Staff Attorney: Immigration Program – Removal Defense

Erie County Bar Association Volunteer Lawyers Project (VLP)
October 29, 2021
Batavia, NY
Job Type


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


  • 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
  • Work collaboratively with Paralegals and Social Workers and act as an additional resource to them
  • Grant/data reporting
  • special projects/community outreach and education as directed
  • other duties may be assigned

Requirements/Skills - Required:

  • admitted to practice law
  • 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
  • the means and willingness to travel (a driver’s license and regular access to a vehicle are required)
  • strong oral and written advocacy skills
  • legal research software proficiency
  • the desire to want a career in litigation defending detained low-income immigrants

Requirements/Skills – Preferred:

  • fluency in Spanish or French
  • one year experience in litigation, preferably in immigration removal proceedings

Those without previous experience, but possessing the desire and language skills are encouraged to apply. If the potential candidate possesses two or more years of immigration litigation experience but does not speak a language other than English, s/he is also encouraged to apply.

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: Brenda Cisneros, Supervising Attorney, ECBA Volunteer Lawyers Project, Inc. at Applications will be reviewed as received.

BENEFITS: Salary depends upon experience. VLP provides excellent benefits including fully paid health insurance, long term disability insurance, life insurance, a Simple Employee Pension Plan, and generous leave time. Dental insurance, FSA and Dependent Care FSA, and 403b plans are also available through employee contributions. The work atmosphere is congenial, respectful and flexible.

This position will work out of our Batavia, NY office with the possibility of some remote work after the introductory period.

VLP is an equal opportunity employer. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of race, creed, color, national origin, sex, age, disability or marital status. For information on VLP, see

Proof of COVID-19 vaccination is required unless the individual qualifies for a reasonable accommodation as required under the Americans with Disabilities Act, Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the New York State Human Rights Law and/or guidance from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. VLP may grant requests for reasonable accommodations to this requirement on the basis of disability or sincerely held religious beliefs.