Friday, February 6, 2015

Job Posting - Staff Attorney

Nationalities Service Center – Job Description
                                                            Staff Attorney
History and Mission
NSC is a non-profit organization that provides social, educational, and legal services to immigrants and refugees in the greater Philadelphia area.  Our strength lies in the diversity of our clients and services.  Since NSC’s founding in 1921, our mission has been to help immigrants and refugees participate fully in American society.  Each year, we help approximately 5,000 individuals from over 90 countries. 
Position Overview

As a member of NSC’s Legal Services Department, the Staff Attorney will represent clients in immigration court hearings, appeals before the BIA and federal courts, and matters before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. Department of State. The Staff Attorney will conduct client consultations and determine appropriate legal strategies.  The Staff Attorney will perform outreach and training to educate the community on immigration issues and NSC’s services. 

The Staff Attorney has internal contacts with the entire administrative and programmatic staff and external contact with clients, court officials, and the general community. This position has access to sensitive NSC information and is expected to handle such information with integrity and professionalism. This position has regular contact with members of the community and is expected to represent NSC in a professional manner. 

The Staff Attorney reports directly to the Director of Legal Services and participates in department activities as necessary.
Job Responsibilities
  • Prepare cases for court or on appeal, including meeting and corresponding with clients and witnesses and preparing written motions and briefs.
  • Perform legal research and use independent judgment and decision-making to determine appropriate strategy for court cases, appellate cases, and applications to administrative agencies.
  • Represent clients before the immigration court.
  • Prepare administrative filings, including affirmative filings with USCIS, Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and U.S. Department of State (DOS), attend administrative interviews before government agencies, respond to requests for evidence, and meet with clients to prepare applications and responses.
  • Attend and participate in weekly legal services department staff meetings and case review meetings.
  • Meet with potential clients for consultation appointments, determine appropriate course of action, and prepare initial case files.
  • Perform general office administration duties.
  • Perform community outreach and training activities as directed.
  • Supervise and direct the work of legal assistants, interns, and volunteers.
  • Maintain case files in complete, professional manner in accordance with NSC procedures and legal requirements.
  • Adhere to all applicable legal and ethical standards.   
  • Maintain regular communication with clients in accordance with applicable ethical standards and best practices.                       

Non-Essential Functions

  1. Attend relevant workshops or join professional groups as necessary to maintain professional knowledge and licensure.
  2. Adhere to NSC’s confidentiality guidelines and ensure the appropriate handling of sensitive information.
  3. Facilitate and attend relevant staff meetings to promote communication and execution of goals.
  4. Complete special projects specific to the function of the department or as needed as directed by the Director of Legal Services.
  5. Other duties as assigned within the scope of position expectations.

Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities

  1. Understanding of NSC Legal Services Department goals and objectives and ability to work and contribute as part of a larger team.
  2. Knowledge of immigration law and procedures, legal ethics, and interrelationship of immigration law and other areas of law such as criminal and family.
  3. Ability to perform legal research and understand the law and relevant procedures in order to develop a strategy and/or argument that is persuasive.
  4. Ability to present an argument and advocate for and influence others in court.
  5. Ability to manage multiple tasks by carefully setting priorities, meeting deadlines, and scheduling time efficiently.
  6. Basic understanding of computer operations and ability to use a variety of common software programs including Microsoft Office.
  7. Ability to effectively communicate in person, by phone, or in writing with individuals of multi-cultural backgrounds.
  8. Ability to organize tasks in an efficient manner and follow-up and follow-through with strong attention to detail in a fast-paced environment.
  9. Ability to work with other people through a cooperative effort.
  10. Strong interpersonal skills as demonstrated by compassionate, courteous, cordial, cooperative, and professional interaction with diverse groups of co-workers, program members, social services agencies, social workers, and the community.
  11. Adhere to all NSC policies and procedures.
  12. Attend all NSC in-services as required.

Experience, Education, and Licensure

Minimum Experience: 1+ years of immigration law practice preferred.  Oral and written fluency in Spanish, French, Mandarin, and/or Arabic preferred.

Minimum Education: J.D. degree.

Licensure: Admission to the bar in any State.

Nothing in this position description restricts management’s right to assign or reassign duties and responsibilities to this job at any time.


The position is full-time and exempt, and includes benefits. Salary is commensurate with experience.

How to Apply

Please email detailed letter of interest and résumé to  Please no phone calls.

Applications will be accepted until position is filled. NSC does not discriminate in employment because of age, sex, race, religion, national origin, and sexual orientation or for any reason not relevant to the qualifications of the position.

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