Assistant Director, Litigation (Immigration)

This role is primarily responsible for identifying, developing and litigating impactful cases advancing immigrant rights primarily in federal courts.

*** COVID vaccination required. Exemptions will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis upon request ***


Organizational Profile: Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC (Advancing Justice | AAJC) is a national 501(c)(3) nonprofit founded in 1991 and located in Washington, D.C. Our mission is to advance the civil and human rights of Asian Americans and to build and promote a fair and equitable society for all. For 30 years, we have served as the leading Asian American voice on civil rights issues in our nation’s capital – fighting for the rights of our communities through policy advocacy, litigation, research, public education, and community engagement.

Based in Washington, D.C., Advancing Justice | AAJC is a member of the Asian Americans Advancing Justice (Advancing Justice) affiliation. With our affiliates in Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, we work together as equal and independent partners, operate under one name, and strive to speak with one unified and powerful voice to promote justice, empower our communities, bring local and national constituents together, and strengthen our multiracial democracy.

Title: Assistant Director, Litigation (Immigration)
Reports to: Director of Litigation
Term: Immediately
Status: Full time, Exempt Employee, 40 hours/week.
Salary: Starting at $105,000

Position Summary: The Assistant Director, Litigation (Immigration) is an experienced litigator who will be responsible for identifying, developing and litigating impactful cases advancing immigrant rights, including family reunification, primarily in federal courts. The Assistant Director will work with substantive policy leads at Advancing Justice | AAJC. The Assistant Director will serve as a resource and thought partner for less experienced attorneys and advocates and will work with them to develop their skills in all aspects of case investigation, preparation, and litigation. The Assistant Director will endeavor to empower immigrant communities through supporting a multi-pronged approach of impact litigation, amicus briefs, policy advocacy, strategic communications, and movement building, while addressing the needs of the Asian American community and immigrant rights coalitions. In addition to leading litigation, the Assistant Director may also participate in and/or lead administrative and legislative advocacy.

The Assistant Director, Litigation will also work with their counterparts at the other Advancing Justice affiliates to ensure alignment with our litigation strategies and to maximize the effectiveness of our collective endeavors.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES:

Plan and Strategize Activities Related to Litigation

  • Act as thought partner to the Director of Litigation to develop and implement Advancing Justice | AAJC’s impact litigation strategy, including the amicus practice.
  • Identify, develop, and lead litigation in federal and state courts. Prepare pleadings, motions, and briefs; conduct discovery; present oral arguments; and handle appeals.
  • Strategically, creatively, and boldly use plaintiff-driven, community-grounded impact litigation to support Advancing Justice | AAJC’s policy priorities.
  • Collaborate with staff across the organization, including the Communications Department; Community Engagement; and Development.
  • Assist with and support Advancing Justice | AAJC’s administrative and legislative advocacy by providing legal analysis and technical assistance to colleagues, in close collaboration with the organization’s Immigration and Immigrant Rights Team. Provide support to other staff on issues of subject-matter expertise.
  • Develop community education tools, including but not limited to, webinars, trainings, and Know Your Rights (KYR) materials.
  • Serve as a legal/policy expert in coalitions with external partners.
  • Assist the Director of Litigation in growing litigation department, including developing less experienced attorneys.
  • Supervise law student interns and legal fellows, and manage external consultants, as needed.
  • Facilitate coordination with pro bono counsel, coalitional partners, and Advancing Justice | AAJC’s affiliate partners in the amicus work.
  • Contribute to the development and implementation of strategic communications plans related to litigation issues; including providing content support, responding to press inquiries and making public speaking appearances as necessary and appropriate.
  • Engage in the development and implementation of Community Partners’ Network strategies, tactics and activities on litigation issues as necessary and appropriate.
  • Other duties as assigned by the Director of Litigation.

Fundraising

  • Contribute to the development and implementation of a development-supported growth strategy for legal advocacy, including the identification of donor prospects through work with peer organizations and other professional contacts, and the development of potential programmatic elements that may be of particular interest to donors/prospects;
  • Work with the finance and development teams to craft project budgets and contribute to the development of grant proposals relating to litigation;
  • Provide content/information for donor communications and materials (donor newsletters, action alerts, special reports from the executive director, social media postings, etc.); and
  • Attend meetings with prospects/donors as necessary and appropriate.


General Advancing Justice | AAJC Roles

  • Live and exhibit the Core Values of Advancing Justice | AAJC, by contributing to an environment that promotes trust, teamwork, and transparency among staff, board, National Advisory Council, affiliates, and Community Partners.
  • Contribute to, establish, and follow policies and procedures, including maintenance of confidentiality, to ensure that the principles of Advancing Justice | AAJC are implemented.
  • Participate fully in and lead decision-making processes; understand outcomes and be accountable for decisions made in or affecting their area.
  • Understand the values and principles of Advancing Justice | AAJC and apply them fully in work responsibilities.
  • Participate in other activities and serve on ad hoc committees as requested.
  • Attend and contribute to Advancing Justice | AAJC and board of directors’ meetings.
  • Willing to travel and work occasional evenings and weekends.

EDUCATIONAL AND PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE:

Education and Experience:

  • J.D. degree from accredited law school and member in good standing with a state bar association.
  • Eight years of litigation experience in federal courts with substantive work on immigrant rights cases.
  • Demonstrated experience in the investigation, development, and litigation of impact cases advancing immigrant rights (including taking and defending depositions, drafting discovery requests, expert reports, and trial experience).
  • Significant experience working with coalitions, particularly those serving immigrant rights, including a track record of forging alliances and moving people to take collective action.
  • Ability to work effectively in case teams, including co-counsel from other civil rights organizations and pro bono counsel, demonstrating both Advancing Justice | AAJC’s expertise while being a team player.
  • Familiarity with leading case teams.
  • Ability to operationalize vision, think strategically, creatively problem solve, exercise good judgment, and lead change.
  • Experience working with diverse groups from various sectors ranging from LEP individuals, grassroots/community-based organizations to policy institutions.
  • Experience fundraising for program including building and developing relationships.
  • Excellent writing, research, and communications skills with an ability to perform complex legal analysis to find creative, novel strategies.
  • Ability to adapt to changing priorities and balance competing assignments is necessary.
  • Experience and knowledge in Asian American, immigration, and civil rights issues.
  • Experience navigating the litigation processes.

Desired Qualifications

  • Experience and knowledge in Asian American and/or civil and human rights issues.
  • Strong supervisory skills and experience with proven ability to manage, coach and mentor staff or interns and work collegially with executive team members.
  • Asian language fluency is a plus.

Application Process:

Send resume with references, short writing sample and a cover letter to Hiring Manager at hiring@advancingjustice-aajc.org or by mail. Asian Americans Advancing Justice | AAJC is an equal opportunity employer.