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Assistant General Counsel (Immigration Counsel)

Washington, DC
Full Time
Job #: 2019-2812 Exp.: 5+ Years

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This attorney position is responsible for providing legal services to SEIU, specifically in the area of immigration law. Those services can include litigation at all levels of federal court systems, counseling and strategy in connection with the immigration campaign, organizing campaigns, and policy work. This position is designated for attorneys with at least five years of post-law-school experience, including at least some litigation and public policy experience. Preference will be given to applicants with experience in and knowledge of state and local labor and employment laws as well.

Primary Responsibilities: (At any given time, depending on assignments, this position may not include all of the specific duties and responsibilities listed. Examples provide a general summary of the work required and should not be treated as a total and complete list of expected duties to be performed by attorneys in the classification.

Core Duties:
  • Develop and implement comprehensive litigation strategies to advance the Union’s immigration programs, formulate and write or join amicus briefs that address key legal issues and/or feature worker stories in conjunction with the immigration campaign and the Office of the General Counsel;
  • Provide analysis and write summaries of immigration policy changes, court decisions for immigration campaign and leaders;
  • Direct, supervise, and carry out the responsibility for all of the assigned legal work, whether performed in-house or by outside counsel as assigned by the General Counsel;
  • Provide counsel to immigration campaign, active worker organizing campaigns, local unions, and legal department on immigration issues;
  • Draft and advise upon legislation, executive orders, and rules; draft formal comments to proposed federal, state and local legislation and administrative proposals as assigned by the immigration campaign and the General Counsel;
  • Monitor legal developments on immigration issues and regularly report on legal developments to the appropriate parties as assigned by the immigration campaign and the General Counsel;
  • Advise SEIU officers, division heads, other managers and employees, and union leaders on immigration issues;
  • Develop training materials and lead training sessions on immigration issues in conjunction with the immigration campaign and as assigned by the General Counsel;
  • Review memoranda, correspondence, and other written material;
  • Perform other duties as assigned by the General Counsel in support of the work of the Union.

Supervision Given:
  • Supervise and direct work of outside counsel in assigned areas; review and approve all outside counsel bills in areas of assignment, prior to review and approval of the General Counsel;
  • Supervise law fellows, law clerks, and secretaries as relevant to work.

Budget Responsibility:
Where applicable, responsible for recommending project budgets for legal work in connection with the immigration campaign.

Job duties for this position require contact with SEIU officers, staff, local leaders, outside counsel, other labor unions, immigration advocacy organizations, governmental agencies, courts and/or other outside institutions on a regular basis.

Direction and Decision Making:
This position reports to the General Counsel and is expected to perform duties with little or no direct supervision. Attorney will be held responsible for legal accuracy and adequacy of work performed.

Education and experience:
  • Juris Doctor degree or equivalent from accredited law school and active membership in the bar association of at least one state or jurisdiction. A minimum of five years’ experience as a practicing attorney (with clerkships counting toward that minimum). Expertise in immigration law required and at least some experience in labor and employment area and/or related fields is preferred.
  • Some experience with active litigation (post-clerkship(s), if any) in front of administrative tribunals and in state and federal court.
  • Judicial clerkship(s) a plus.

The following general knowledge, skills, and abilities:
  • Knowledge of immigration law, practice, developments and changes in immigration law and policy;
  • Ability to independently conduct, analyze and synthesize complex legal research, develop, and implement comprehensive and sophisticated legal strategies for SEIU immigration campaigns and programs; prepare quality legal pleadings, memoranda, and reports and recommendations; present issues and trends in immigration law and policy to non-attorneys;
  • Sound legal judgment and ability to effectively interact with, communicate with, and advise a wide variety of staff, officers, outside counsel, and outside agencies;
  • Demonstrated ability to use the law strategically to further immigrants’ and workers’ interests, including developing and employing cutting-edge legal arguments;
  • Skill in using computerized legal research tools such as Lexis-Nexis and internet-based legal databases;
  • Knowledge of word processing programs such as MSWord;
  • Proficiency in Spanish preferred.

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