SIFI Lead Attorney

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Job location
400 Washington Avenue
Montgomery, AL 36104
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Southern Poverty Law Center
Street address: 
400 Washington Avenue
Job type: 
Legal - Civil
Position Description: 

Position: SIFI Lead Attorney
Location: Ocilla, GA
Program: Immigrant Justice Project


The Southeast Immigrant Freedom Initiative (SIFI) provides high-quality, holistic pro bono legal representation to immigrants detained in the southeastern United States. By ensuring that skilled attorneys are available to protect detained immigrants’ due process rights, the SIFI endeavors to win every meritorious deportation defense case arising out of Trump-era immigration enforcement actions.

SIFI was developed by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) and is a collaboration between SPLC, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), the American Immigration Council (Council), and the Innovation Law Lab (Law Lab). The American Immigration Representation Project (AIRP) is supporting SIFI and is working with the Council to expand pro bono support.

The SIFI Lead Attorney manages a full-time staff comprised of one direct services attorney and one project coordinator and weekly pro-bono attorneys in order to provide the highest quality legal representation to individuals detained in the Irwin County Detention Center in Ocilla, GA. The SIFI Lead Attorney coordinates the legal strategies for SIFI clients and is primarily responsible for devising (in collaboration with the SIFI team) the optimal pathway for victory in each SIFI case including identify ineligibility for any defense against removal, eligibility for release through bond, parole, habeas or other lawful mechanisms, and potential litigation and other advocacy involving issues such as law enforcement misconduct during enforcement actions and conditions of confinement. Both directly and through volunteer attorneys, the SIFI Lead Attorney provides legal advice and representation to SIFI clients in accordance with the best practices and rules of conduct of the profession, provides on-the-ground/local guidance to the advocacy team for litigation efforts, and participates in regular program management and government liaison meetings.

Primary Job Functions:

• Works with local staff and SIFI organizational partners to run the operations of the project in Ocilla, Georgia.
• Manages SIFI local staff.
• Based on SIFI case selection criteria, thoroughly screens pro bono attorneys’ intakes for defenses against deportation,
bond and parole eligibility, and other potential legal claims and advocacy.
• Assists in the development, in collaboration with pro bono attorneys, the SIFI legal team, and others as necessary, the
optimal pathway to victory for SIFI clients.
• Helps develop legal strategies to address facility- and immigration court-centered issues such as access to courts and
counsel, due process violations, and prolonged detention.
• Helps develop factual record, refer cases and clients, and provide on the ground support to remote teams in litigation
involving issues such as Fourth Amendment violations and other law enforcement misconduct, access to courts and
counsel, conditions of confinement, and prolonged detention.
• Liaises with government officials to raise issues that arise.
• Oversees volunteer management and assesses volunteer skill each week to ensure best possible volunteer experience.
• Communicates regularly with SIFI organizational leadership.
• On conjunction with SIFI leadership, ensures that all staff and volunteers meet the highest standards of ethics and
• Collaborate deeply with Phase 3 staff, pro bono attorneys and related partners in order to maximize the success of
Phase 3 merits cases.
• Other functions necessary to ensure successful completion of the project.



• JD from accredited university
• Membership in good standing in the bar of any state and/or the District of Columbia
• Bi-lingual, English/Spanish (conversational, speaking and writing)
• At least three years of experience practicing before immigration courts preferred
• Dedication to and experience working with low-income, immigrant clients
• Experience managing and directing staff
• Experience working within volunteer-based projects, preferred
• Commitment to working long hours

Other Special Considerations:

• This job is performed under general office conditions, and is not subject to any strenuous physical demands or
dangerous conditions.
• All applicants should submit cover letter, resume, references, and legal writing sample.


• The statements herein are intended to describe the general nature and level of work being performed by the employee in this position. These statements are not intended to be construed as an exhaustive list of all responsibilities, duties, and skills required of a person in this position.


• 1 year

To apply: 

For immediate consideration, please apply online at:

An Equal-Opportunity Employer with a Commitment to Diversity Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) is proud to be an equal opportunity employer, and as an organization committed to diversity and the perspective of all voices, we consider applicants equally of race, gender, gender identity, color, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, disability, political affiliation and national origin. We reasonably accommodate staff members and/or applicants with disabilities, provided they are otherwise able to perform the essential functions of the job. Equal Opportunity Employer