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Internships and Careers

Internships

Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”) is currently accepting 2019 summer legal internship applications for our Tenant Advocacy Program, and for our Immigration Unit.

The Tenant Advocacy Program (“TAP”) at CMS assists tenants – primarily residents of Queens – with a wide array of housing-related legal services ranging from brief advice to full representation in court proceedings. TAP assists tenants with matters such as eviction defense, obtaining needed repairs, combatting landlord harassment and rent overcharges, obtaining renewal leases, and obtaining rent increase exemptions for seniors and persons with disabilities.  We typically litigate cases in Queens Housing Court and at administrative agencies, and also periodically represent clients in Queens Supreme Court and the Second Department.  Because TAP also has tenant organizers, our legal team and organizers collaborate to lead community education events and bring group cases.  Interns will have the opportunity to work on a variety of matters during the summer internship under the supervision of TAP’s four experienced attorneys.  The TAP intern will work in our Queens office.

The Immigration Unit at CMS is comprised of three programs: the Removal Defense Project (“RDP”), Affirmative Filings, and Naturalization. RDP represents immigrants who are before Immigration Court seeking forms of relief such as defensive asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, cancellation of removal for lawful permanent residents and non-lawful permanent residents, motions to reopen, and 212(C) waivers. The RDP team also files affirmative asylum petitions, U visas, T visas and I-130 family based petitions associated with a removal case before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”). The affirmative filings team files R visas, religious worker petitions, consular processing family petitions, Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) petitions, I-130 family petitions, inadmissibility waivers, I-90 green card renewals, and adjustment of status applications. The Naturalization Team submits naturalization applications and N-600 (application for certificate of citizenship for people who derived or acquired US citizenship through their parents) applications before USCIS.  The summer intern will get experience working in all three areas of our immigration practice.

Summer legal interns should be currently enrolled in an ABA accredited law school.  Summer interns are expected to work Monday through Friday (excluding any holidays) from approximately 9:30 AM to 5:30 PM for the duration of the internship, however periodic evening hours may be required in lieu of daytime hours so that the intern can participate in community events, legal clinics or client meetings.  The internship is unpaid, however CMS will support the applicant’s effort to obtain funding from outside sources (e.g., their law school, Equal Justice America, etc…)

Interested applicants should email a cover letter, resume, writing sample, and three references to David Colodny, Director of Legal Services, at dcolodny@catholicmigration.org.

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Careers

MANAGING ATTORNEY – IMMIGRATION
Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”) provides high quality free legal services, community education, and advocacy for low-income immigrants residing in Brooklyn and Queens, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, national origin, or immigration status.

CMS assists individuals with their immigration, housing, and employment needs. CMS is committed to “welcoming the stranger in our midst” by serving and working alongside underserved immigrant communities to advance equality and social justice in an ever changing landscape.

Position:
The Immigration Unit of CMS seeks a full-time, highly motivated, experienced, and passionate immigration attorney to lead our dynamic and growing team as the Managing Attorney of the Immigration Unit. The Managing Attorney will work with the Director of Legal Services to carry out and further develop the vision of the Immigration Unit and provide the Immigration Unit with a clear roadmap for meeting CMS’s mission. The Managing Attorney will report to the Director of Legal Services and will directly supervise each of the Immigration Unit’s project supervisors in both the Brooklyn and Queens offices. The Immigration Unit consists of a removal defense program, an affirmative filings program, and a naturalization program. In addition to providing legal advice and representation to more than 2,000 Brooklyn and Queens residents each year, the Immigration Unit provides Know-Your-Rights presentations and literature to inform the community about immigrants’ rights and changes in government policies and enforcement. The Managing Attorney will be based in our Brooklyn office but will be expected to periodically work out of the Queens office.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop vision for the Immigration Unit in consultation with the Chief Executive Officer, the Director of Legal Services and Immigration Unit staff members.
  • Directly supervise Immigration Unit program area supervisors. Schedule regular support meetings, develop staff work plans, and provide feedback on performance on an ongoing basis.
  • Represent CMS in coalitions, before government and other funders, and before elected officials whenever program input is expected;
  • Manage grant compliance and reporting ensuring deliverables are being met for all government/private funders and provide assistance in report writing as needed;
  • Work collaboratively with other CMS’ program managers to facilitate the provision of legal services in a holistic manner across all of CMS’ worksites;
  • May supervise clinical and/or other intern recruitment and assignments coordinating with other CMS staff to advance the work of the organization;
  • Represent clients in immigration legal proceedings including affirmative filings and removal proceedings
  • Identify professional development opportunities for Immigration Unit staff (attorneys, counselors and paralegals), develop in-house trainings, and mentor staff members;
  • Maintain organized and up-to-date files and database of caseload;
  • Assist in planning and implementation of strategic projects related to immigration legal services;
  • Develop and monitor compliance with best practices for immigration staff attorneys and other individuals working in the area of removal proceedings;
  • Provide periodic reports to the Director of Legal Services about the Immigration Unit’s work, progress towards meeting contract deliverables, and caseloads; and
  • Assist in the daily operation of the office.

Requirements:

  • J.D. from an accredited law school;
  • Admission to the New York State Bar;
  • Minimum of eight years of Immigration legal experience and three years in a supervisory capacity;
  • Management experience preferred;
  • Excellent writing, communication and analytical skills;
  • Demonstrated knowledge of legal statutes and regulations;
  • Computer proficiency- Microsoft Office;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently, as well as to work collaboratively with a team; and
  • Ability and experience working with staff and clients from diverse backgrounds and
    communities.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of three professional references and two writing samples to: David Colodny, Director of Legal Services, at dcolodny@catholicmigration.org. Please include “Immigration Unit-Managing Attorney Application” in the subject line.

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STAFF ATTORNEY – HOUSING UNIT
Catholic Migration Services (“CMS”), a nonprofit provider of legal services for low and moderate income residents of Queens and Brooklyn, is seeking a full-time staff attorney for our Housing Unit.

The attorney will be based in our Sunnyside, Queens office and will primarily provide legal representation for individual tenants and tenant groups in Queens. The attorney also will collaborate with CMS’ tenant organizers, as well as with attorneys and staff from the other CMS programs to ensure that clients receive holistic legal services. The attorney will report to, and assist, the Housing Unit’s Managing Attorney.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
• Represent clients in housing-related litigation matters, including individual and group cases;
• Do intake and provide legal advice to tenants we are unable to represent;
• Work with CMS’ organizers to plan our monthly community meetings;
• Assist in community outreach and education efforts related to housing legal services;
• Assist in planning and implementation of strategic projects related to housing legal services;
• Manage caseload and maintain client files in good working order. Maintain and update case list and client and case information in case management database; and
• Participate in staff meetings and case reviews.

Qualifications:
• Admission to the New York State Bar, or must have sat for a recent New York bar exam;
• At least 2 years of previous experience practicing in housing law preferred, but not required;
• Strong commitment to social and economic justice, and community empowerment;
• Excellent written, oral and analytical skills;
• Fluency in written and oral Spanish strongly preferred;
• Excellent organizational skills;
• Basic computer skills;
• Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently; and
• Ability and experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and communities.

Application Instructions:
This position is available immediately, and applications will be considered on a rolling basis. To apply, email a cover letter and resume to Andrew Lehrer, Managing Attorney, at: alehrer@catholicmigration.org. Please include “Staff Attorney Application” in the subject line.

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SENIOR ATTORNEY – IMMIGRATION
Catholic Migration Services, a nonprofit provider of legal services for low and moderate income residents of Queens and Brooklyn, is seeking a full-time senior attorney for our immigration department.

The senior attorney will counsel and represent individuals before the Executive Office for Immigration Review and before the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. The senior attorney will also represent individuals in Family Court in guardianship and custody hearings and assist with special outreach events and community-based legal clinics in Brooklyn and Queens. The senior attorney will report to the Supervising Attorney of the Removal Defense Project. This is for a full-time position in our Brooklyn office, but the attorney may be required to work from our Queens office periodically.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Provide representation and legal advice to clients in removal proceedings before the Executive office for Immigration Review seeking all types of relief, including but not limited to: Asylum, Cancellation of Removal, 212(c), and VAWA;
  • Represent clients before the Board of Immigration Appeals or in any other immigration related federal litigation matters.
  • Represent clients in front of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and in New York State Family Court;
  • Prepare affirmative applications including but not limited to: Asylum, family based petitions, adjustment of status, U visa and T visa applications;
  • Manage caseload and maintain client files in good working order. Maintain and update case list and client and case information in case management database;
  • Participate in CMS staff meeting and case reviews;
  • Attend USCIS and EOIR stakeholder meetings and local practitioner working group meeting as required;
  • Report on outcomes and demographic information for grants, and;
  • Assist in outreach and educational events;
  • Assist in the supervision of interns.

Qualifications:

  • Admission to the New York State Bar;
  • 5+ years of previous experience practicing in Immigration Law is required;
  • Demonstrated commitment to public interest work;
  • Excellent written, oral and analytical skills;
  • Fluency in written and oral Spanish preferred;
  • Excellent organizational skills;
  • Basic computer skills;
  • Demonstrated ability to take initiative and work independently; and
  • Ability and experience working with clients from diverse backgrounds and communities.

Application Instructions:
Applications will be accepted immediately and will be considered on a rolling basis. Interested applicants should send a cover letter, resume, list of three professional references and two writing samples to: Sharone Kaufman, Managing Attorney at Skaufman@catholicmigration.org. Please include “Senior Attorney Application” in the subject line.

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Equal Opportunity Employer

As an organization committed to serving and meeting the needs of all people, and pursuant to the requirements of City, State and Federal anti-discrimination laws, Catholic Migration Services provides equal treatment of all employees and applicants for employment without unlawful discrimination based on any characteristic protected under applicable federal, state, and local equal employment opportunity laws, including but not limited to race; creed; color; national origin; sex; age; religion; gender; disability; genetic information; pregnancy; marital status; sexual orientation; citizenship status; caregiver status; AIDS/HIV status; military status or service; domestic violence, stalking or sex offense victim status; transgendered status; or gender identity.