Staff Attorney

Established in 1979, the National Immigration Law Center (NILC) is one of the leading organizations in the U.S. exclusively dedicated to defending and advancing the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. At NILC, we believe that all people who live in the U.S. — regardless of immigration or economic status — should have the opportunity to achieve their full potential. Over the years, NILC has been at the forefront of many of the country’s greatest challenges when it comes to immigration issues, including landmark legal decisions and protecting fundamental human and civil rights. We play a major leadership role in advancing policies that promote the ability of low-income immigrants to prosper and thrive.

Headquartered in Los Angeles with an office in Washington, DC, NILC employs a core set of strategies — impact litigation, policy advocacy, and strategic communications — in a range of key program areas that impact the lives and wellbeing of low-income immigrants, including: immigration status and reform; access to health care and economic opportunities; immigration enforcement reform and justice; and education. For more information, please visit

NILC has an immediate opening for a Staff Attorney to join its legal department. An experienced litigator, the Staff Attorney will work on precedent-setting cases to advance the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. This position offers a unique opportunity to engage in impact litigation on key issues across the country impacting low-income immigrants and to work in a legal department with a creative and deeply client-centered focus and a team-based approach to the work. The position is based, ideally, in either NILC’s Los Angeles, Calif., or Washington, DC, office, with location flexibility for the right candidate. The Staff Attorney reports to the Supervising Attorney.


    • Identify, develop, and lead litigation in federal and state courts. Prepare pleadings, motions, and briefs; conduct discovery; present oral arguments and handle appeals.
    • Strategically, creatively, and boldly use plaintiff-driven, community-grounded impact litigation in combination and partnership with NILC’s other core strategies of policy advocacy and communications to advance NILC’s vision and mission.
    • Collaborate with staff across the organization, including the projects within the Communications & Advocacy teams.
    • Demonstrate a commitment to diversity within the organization, using a personal approach that values all individuals and respects differences in regard to race, ethnicity, age, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation, religion, ability and socio- economic circumstance, and record of arrest or conviction.
    • Commitment to working collaboratively and respectfully toward resolving obstacles and/or conflicts.
    • Provide support to other staff on issues of subject-matter expertise.
    • Represent NILC with coalition partners.
    • Supervise law student interns and legal fellows, as needed.
    • Other duties as assigned by the Supervising Attorney and Legal Director.


    • Juris Doctor degree required.
    • Must be an active member in good standing of the bar association of the state in which the Staff Attorney will be based.


    • A minimum of 4-6 years of litigation experience, preferably in federal court. Responsibilities will be commensurate to experience and demonstrated skill level.
    • Demonstrated commitment to social justice, public interest law, and NILC’s mission.
    • Demonstrated experience in the investigation and development of impact litigation. Expertise in immigrants’ rights or other public interest impact litigation is strongly preferred.
    • Familiarity with U.S. Supreme Court and appellate practice and constitutional law.
    • Demonstrated ability to perform complex legal analytical work.
    • Experience working with external co-counsel or in a coalition setting comprised of multiple organizational partners, and demonstrated ability to resolve conflicts constructively.
    • Possesses a deep understanding of the intersectional issues pertaining to immigrant rights.


    • Excellent litigation strategy skills and displays sound judgment in decision-making.
    • Self-motivated, diligent, and able to meet strict deadlines while under pressure.
    • Ability to work well independently and collaboratively, with a collaborative approach to case work.
    • Excellent research, writing, and verbal communication skills.
    • Strong critical thinking, interpersonal, and public-speaking skills.
    • Able to effectively manage multiple projects simultaneously and meet deadlines.
    • Willingness and ability to travel.
Please submit a resume and cover letter detailing your interest and experience for the position.
Salary is competitive and commensurate to experience.

NILC is an equal opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. NILC does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ethnic background, religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other protected class. We consider all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of the Los Angeles Fair Chance Initiative.