National Center for Youth Law

Jobs & Volunteering

Senior Attorney/ Attorney, Immigration

Immigration and Legal Advocacy Teams

NCYL’s immigration team works to defend the rights of immigrant children and youth. This includes serving as Flores counsel, through which we represent the class of over 13,000 immigrant children in federal custody, and as counsel in Lucas R., a more recent lawsuit brought on behalf of a similar class of children. Additionally, we recently filed new litigation aimed at addressing some of the underlying factors that have led to the dramatic increase in the number of children in federal immigration custody.  


NCYL seeks a Senior Attorney/ Attorney to join our growing Immigration team.  Our team is focused on ensuring immigrant children are not indefinitely detained, separated from their families, or denied their due process rights.  The Senior Attorney/ Attorney will report to NCYL’s Director of Immigration and will work closely with NCYL’s Legal Advocacy team. 

Essential Functions                   

  1. Supporting and helping to lead immigration impact litigation.
  2. Case development, including on-site interviews and investigations and analysis of potential legal claims.
  3. Legal research and analysis.
  4. Collaborating with other NCYL staff and with co-counsel.
  5. Litigation, and post-litigation enforcement of judgments/settlements, including drafting complaints, motions, memoranda, and briefs; and engaging in discovery.
  6. Collaborating with immigrant children’s advocates throughout the country on litigation and policy efforts.

Required Qualifications

  • J.D. degree, admitted to practice law.
  • Excellent analytic and writing skills.
  • Strong leadership skills and ability to manage complex projects.
  • Strong interpersonal skills.
  • Outstanding oral communication skills.
  • Knowledge of immigration law.
  • Fluency in Spanish.
  • Creative problem solving and ability to stay focused on the big picture.
  • Commitment to NCYL’s overarching goals and objectives.
  • Ability and willingness to travel.
  • Senior Attorney: At least six year’s experience at a public interest law firm or government agency with a focus on litigation OR seven year’s experience at a law firm with significant pro bono experience.
  • Attorney: At least three year’s experience at a public interest law firm or government agency with a focus on litigation OR four year’s experience at a law firm with significant pro bono experience.

Salary, Benefits and Location 

This is a full-time, exempt, position.  Salary is competitive with a range of $65,000 – $80,000 annually for Attorneys and $85,000 – $97,000 for Senior Attorneys.  NCYL provides health, dental, life, short-term and long-term disability insurance, vacation and sick benefits, and an employer contribution to a retirement plan.

Position will be located in Oakland, CA, Los Angeles, CA, or Washington D.C. 

How to Apply

Applications will be accepted through January 7, 2019. Submit a cover letter and resume to apply. No phone calls or emails please.

Apply at:

Applicants with personal experience within the immigration system, applicants of color, and those who will increase the diversity of NCYL are strongly encouraged to apply.


Law Clerks – Spring and Summer 2019, Oakland, CA or Washington, DC


The National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) seeks law students to work in its Oakland and Washington DC offices during Spring and Summer 2019. Law clerks will work closely with NCYL attorneys on projects impacting low-income children and youth. 


NCYL is headquartered in Oakland, CA. For decades, NCYL has worked to ensure children and youth have the resources, supports, and opportunities they need to advance and thrive.  The Oakland office has led the charge to create high impact campaigns within the multiple public systems serving vulnerable children. 

Washington, DC

NCYL opened a new office in Washington, D.C. in October 2017. The DC office is staffed by a highly experienced group of litigators with strong civil rights backgrounds, strengthening NCYL’s already formidable litigation team. Working seamlessly together with our litigators and subject-matter experts across the country, the DC office works on litigation projects intended to improve the lives of low-income children and youth.

NCYL is interested in applicants with a strong commitment to social justice. In particular, applicants should demonstrate interest in protecting the rights of low-income children and youth. Under the mentorship of their supervising attorneys, clerks will research novel issues within youth law, write legal and policy memoranda, and assist in ongoing litigation, policy, and legislative efforts.

The minimum required time commitment for Spring 2019 is 10-15 hours per week; applicants for full-time externships will also be considered.

The required time commitment for Summer 2019 is 37.5 hours per week for ten weeks. 

To Apply

Please submit the following application materials to the applicable links below:

  • Cover letter (including any specific interests in NCYL’s ongoing projects)
  • Resume
  • Short writing sample

Clerkship application review will occur on a rolling basis.

Please note that NCYL does not offer paid clerkships. However, NCYL is committed, subject to available resources, to assist those who require financial assistance in order to accept this position. NCYL encourages students to seek a clinical placement through their school or apply for outside funding to support their work. NCYL routinely works with law schools to secure academic credit for the student. 

Oakland: NCYL anticipates hiring 2-4 spring law clerks and 6-9 summer law clerks for the Oakland office. Click this link to apply:—OAKLAND-CA 

Washington, DC: NCYL anticipates hiring 2-4 spring law clerks and 2-4 summer law clerks for the DC office. Click this link to apply:—WASHINGTON-DC 

The National Center for Youth Law is committed to hiring a group of students that reflect the racial and cultural diversity of our clients. Students of color, those who will increase the diversity of NCYL, and those with personal experience in our practice areas are strongly encouraged to apply as a summer clerk.

NCYL is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer and does not discriminate on the basis of race, religion, age, ethnic background, sex, disability, size, sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression, disability, religion, age, personal appearance, size, marital status, family responsibilities, matriculation, or genetic information. 


NCYL recruits law students throughout the year. Fall and spring positions are part-time (10-15 hours a week). Summer positions are full-time (37.5 hours a week). Application deadlines are as follows:

  • Fall 2018:            August 31, 2018
  • Spring 2019:       November 1, 2018
  • Summer 2019:   January 14, 2019