Position: Directing Attorney
Program/Location: Santa Cruz County Immigration Project/Watsonville Office: 406 Main Street, Watsonville & satellite locations
Status: Full-Time EXEMPT position
Hours per week: 40 hours per week, may include occasional evenings or weekends
Salary Range: $43.00-$50.00 per hour
Job Type: Full-time
- 401(k) matching
- Dental insurance
- Employee assistance program
- Health insurance
- Life insurance
- Paid time off
- Vision insurance
- 8 hour shift
- Monday to Friday
Ability to commute/relocate:
- Watsonville, CA 95076: Reliably commute or planning to relocate before starting work (Required)
- Supervising: 1 year (Preferred)
- Immigration law: 1 year (Required)
- Spanish (Required)
- Bar (Required)
Work Location: In person
Benefits: Medical (employee share of cost depending on plan selected), vision, life, dental (employee pays half of dental) insurance, Retirement plan (401K plan after six months), 24 days annual leave to start, and 13 paid holidays per year.
Reports to: CAB Director of Programs and Impact
Overview: The Community Action Board of Santa Cruz County, Inc. (CAB) has been the County’s designated Community Action Agency since 1965, with the mission to eliminate poverty and create social change through advocacy and essential services. CAB does so through the 4 program pillars of community building, employment, immigration and homelessness prevention and intervention services that serve over 10,000 people per year, with a staff of over 50 employees. CAB Immigration Project, known as SCCIP, has a mission to promote the wellbeing of the immigrant community in Santa Cruz County and the Pajaro Valley. We accomplish this by helping immigrants acquire legal status, reuniting immigrant families, and making U.S. citizenship more accessible to eligible immigrants. We provide competent and professional legal services, advocacy, and community education and information.
SCCIP has been providing immigration legal services for over 30 years to reunite families and promote family stability and economic opportunity. Due to its emphasis on high-quality and culturally sensitive services and advocacy on behalf of the immigrant community, SCCIP has been recognized as a leading non-profit provider of immigration legal services in the Central Coast region. Currently offered legal services include family-based visa petitions, adjustment of status, consular processing, citizenship/naturalization, renewals of green cards, work permits, and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), petitions under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), U-Visa, T-Visa Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS), Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Waivers of Inadmissibility, and—beginning Fall 2023—removal defense services including Asylum, Withholding of Removal, and protection under the Convention Against Torture. Community education is an important function of our immigration services, including forums for the community, in-service training for social service providers and educators, application workshops, and media appearances.
General Duties: SCCIP has a co-leadership program structure, with the Program Director acting as the administrative and operations lead and the Directing Attorney responsible for leading and implementing the provision of immigration legal services to SCCIP clients. Under the oversight of CAB’s Director of Programs and Impact and in partnership with the SCCIP Program Director, the Directing Attorney will supervise and support immigration legal services caseworkers, including the Lead Staff Attorney, Lead Accredited Representative, Staff Attorneys, Law Fellows, Department of Justice Partially Accredited Representatives, unaccredited Program Specialists, and volunteers. In collaboration with the Program Director, the Directing attorney will also work with CAB leadership to help guide program development, promote the agency vision and values, represent CAB in the community, participate in collaborations and networks, and lead community efforts to support immigration legal services in our region.
Duties and Responsibilities:
· Lead CAB’s provision of legal services and response to clients’ legal immigration needs including possible remedies within the jurisdiction of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS), Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. Department of State (DOS).
· Provide direct legal services and representation on a limited number of cases, especially in cases that present complex issues or significant impact on the immigrant community.
· Provide legal supervision to program staff and review and approve immigration legal casework, for Staff Attorneys, Law Fellows, DOJ Accredited Representatives, unaccredited Program Specialists, and volunteers to process applications and petitions for immigration legal remedies.
· Coordinate legal training and education for SCCIP caseworkers. Facilitate in-house trainings, and assign participation in conferences, trainings, webinars, and practice advisories to caseworker staff, as appropriate.
· Act as spokesperson on immigration law and policy matters; conduct media interviews in Spanish and English on breaking immigration developments and events; and develop communications strategy in coordination with Program Director, CAB administration, and staff.
· Stay up to date on legal developments and policy changes and disseminate information and training to SCCIP staff as appropriate. Conduct legal research and writing as needed. Prepare and maintain checklists, screening sheets and other tools to support legal caseworkers in the provision of immigration legal services.
· Provide education, information and outreach for clients, staff, agency, and community partners, including but not limited to online workshops, clinics, and panels. Organize and conduct presentations and community education forums on immigration law and policy and developments for community members and other stakeholders, including social service providers, CBO’s, government agencies, funders, and elected officials.
· Work with CAB’s administration to provide organizational leadership and operational vision aligned with the organization’s strategy and evolving community needs. Provide strategic input to evaluate potential alliances and expansion of services.
· Support the Program Director with grant applications and reports as needed and to ensure program outcomes and deliverables are met and reports submitted in a timely manner.
· Provide leadership with CAB’s immigration policy and agency advocacy efforts, review and comment on proposed legislation and rulemaking at local, state, and federal levels that affect the immigrant community, and interface with stakeholders and governmental representatives on matters of immigration law and policy.
· Facilitate regular legal case rounds meetings and participate in regular SCCIP staff meetings.
· Assist Program Director with periodic staff performance evaluation and assessment.
· Collaborate with the Program Director to review and adjust office procedures and structures, and implement best practices, to maintain and improve the quality, efficiency, and client and staff satisfaction of legal service delivery.
· Coordinate CAB’s Recognition and staff Accreditation with the Department of Justice (DOJ) Office of Legal Access Programs (OLAP). Ensure Accredited staff renew on time and assist both current and new applicants for Partial Accreditation with the preparation and submission of applications with OLAP.
· Responsible for convening legal partner meetings and keeping partners informed of program inputs/outputs to ensure grant expectations are met.
· Evening and weekend work as needed.
· Other duties as assigned.
· Bilingual/Bi-literate required, excellent English & Spanish written and verbal communication skills.
· Law Degree/J.D. and active membership in the California State Bar or the bar of the highest court of any state with a minimum of 5 years prior experience in immigration law strongly preferred. California Bar membership strongly preferred.
· Experience with directing or supervising/coordinating staff or volunteers and administering program budgets and contracts/grants.
· Excellent legal research and writing skills and extensive knowledge of immigration law.
· Comfort with giving and receiving feedback to support staff growth and performance.
· Strong public speaking skills Ability to effectively work, communicate, and build alliances with diverse groups of individuals, including community groups, government representatives, foundations, English/Spanish media, and other grassroots organizations.
· Demonstrate a strong commitment to equity and cultural competence related to the under-resourced community in Santa Cruz County.
· Organizational skills and ability to maintain paper files and electronic case management system records.
· Proficiency with standard computer software and web-based applications including Microsoft Office Suite (MS Word, Excel, Access, PowerPoint) and Outlook as well as proficiency with multi-purpose copier machines.
· Ability to work flexible schedule including occasional evenings and weekends.
· Valid California driver license with an excellent driving record and an insured vehicle.
· Fully vaccinated against COVID-19 upon hire is preferred.
CAB embraces the values of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion.
The hired candidate will adhere to CAB’s standard of upholding the agency’s mission, values and code of ethics
through a commitment to confidentiality and communication.
This position is categorically funded by grants. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, national origin, ancestry, disability, medical condition (cancer related), marital status, sex, sexual orientation, age (over 18), veteran status, gender, gender expression, pregnancy, or any other non-merit factor unrelated to job duties. AA/EOE