Staff Attorney 

San Diego, CA


In order to increase access to justice for people facing immigration court, ImmDef is currently hiring additional legal and administrative staff.

The Immigrant Defenders Law Center (“ImmDef”) is a next-generation, social justice law firm that provides high-quality representation and legal services to immigrants in Southern California. ImmDef was founded with the belief that no immigrant should be forced to go into court alone and our universal representation programs for children and adults are a first step towards that goal. Learn more about us at

In response to the current humanitarian crisis manufactured by the Trump administration’s mistreatment of asylum-seeking families in the Tijuana/San Diego border region, ImmDef is hiring a staff attorney in our San Diego office. Our San Diego-based staff attorney will provide fearless and zealous advocacy to clients in the Migrant Persecution Protocols program (also known as “Remain In Mexico”) as well as to persons on both sides of the border needing direct representation to vindicate their right to seek asylum. This position reports directly to a Managing Attorney in our San Diego office. This is a rewarding and exciting position where the successful applicant will be engaged in dynamic, cutting edge legal relief work as part of ImmDef’s Cross-Border Initiative. As part of the larger goals of the Cross-Border Inititiative, the Staff Attorney will participate in community education events, Pro Se workshops and other activities as needed.

This position will require frequent travel to and from Tijuana and surrounding areas. Additional travel to other border cities (Calexico/Mexicali) and our downtown Los Angeles office will also be required for training and other projects. All job-related mileage will be reimbursed at the current IRS rate.

Job responsibilities include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • Provide creative representation to immigrants before Customs and Border Protection, the Immigration Courts, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and CA state court proceedings related to a client's removal case;

  • Stay up to date on rapidly changing immigration laws and policies;

  • Comply with data and program reporting requirements.

Preferred Qualifications:

  • Juris Doctorate;

  • Active California State Bar License required or licensure from another state and willingness to "waive into" the CA Bar via the Multi-Jurisdictional Practice Program;

  • Experience in immigration law/removal defense is a huge plus, but we are willing to train the right person;

  • Life experience working, travelling or living in Mexico and/or Latin America is preferred;

  • Demonstrated ability to effectively work with marginalized populations and survivors of trauma;

  • High level of Spanish language proficiency (will be tested at time of interview);

  • Strong case management, legal research and legal writing skills required;

  • Demonstrated ability and willingness to zealously pursue new and untested legal theories;

  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work under pressure required;

  • Enthusiasm for working in a constantly changing atmosphere where quickly developing crisis situations are the norm rather than the exception;

  • Experience working in a high volume, social-justice law firm is a huge plus;

  • Passion for social justice for immigrants required.




  • $58,000 - $72,000 DOE

Holidays and Paid Time Off

  • 12 paid holidays including Indigenous Peoples’ Day

  • 1-Week paid winter break between Christmas and New Years

  • 15 vacation days per year

  • 12 Sick Days per year

Health, Dental and Vision Insurance

  • ImmDef offers a number of health plans that are 100% paid plans for staff starting on the 1st of the month following 30 days of employment.

  • Additionally, we pay 75% of the premiums for select plans for immediate family members, including registered domestic partners.


FSA and Dependent Care FSA

  • ImmDef offers FSA plans to help offset the costs of eligible health care expenses for you, your spouse, and your eligible dependents using pre-tax dollars

  • We also offer Dependent Care FSA to pay for eligible dependent care services, such as preschool, summer day camp, before or after school programs, and child or adult daycare.

 401(k) Retirement Savings Plan

  • ImmDef staff are eligible to enroll in our 401(k) plans immediately upon hire, contributing pre-tax dollars towards their retirement goals

  • After six months on staff, ImmDef will match 100% of contributions up to 3%

  • Funds are vested immediately!

Public Service Loan Forgiveness

  • As a 501(c)3, qualified ImmDef staff are eligible for Public Service Loan Forgiveness

Bar Dues

  • ImmDef covers California bar dues up to $450 annually


Email cover letter, resume, 3 references, and brief writing sample (5 pages or less) to: Immigrant Defenders Law Center at In the subject line please write FIRST NAME_LAST NAME_SD STAFF ATTORNEY APPLICATION. Please indicate where you came across our job posting. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. No phone calls please.


ImmDef believes in second chances. As an organization, we rely on individualized assessments in the hiring of those with past criminal convictions. We encourage all qualified applicants to apply for a position fighting for our immigrant communities!


Immigrant Defenders Law Center is an Equal Opportunity Employer.

Find us:

634 S Spring St, 10th Floor

Los Angeles, CA 90014

Riverside, CA

(solo atendemos clientes con cita; by appointment only)

2121 North Tustin Ave.

Santa Ana, CA 92705

(solo atendemos clientes con cita; by appointment only)

Call us:

(213) 634-0999

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