Advocates For Children (AFC) is a dynamic social justice organization that strives to ensure a high-quality education for New York students who face barriers to academic success, focusing on students from low-income backgrounds. AFC works on behalf of children and youth who are at greatest risk of academic failure due to poverty, race, ethnicity, disability, homelessness, immigration status/limited English proficiency, or involvement in the child welfare or juvenile/criminal legal systems. We use uniquely integrated strategies to advance systemic reform, empower families and communities, and advocate for the educational rights of individual students. For more information on AFC, see www.advocatesforchildren.org. 

AFC seeks a Staff Attorney for its Immigrant Students’ Rights Project (ISRP). ISRP works to protect the education-related rights of underserved immigrant families. Immigrant families face unique obstacles in NYC public schools related to their linguistic and cultural backgrounds. The Staff Attorney will report directly to ISRP’s Project Director.

DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES

The attorney will primarily serve immigrant families of children with disabilities and English Language Learners (ELLs). Responsibilities include:

  • Representing parents at special education administrative hearings;
  • Assisting families with school related issues such as school enrollment, locating bilingual programs, and addressing bullying;
  • Providing know-your-rights trainings to families, community organizations, and service providers;
  • Supporting ongoing policy advocacy efforts focusing on ELLs, immigrant students, and access to translation and interpretation services in schools;
  • Drafting and updating informational materials for immigrant parents;
  • Researching and conducting outreach to organizations that provide services to immigrant communities; and
  • Participating in school meetings and school visits.

MINIMUM QUALIFICATIONS

  • Understanding of and alignment with AFC’s mission. Please review AFC’s work at advocatesforchildren.org.
  • A Juris Doctor degree.
  • Fluency in Spanish with ability to converse with students/families whose first language is Spanish.
  • 0-4 years of legal experience.
  • Ability to effectively engage across cultures, identities, and ethnicities, particularly Latinx and immigrant families.
  • Able to engage with a variety of audiences that include parents, community partners, and New York City Public Schools staff.
  • Strong presentation skills and comfort with public speaking.
  • Organized, detail oriented, and able to work independently on tasks and deliverables.
  • Strong writing ability, including crafting legal documents and written communications to key stakeholders.
  • Ability to multi-task and respond to changing needs.
  • Collaborative approach to working with teammates and partners.
  • Desire to learn, both as an individual and as part of an organization, and apply diversity, equity, inclusion, and anti-racism principles.
  • Admission to the NY State bar preferred.

APPLICATION INSTRUCTIONS

Candidates should submit a resume and cover letter highlighting why they are interested in this role at AFC and how their experience aligns with the Staff Attorney position, including any personal or professional experience that demonstrates their connection to the populations AFC serves. 

This is a full-time position, with a salary in the $76,000 - $84,000 range, depending on experience, and includes a comprehensive benefits package.  

The position is available immediately, and resumes will be reviewed on a rolling basis. Due to the high volume of applicants, only qualified candidates will be contacted.

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION

AFC’s current compensation package includes medical and dental insurance, with a plan option that covers full payment of medical plan premiums for staff and their qualified dependents.  AFC has generous time-off policies that include 10 federal holidays, office closure between Christmas and New Year’s Day, and 15 vacation days and 15 paid time off days in the first year of employment.  AFC also currently offers a 403(b) plan with a fully vested employer match and coverage of the premium cost of life insurance, short-term disability insurance, and long-term disability insurance. 

This position is expected to work at least 2 days a week in the office and remotely on the remaining days.  

Due to a high volume of applicants, only complete applications from qualified candidates will be contacted. No phone calls please. 

AFC is an affirmative action employer that actively seeks to recruit and retain a diverse staff and especially encourages applications from people of color, persons with disabilities, parents of persons with disabilities, persons of diverse sexual orientations, gender identities or gender expressions and persons of diverse socioeconomic backgrounds. AFC is committed to providing access, equal opportunity, and reasonable accommodation when requested by a qualified applicant or employee with a disability or other protected characteristic. The policy regarding requests for reasonable accommodation applies to all aspects of employment, including the application process. To request accommodations, please email HR@advocatesforchildren.org.

 

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