The Managing Attorney in the Houston, Texas, office will provide high-quality legal guidance to Human Rights First’s pro bono attorneys and oversee the day-to-day management of Human Rights First’s Refugee Representation work in the Houston metropolitan area. The managing attorney will ensure that the Houston Refugee Representation team’s values, vision, strategies, projects, and activities are aligned with the team’s overall mission.
- Lead Houston office’s day-to-day operations and serve as a Refugee Representation team leader, which includes modeling leadership, contributing to the development and implementation of team-wide strategic and operational plans, and helping implement team-wide policies and procedures;
- Work with the legal director and other members of Refugee Representation’s leadership team to continuously develop and refine a vision and strategic direction for ongoing operations; and
- Supervise staff attorneys, legal services coordinators, and social worker by providing mentoring, coaching and professional development opportunities; oversee team selection and supervision of volunteers and interns; develop and retain a high-performance staff.
Case Selection, Placement, and Management
- Ensure that clients accepted into Human Rights First’s pro bono representation program receive high-quality legal representation from Refugee Representation staff and pro bono attorneys by providing comprehensive legal training, guidance, advice, and updates on asylum and immigration law;
- Review and supervise case management and quality control systems for pro bono cases;
- Identify cases appropriate for pro bono and in-house representation;
- Participate in efforts to assist asylum seekers detained at area detention facilities, including conducting intakes, when necessary;
- Spot, analyze, and respond to legal or procedural changes that affect asylum seekers, including statutory changes, proposed regulations, and decisions of the Board of Immigration Appeals or federal courts;
- Oversee the recruitment of pro bono attorneys and the assignment of cases to volunteer attorneys;
- Provide support to pro bono attorneys and Refugee Representation staff in other offices as needed, and work with the entire Refugee Representation team to ensure inter-office support and team collaboration; and
- Sustain modest caseload of mentored and direct representation cases.
Operational Planning and Management
- Ensure effective systems to qualitatively and quantitatively track progress and regularly evaluate program components;
- Oversee and assist with development of training materials for volunteer attorneys, including the online Pro Bono Attorney Library, and other manuals, memoranda, videos, or other training media;
- Continue to integrate social work with provision of legal services; and
- Partner with the legal director and Human Resources team to source and staff open positions.
- Participate in national advocacy efforts relating to asylum seekers and refugees through engagement with the media and participation in meetings with government officials;
Fund-Raising and Resource Development
- Assist in efforts to secure and maintain funding for the organization and Refugee Representation team;
- Collaborate with the legal director and other teams, as necessary, to write and submit proposals, letters of intent, case statements, and acknowledgement letters;
- Play a leading role in expanding and maintaining strong relationships with local law firms, law school clinics, volunteer attorneys, and legal-service organizations;
- Promote the organization’s mission by participating in local community events, promotional events, and other professional networking events in an effort to elevate the organization’s community profile; and
- Other duties as requested based on department and/or organizational need.
The ideal candidate will possess a U.S. law Degree (J.D.), active bar membership and at least five years of experience in representing asylum applicants at all levels of the administrative process. Will have excellence in organizational management with the ability to coach staff; develop and manage high-performance teams; and set and achieve strategic objectives. S/he must have experience in mentoring other attorneys, preferably on immigration law matters; must be an excellent and engaging written and oral communicator with ability to communicate patiently, respectfully, and empathetically with individuals and diverse audiences of varying backgrounds, including survivors of trauma or torture. The candidate must be able to manage numerous tasks simultaneously; work under pressure and meet deadlines; devise, entertain, and embrace creative solutions; and identify and analyze legal issues; and fluency in one or more relevant second languages, particularly Spanish, is highly desirable.
To view the full job description and complete the online application process, go to https://goo.gl/8Ybwvx. NO PHONE CALLS, PLEASE. Only selected applicants will be contacted for an interview.
Human Rights First is committed to recruiting, retaining, and developing staff from a diversity of backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minorities, LGBT people, people with disabilities, people of all socioeconomic backgrounds, people of all nationalities, and veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces. We believe that a diverse staff and an inclusive work environment that welcomes a range of perspectives help make our advocacy work stronger and more effective.