Director of Legal Services

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Job location
541 Warren Street
Hudson, NY 12534
United States
Organization information
Organization name: 
Columbia County Sanctuary Movement
Street address: 
541 Warren Street
New York
Job type: 
Legal - Defender
Position Description: 

The Columbia County Sanctuary Movement (CCSM) organizes with immigrants and allies to collectively support, empower and defend our communities. We are a bilingual non-profit organization dedicated to providing holistic services, education and engaging members in campaigns for systemic change. This position is based in Hudson, New York with the ability to work a hybrid remote/in-office schedule and will report to Co-Executive Directors, Diana Cruz and Bryan MacCormack.

The Director of Legal Services will provide legal representation to recent arrivals and long-term residents on both affirmative applications and removal proceedings. The attorney can expect to appear before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, New York City Immigration Court, and Buffalo Immigration Court. The Director of Legal Services will have the opportunity to work alongside CCSM to use creative legal remedies and gutsy advocacy strategies to challenge the unjust deportation machine and inhumane immigration legal system.

65% Legal Service Provision
- Conduct intakes with potential clients, conflict checks, and screenings for various forms of immigration relief
- Facilitate legal consultations and provide case-specific advice to clients
- Represent members and identify forms of relief in relief removal cases (such as defensive Asylum claims or prosecutorial discretion)
- Prepare affirmative cases (such as U-Visas/T-Visas, naturalization, and family petitions) before USCIS.
- Supervise and provide technical support to DOJ-accredited representative providing legal service to clients applying for affirmative immigration benefits before USCIS
- Travel to attend master and individual hearings when necessary
- Maintain accurate, complete, and confidential case files
- Mentor, support, and train CCSM staff on complex immigration matters and the provision of trauma-informed services
- Work closely with Co-Executive Director and Community Navigator to provide holistic services and referrals to clients
- Strengthen CCSM’s existing Rapid Response work and hotline by providing legal expertise, and at times legal representation when detained
- Provide the support and program development needed to host a Justice Corps Fellowship in the near future

25% Administration
- Create legal service systems and track program metrics
- Work with grant manager on accurate legal service grant applications
- Oversee legal service program budget
- Administer legal service policies and supervise DOJ-accredited representative or paralegal

10 % Outreach, Education, and External Relations
- Engage in outreach, education, and advocacy for immigrant rights on the local and state level
- Work with legal and program staff to facilitate Know Your Right trainings and policy updates regarding changes to immigration and enforcement
- Inform and provide orientation about defenses against removal proceedings and the court process to community members
- Facilitate remote court appearances from CCSM’s office rather than traveling to NYC or Buffalo
- Identify and collaborate with local or state partner organizations on appellate and impact-oriented litigation efforts related to detention conditions, labor rights, and other priorities.
- Establish and maintain relationships with community partners, immigration service providers, pro bono attorneys, private attorneys, and our legal service funders.

This is a full-time position (approximately 40 hours a week) with a starting salary of $62,200. Our office is located in Hudson, New York. Relocation assistance is available. Benefits include health and dental insurance, mileage reimbursement, paid holidays, and unlimited paid time off with prior approval.The Director of Legal Service will have access to professional development opportunities including through CCSM's membership in the New York Immigration Coalition and the Catholic Legal Immigration Network.


- Juris Doctor with active NYS bar admission
- Highly Preferred: Ability to communicate effectively with monolingual Spanish speakers (i.e., advanced Spanish skills)
- Excellent research, writing, analytical, and communication skills
- Minimum of 3 years of relevant experience in immigration law or direct legal services, and experience with both affirmative application and removal defense proceedings
- Knowledge and adherence to community and movement lawyering principles
- Commitment to CCSM’s mission, immigrant communities, and principles of collective liberation
- Valid driver’s license, access to a car, and ability to travel
- Relationships with immigrant communities
- Directly impacted by or experience with the immigration system preferred

To apply: 

Please send a cover letter, resume, and three professional references with emails and phone numbers to [email protected] with “Job Application- Director of Legal Services” as the subject line.

CCSM is an equal opportunity employer and strongly encourages people of color, women, working-class people, LGBTQIA people, immigrants, formerly incarcerated people, and people with disabilities to apply.
Salary range: 
Submission deadline: 
Monday, May 1, 2023