The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights, a national organization based at the University of Chicago Law School, is at the forefront of best interests advocacy for unaccompanied children. We are headquartered in Chicago, with an office on the border since 2009. The Young Center has offices in Harlingen, Houston, San Antonio, New York, Washington, D.C., New York, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. The Young Center advocates for the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied immigrant children. The Young Center is appointed by the federal government to serve as Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem) in deportation proceedings, advocating for their safety whether they remain in the U.S. or return to their home countries. The Young Center also conducts policy advocacy at the federal level, advocating for reform of the immigrant justice system, in which children are treated as adults, into a justice system that recognizes children as children, with rights and protection needs all their own.
The Young Center seeks to hire a Staff Attorney. The Staff Attorney will be based in Chicago, will be appointed as a University of Chicago Lecturer, and will supervise University of Chicago law and social work students, as well as volunteers serving as Child Advocates. The Staff Attorney will also supervise students on policy projects.
Directly manage and supervise law and social work students and lay volunteers appointed to serve as Child Advocates pursuant to the Wilberforce Trafficking Protection Reauthorization
Develop advocacy strategy on Chicago cases in which the Young Center is appointed as Child
Draft, review and submit best interests briefs to immigration judges, asylum officers, attorneys, and federal agencies, applying federal, state and international
Meet on a regular basis with stakeholders: legal services providers, care-provider directors, ORR Federal Field Specialists, immigration judges, USCIS, and ICE Juvenile
Accompany children to immigration court, as well as state juvenile and family
Participate in trainings in Chicago when they occur (bi-annually).
Directly manage and supervise law and social work students on policy
Assist in teaching the seminar component of the Young Center’s clinic at the University of Chicago Law School.
J.D. and appropriate authorization to practice law.
At least three years of experience practicing
Excellent written and oral advocacy
A commitment to public interest
Proficiency in second language, ideally Spanish.
Ability to take initiative, to work collaboratively, and an enthusiasm for working with
Passion, tenacity and optimism for the issues affecting immigrant children and their families.
A driver’s license and car are necessary for traveling to shelter facilities in and around Chicago
The Young Center is an "at-will" and equal opportunity employer. Applicants and employees shall not be discriminated against because of race, religion, sex, national origin, ethnicity, age, mental or physical disability, sexual orientation, gender (including pregnancy and gender expression) identity, color, marital status, veteran status, medical condition, or any other classification protected by federal, state, or local law or ordinance. Reasonable accommodation will be made so that qualified disabled applicants may participate in the application process. Please advise in writing of special needs at the time of application.
Job offer is conditioned on clearance of fingerprint criminal background check, child abuse and neglect check (CANTS) and tuberculosis test.
Review of candidates will begin immediately and continue until the position is filled. Please email a cover letter, resume, three references and a writing sample to jobs@TheYoungCenter.org and include the title “Chicago Staff Attorney” in the subject line. To learn more about the Young Center’s work, please visit www.TheYoungCenter.org.
Additional Salary Information: Salary is commensurate with experience. The Young Center provides an excellent benefits package that includes health insurance for which Young Center covers the full premium, sick and vacation time, and a retirement plan.
About The Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights
The Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights is dedicated to promoting the best interests—safety and well-being—of unaccompanied and separated immigrant children in the United States. The immediate focus of the Young Center’s work is to serve as Child Advocate (best interests guardian ad litem in immigration proceedings) for unaccompanied and separated children pursuant to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) and the 2013 Violence Against Women Act. The Young Center is at the forefront of best interests advocacy for unaccompanied immigrant children and is the only organization in the country serving as Child Advocate for detained, unaccompanied children pursuant to the TVPRA.