Senior Staff Attorney: Immigration Program – Removal Defense

Volunteer Lawyers Project
January 10, 2024
Batavia, United States of America
Job Type


The Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP) is seeking 2 full-time Senior Staff Attorneys to join its Immigration Program, in the Batavia, NY office. This office handles work, under the Office of New Americans (ONA) State contract, at the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility in Batavia. This is a public defender model program where we represent all detained people that are facing deportation and are not otherwise represented.

This position will work out of our Batavia, NY office with the ability to work a hybrid remote/in-office schedule after the successful completion of the 3-month introductory period. Office culture
values work/life balance with reasonable working hours and discourages weekend work.
Generous PTO and benefits.


  • Handle individual caseload and represent clients before DOJ-EOIR, DHS, and BIA defending detained low-income immigrants who are subject to removal for a variety of reasons including criminal convictions, unlawful entry, and visa overstays
  • Mentor Immigration Staff Attorneys in the Batavia Office
  • Act as a resource for Paralegals and Social Workers in the Batavia Office
  • Hold case review meetings with Immigration Staff Attorneys assigned to your group
  • Monitor new Immigration Staff Attorneys and ensure they progress through the training protocols
  • Assist with monthly grant/data reporting as directed
  • Special projects/community outreach and education as directed
  • Local travel to and from the Buffalo Federal Detention Facility is required as well as occasional trips to the Buffalo office. A valid driver’s license and regular access to a reliable vehicle are required.
  • Other duties may be assigned

Requirements/Skills - Required:

  • Admitted to practice law
  • Three (3) years’ experience in immigration law with a focus on removal defense
  • Organizational skills to juggle many cases efficiently while also being able to track and report required data about the work in a timely and accurate manner
  • Ability to work cooperatively with fellow staff and supervisors while also being able to work independently
  • Strong oral and written advocacy skills
  • Flexibility to handle other tasks which the senior staff attorney may be called upon to handle at VLP, such as community outreach and education
  • Legal research software proficiency
  • VLP is a paperless office; candidates must be proficient with computers and technology, including Microsoft 365, SharePoint, and electronic case management systems

Requirements/Skills – Preferred (not required):

  • Fluency in Spanish or French
  • Experience working with individuals in immigration detention

TO APPLY: Please send a resume, a cover letter clearly explaining your interest and qualifications. Include contact information for 3 references and send your materials to: Stephanie Thurston at  Applications will be reviewed as received.


  • Salary ranges from $79,807.37 to $97, 930.61 based on years of relevant work experience
  • Employer paid benefits including fully paid health insurance premiums, a Health Reimbursement Arrangement account, long-term disability insurance, life/AD&D insurance, Pension contributions, paid biennial attorney registration, notary renewal, and CLEs, Employee Assistance Program
  • Other Benefits available through pre-tax employee contributions: Dental insurance, FSA, Dependent Care FSA, transportation account, 403b plan
  • Eligibility for public service loan forgiveness
  • Dedication to diversity and inclusion
  • A respectful work environment with a true Work/Life balance:
  • 14 paid holidays
  • 11 vacation days and 2 personal days in year 1
  • 15 vacation days and 4 personal days in year 2
  • Vacation caps at 23 days starting in year 6
  • 10 sick days each yearFlexible schedules
  • Ability to work remotely up to 2 days per week (after the successful completion of  the 3-month introductory period)
  • Discourages weekend work, encourages utilizing PTO

VLP is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes all to apply. Employer recruits without regard to age, race, color, creed, religion, national origin, immigration or citizenship status, pregnancy-related condition, predisposing genetic characteristics, sex, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, marital and familial status, domestic violence victim status, disability, military status, or protected veteran status.

For information on VLP, see

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