Staff Attorney - PIRC

Job Category: 


Detained Programs

Description of Organization:

Pennsylvania Immigration Resource Center [PIRC] (a non-profit agency) provides access to justice for vulnerable immigrants in detention and the community, through legal services, education and advocacy.

PIRC's Detained Programs provides the following services to immigrants detained by the Department of Homeland Security at the York County Prison (York, PA) and the Berks County Residential Center (Leesport,PA) through its Legal Orientation Program (LOP), a program funded by the Department of Justice, Executive Office for Immigration Review: on-site group legal orientations, individual orientations, self-help workshops, and pro bono attorney referral services. LOP services provide detained immigrants with general information regarding their rights, court procedures, and legal defenses available to immigrants challenging deportation proceedings.

PIRC also provides free legal assistance to torture survivors and other vulnerable immigrant populations who are isolated in immigration detention and facing removal from the United States.

Position Type:

Part-Time Position: 24 hours per week. Position is funded for one year with extensions dependent upon renewed funding.


York, Pennsylvania; and Leesport, Pennsylvania

Job Purpose & Key Activities:

  • Provide LOP services (on-site group legal orientations and workshops, individual orientations and pro bono referrals) primarily to families detained at the Berks County Residential Center, most of whom are indigent Central American families seeking asylum or related forms of relief as they fear return to their countries of origin;
  • Though position does not involve direct representation, assist with PIRC's Pro Bono Representation Program. Identify and screen cases to determine eligibility for pro bono referrals; recruit, train and mentor pro bono attorneys and law students;
  • Together with PIRC's Protection Advocates Initiative Coordinator, identify shifting trends among the population detained at Berks; organize and implement appropriate LOP services accordingly;
  • Work closely with the Managing Attorney for the Detained Programs and PIRC's Executive Director to ensure compliance with contract and grant requirements for PIRC's LOP;
  • Travel to both the Berks County Residential Center (Leesport, PA) and PIRC office (York, PA) required;
  • Other tasks as assigned.

Qualifications & Experience:

  • Law degree and license to practice law before the bar of any state in the U.S.
  • Fundamental knowledge of immigration law and immigration court procedures preferred.
  • Experience working with detained immigrants and children preferred, but not required.
  • Strong written and oral advocacy skills required. Strong organizational and interpersonal skills required.
  • Teaching experience and/or group presentation experience highly desirable.
  • Fluency in Spanish required.
  • Well-organized and ability to work well independently as well as collaboratively in a team setting and under pressure.
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigration issues and public interest law.

To Apply:

Please send a cover letter, résumé, three references and a brief writing sample to Amara Riley, Managing Attorney/Detained Programs, at or to PIRC, Attn: Amara Riley, P.O. Box 20339, York PA 17402.

Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until January 16, 2015 or until position is filled. Early submission highly encouraged. Salary commensurate with experience.

Equal Opportunity Employer

Posted: December 8, 2014