouraged to apply.
Disclaimer: KIND is committed to an ethical recruitment and hiring process and maintains a firm “no fees” recruitment policy. We will never charge a fee or ask for money as part of the application process. KIND also conducts all interviews via telephone or video conference, and at no time will KIND engage in a text or mobile app-based application or interview process. For more information, please visit the following website: https://supportkind.org/join-the-team/kind-employment-practices/.