Staff Attorney, U.S.-Mexico Border Programs
Company: Kids in Need of Defense (KIND)
Posted on: November 20, 2023
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
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
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
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 Legal Programs Team seeks a Staff Attorney, U.S.-Mexico
Border Programs to orient and counsel family units and
unaccompanied children at the U.S.-Mexico border. The position will
preferably be based out of the Rio Grande Valley region of Texas,
with potential travel to El Paso, TX and Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. The
incumbent will work closely with the Managing Attorney, Managing
Director, Social Services Coordinator, International organizations,
and NGO contacts to identify children and families in need of
KIND's services. The incumbent will conduct screenings, Know Your
Rights orientations, and direct representation as needed. The
incumbent will provide consultations to family groups to prevent
family separation, mitigate the impact of family separation, and
promote the reunification of separated and unaccompanied children
with their families. This Staff Attorney, U.S.-Mexico Border
Programs will report to the Managing Attorney on KIND's team based
along the U.S.-Mexico border.
This position will preferably based in the Rio Grande Valley area
of Texas, and will require local travel and occasional travel to
other areas, including to KIND's regional office in Ciudad Juarez,
Note: This position is contingent upon KIND successfully securing
additional funding and will initially be a one (1) year term,
subject to potential renewal contingent upon ongoing funding
- Ensures that family groups and unaccompanied children have
access to options counseling and representation to prevent or
mitigate family separation, or facilitate reunification.
- Collaborates with staff in Mexico to provide screenings,
technical assistance, orientation, and representation for children
seeking to reunify with family in the United States.
- Undertakes direct legal counsel functions, including legal
research and formulating the legal strategy for individual cases;
conducts client interviews; provides Know Your Rights presentations
and legal orientations for children and families; appears before
immigration agencies as needed.
- Receives referrals from and coordinates with counterparts at
international organizations and NGO partners on high-needs
- Ensures that particularly vulnerable children are screened for
protection needs and options for relief and that pertinent
referrals for services are made to NGO and other partners, in
addition to pursuing protection strategies.
- Provides interim or longer-term counseling and support for
children and families after being processed into the U.S.,
including an orientation on their parole or other documentation,
any reporting requirements, court hearings, and address
- Builds relationships across the border with other legal and
community organizations supporting unaccompanied children and
families, identifying gaps in services where KIND's expertise can
supplement existing programs.
- Strengthens the identification of trends and protection issues
both in Mexico and the United States in order to advocate more
effectively for systemic policy change that reduces the incidence
of family separation overall and strengthens protection
- Coordinates with KIND's U.S. field offices and teams to provide
continuity of representation where possible.
- Conducts presentations and trainings on U.S. law regarding
unaccompanied children for a broad range of stakeholders on both
sides of the U.S.-Mexico border.
- Helps ensure cross-component collaboration with KIND's Policy
and Advocacy and Communications teams and other Mexico-based
- Attends meetings, conferences, and other events as a
representative of KIND.
- Ensures entry of timely, accurate, and detailed case data into
KIND's case management systems.
- Supports funder reporting, data requests, and grant
- Contributes to overall team functioning, including joining team
meetings and organization-wide calls and meetings; participates in
team, office, and KIND-wide committees; assists with
- As needed, supervises Paralegals, Program Coordinators,
Interns, and/or other non-legal staff including onboarding, skills
training, daily support and coaching, review and quality assurance
of filings, regular check-ins and performance evaluations, and
provision of consistent and effective supervision and
Qualifications and Requirements:
- J.D. and admitted to state bar.
- Must be fluent in English and Spanish.
- Minimum of 1 year 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 1 year of experience working with children,
preferably immigrant and refugee children, and/or working with
vulnerable populations, survivors of abuse, human trafficking, or
- Excellent written and oral communication skills in English and
- Working knowledge of Microsoft Office Suites (such as Teams,
- Ability to work collaboratively and multi-task in our KIND
environment, managing numerous priorities and emerging
- 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
- Be disciplined and nimble to ensure delivery on our core
mission of access to justice and protection of children's wellbeing
- 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
KIND requires all U.S.-based staff to be COVID vaccinated with the
exception of those who have medical or religious beliefs
Please be advised that an employment application will need to be
submitted along with your resume and cover letter, in order to be
considered for the desired role.
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
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:
Keywords: Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), Brownsville , Staff Attorney, U.S.-Mexico Border Programs, Legal , Brownsville, Texas
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