Senior Staff Attorney

Website International Rescue Committee


The International Rescue Committee (IRC) helps people whose lives and livelihoods are shattered by conflict and disaster to survive, recover, and gain control of their future. Founded in 1933, the IRC is at work today in more than 40 countries and in 26 U.S. cities. The IRC’s Resettlement, Asylum and Integration (RAI) department creates opportunities for refugees and other vulnerable migrants to survive and thrive in the US. RAI serves nearly 50,000 individuals each year in the US through a diverse portfolio of programs aimed at achieving outcomes in five impact areas: Health, Safety, Economic Wellbeing, Education, and Power.


IRC seeks a Senior Staff Attorney to join the IRC in Phoenix. The Senior Staff Attorney is an experienced asylum and removal defense lawyer who will lead IRC’s efforts locally to provide pro se assistance to Afghan parolees on affirmative asylum applications before US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS) and will supervise an Immigrant Justice Corps (IJC) Justice Fellow with a caseload of asylum and removal defense cases. The Senior Staff Attorney will also carry a small caseload of affirmative and defensive cases. The Senior Staff Attorney will bring several years’ experience representing asylum seekers, superb legal judgment and legal ethics, an ability to work independently while recognizing the value of collaboration and cross-referencing with other experts, and a passion for this area of work. The position will work in collaboration with community partners and will be part of the Removal Defense Community of Practice, led by IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit (TU) at IRC’s headquarters, which supports IRC’s 24 legal service programs across the US.


Direct Legal Representation

· Conduct legal screenings and consultations with IRC clients and community members

· Lead and provide legal supervision at pro se asylum clinics

· Provide direct legal representation on a small caseload of asylum and removal cases

· Coordinate closely within IRC’s multidisciplinary teams to identify needs and facilitate referrals to services offered in-house and through partnerships with external providers.

· Ensure client and program data is collected consistently, managed appropriately, and reported accurately in accordance with program reporting requirements set by IRC

· Maintain up-to-date knowledge and expertise of changing asylum and immigration policies through independent research and analysis, regular trainings, and peer-to-peer consultation.

· Conduct trainings for IRC staff and/or externally as needed

· Recruit pro-bono attorneys, with support from the Development Director and IRC’s Immigration Technical Unit, and provide limited mentorship to their work for IRC clients’ asylum petitions

· Work collaboratively as part of the IRC Arizona Legal Center

· Participate in community-based coalitions related to immigrant rights

· Serve as a strong advocate for humanitarian immigrants

· Additional related duties, as needed

Supervisory Responsibilities

· Supervise the IJC Fellow, who maintains a diverse caseload of affirmative and defensive cases that are seeking humanitarian relief

· Supervise a Coordinator, Navigator and Legal Assistant serving IRC’s Afghan parolees, focusing on asylum clinics, preparation for pro se asylum interviews, employment authorization, document corrections, legal orientations, and review of legal intakes.

Community Partnerships and Workshops

· Create and maintain a viable outreach strategy to cultivate and maintain strong relationships with community-based organization, local immigration attorneys, and nonprofit legal providers to support effective group legal assistance clinics.

· Collaborate with other IRC departments and partners to offer community-based workshops or information sessions when demand exceeds capacity to provide direct legal representation.


Position Reports to: Deputy Director, IRC Arizona

Position Directly Supervises: IJC Justice Fellow, Afghan Legal Services Coordinator, Legal Services Navigator, and Legal Assistant


· Law degree (JD or LLM) from an ABA-accredited U.S. institution and admission to any state bar;

· At least 3 years’ experience providing direct representation in immigration court and/or before USCIS to asylum applicants and other immigrants seeking humanitarian relief;

· Excellent research, writing, analytical, and organizational skills and excellent legal judgment;

· Ability to communicate clearly and effectively, both orally in a courtroom setting and in writing;

· Bilingual in one or more languages of the survivor population preferred (eg, Spanish, French, Arabic);

· Evidence of capacity to be a strong team member in a highly collaborative multidisciplinary environment;

· Deep commitment to immigrant rights and working with humanitarian immigrants;

· Trauma-informed and sensitive listening and communication skills;

· Personal integrity in handling ethically complex and confidential situations;

· Strong computer literacy, research and analysis skills; and

· Must have a valid driver’s license, reliable vehicle, active insurance policy and ability to travel frequently in and around the service area to engage with clients and community partners.

Working Environment:

  • A combination of standard office environment, remote work, and ‘field’ time within the service delivery area to perform the above outlined responsibilities.
  • May require weekend and/or evening work.

COVID-19 Vaccination RequirementIn accordance with IRC’s duty to provide and maintain a workplace that is free of known hazards and our commitment to safeguard the health of our employees, clients, and communities, IRC requires candidates who are selected for interview to furnish proof of vaccination against COVID-19 in order to be considered for this position.**

Commitment to Diversity and Inclusivity: IRC is committed to building a diverse organization and a climate of inclusivity. We strongly encourage applications from candidates who can demonstrate that they can contribute to this goal.**

Equal Opportunity Employer: We are an equal opportunity employer and value diversity at our company. We do not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, color, national origin, sex, gender, gender expression, sexual orientation, age, marital status, veteran status, or disability status. We will ensure that individuals with disabilities are provided reasonable accommodation to participate in the job application or interview process, to perform essential job functions, and to receive other benefits and privileges of employment. Please contact us to request accommodation.**

We offer a comprehensive and highly competitive set of benefits. In the US, these include: 10 sick days, 10 US holidays, 20-25 paid time off days depending on role and tenure, medical insurance starting at $120 per month, dental starting at $7 per month, and vision starting at $5 per month, FSA for healthcare and commuter costs, a 403b retirement savings plans with immediately vested matching, disability & life insurance, and an Employee Assistance Program which is available to our staff and their families to support counseling and care in times of crisis and mental health struggles.

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