Support Immigrant and Refugee Rights


New Opening – Portland Office Staff Attorney – Removal Defense



JOB TITLE:  Staff Attorney – UAC/Removal Defense

JOB PURPOSE:  This grant-funded position will be lead counsel on removal defense cases and will also provide some legal services and support to unaccompanied children in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement.



  • Provide direct representation to clients in removal proceedings in immigration court.
  • Provide direct representation for unaccompanied minors (UCs) without reunification options, UCs who have been released locally (continued representation), and UCs who wish to request voluntary departure at immigration court.
  • Perform client screening and intake. Duties include reviewing requests for assistance, and providing initial client consultations to determine eligibility for relief.
  • Develop and litigate cases. Duties include performing legal research, establishing case strategy, drafting and filing petitions and applications, accompanying clients to interviews, and litigating cases in immigration court.
  • Provide immigration advice. Duties include representing clients in cases including but not limited to Cancellation of Removal, VAWA cancelation of removal, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and humanitarian forms of relief such as U Visas, T Visas, and asylum.
  • Communicate with clients. Duties include following up with clients through texts, telephone calls and letters.
  • Collaborate with fellow legal workers and support staff to ensure that cases are processed properly and that clients are satisfied with services.
  • Stay updated on legal trends and changes in immigration law, policy, and processes including but not limited to attending CLE’s and participating in educational forums such as online webinars.


  • Mentor pro bono attorneys
  • Conduct trainings for legal service providers, community partners, and law students.
  • Conduct community outreach such as Know Your Rights presentations.




  • Graduate of U.S. ABA-accredited law school
  • Licensed by a state bar, preferably Oregon
  • At least one year’s experience practicing immigration law


  • Experience with removal cases
  • Extensive experience working with diverse cultures and underserved and underrepresented communities
  • Experience working with children
  • Experience working with survivors of trauma



  • Fluency in written and spoken Spanish (a written and oral exam may be required)
  • Strong client communication skills
  • Excellent oral and written advocacy skills
  • Proficient legal research skills
  • Ability to work independently
  • Highly organized
  • Basic computer skills (Word processing, email, and ability to write using proper grammar and spelling


  • Familiarity with removal defense programs
  • Ability to conduct public legal presentations
  • Familiarity with VERA-funded programs

OTHER REQUIREMENTS:  The position may require occasional driving of a motor vehicle.  A valid Oregon driver’s license is required.

 WORKING CONDITIONS AND PHYSICAL REQUIREMENTS:  May require evening or weekend work, working with challenging clients; driving to centers where clients are located; may spend up to 7 hours per day using a computer (sit or stand), including keyboard and mouse, and using telephone; occasional lifting boxes of files or packages weighing up to 25 pounds/

THIS IS AN EXEMPT POSITION and a Union position

REPORTS TO:  Unaccompanied Minors Program Managing Attorney


APPROVED BY:  Lisa LeSage, Executive Director

Date:  November 28, 2018

ICS is an equal opportunity employer: ICS does not discriminate against applicants or employees based on race, color, sex, religion, age, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation or gender identity, family relationship, marital status, veteran status, military service, or any other classification protected by local, state, or federal law.

Any employee who needs accommodation to perform the essential functions of his or her job should communicate with the Executive Director.  We will work with an employee to evaluate whether there is a reasonable accommodation that does not pose an undue hardship on the organization.  Any proposed accommodation that creates an undue hardship on the organization, that does not allow the employee to perform the essential functions of the job, or that poses a serious safety risk to others that cannot be mitigated, is not a reasonable accommodation.

HOW TO APPLY:   Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis and the position will be filled as soon as a qualified applicant is hired.  Please send to a cover letter including your level of Spanish language ability, a current resume, contact information for 3 references, and a short writing sample addressed to:

ICS Hiring Committee

Immigration Counseling Service (ICS)

519 SW Park Avenue, Suite 610

Portland, OR 97205

If you have previously applied for a staff attorney position at ICS within the past three months and are interested in this position, you do not need to send in another application packet, but you must send an email to indicating your interest in this current position in order to be considered.