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Staff Attorney

Innovation Lab Lab

Innovation Lab Lab

Posted on Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Job title(s): Staff Attorney

Job Posting Date: May 13, 2024

Closing: Open until filled

FLSA Status: Exempt

Location: Portland, Oregon

Category: Full-time


Innovation Law Lab (Law Lab) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that leverages technology, law, and organizing to fight for immigrant and refugee justice.


Staff attorneys at Innovation Law Lab are responsible for driving multiple specific objectives within Innovation Law Lab’s diverse portfolio of work. Staff attorneys are part of an in-house counsel team that employs creative legal and advocacy strategies to directly challenge barriers to asylum access, prototype new inclusive systems and policy work, provide legal representation and combat injustices in the immigration legal system, and advocate for detained individuals while working to shut down immigration prisons.

Staff attorneys are expected to be self-motivated, professional, creative, and interested in contributing to a diverse array of goals, objectives, projects and programs that leverage law, technology and organizing to advance immigrant and refugee justice. A staff attorney should be ready to wear many hats, consistently support team members with numerous projects, take initiative and communicate proactively, work independently, and play an active role in achieving the goals and objectives of the organization. Staff attorneys report to our Legal Director, Director of Legal Advocacy, or a Supervising Staff Attorney.

For this recruitment, we are looking to fill a position based out of our Portland, Oregon office.

The Staff Attorney should be prepared to provide support across Law Lab’s legal program. Responsibilities may include providing legal representation, including both defensive and affirmative immigration work, on both detained and non-detained dockets; strategizing to improve the effectiveness of universal representation programs; mentoring fellow attorneys; working with policymakers to enact inclusive state policies; developing creative litigation and legal advocacy; moving forward our impact litigation and support for priorities of the Anticarceral Legal Organizing (AcLO) program and other LL program priorities; working with cross-organizational teams to move forward impact litigation; oral and written advocacy in federal court, and using selective direct representation and other legal advocacy to advance LL’s mission. This position may require in-person representation work before EOIR, USCIS, and other agencies.


  • Collaborate with staff in creating and analyzing legal strategies; personalizing case interventions/actions; and contributing to the development of best practices at the intersection of technology and the law.
  • Support colleagues and legal advocates at partner organizations with case development and strategy for defensive and affirmative immigration cases before EOIR and USCIS.
  • Develop materials to train and aid staff, pro bono attorneys, legal fellows, clients, and pro se respondents as they endeavor to navigate the complex immigration system.
  • Lead and support litigation efforts, including several ongoing immigrant rights class actions in federal court.
  • Engage in outreach and education (provide immigrant rights trainings, speak at key conferences and community forums, and other opportunities as they arise).
  • Provide technical assistance on immigration-related issues to coalitions, community partners, government officials, and government bodies.
  • Engage in policy research and assist in drafting policy reports and recommendations.
  • Support collaborating team members in their work, ensuring focus and wise use of resources within project objectives.
  • Ensure objectives, tasks and projects are completed on time and are efficiently managed.
  • Contribute to an inspiring team environment.
  • Participate in and lead committee and partner meetings, as appropriate.
  • Perform other duties as assigned.


The following are the minimum levels required to successfully perform the essential job duties and responsibilities.

  • JD degree and admission to the bar. Preference may be given to candidates with Oregon bar membership, or the ability to waive into the Oregon bar.
  • At least two years of relevant work experience practicing immigration law, litigating in federal or state court, and/or engaging in immigration policy advocacy.
  • Demonstrated commitment to immigrant rights and social justice.
  • Excellent written, analytical, oral, organizational and time management skills.
  • Well-organized, efficient, highly self-motivated, able to work well under pressure, and able to work independently and as part of a both in-office and remote team.
  • Must maintain professional demeanor and excellent work ethic at all times.
  • Knowledge of BIA and Immigration Court procedures.
  • Experience working with people from diverse backgrounds, including low-income populations, people who are marginally housed, immigrants, LGBTQ+ individuals, people of color and/or persons with disabilities.
  • Fluency or advanced proficiency in Spanish is required.


Salary for these positions is commensurate with experience. The salary range for this position is $67,500-86,250. Benefits include full medical, vision, and dental insurance for staff members; a 401(k) plan; accrued vacation and sick leave, subject to a waiting period where applicable; and paid and floating holidays. Staff members based at the Portland office will have access to office space in our downtown Portland office. Law Lab provides TriMet transit passes to access public transportation in the Portland Metro Area


Environment and Physical Requirements:

The Staff Attorney works primarily in an office environment; however, the position may travel to locations throughout the United States and potentially internationally to advocate for immigrant rights issues. These locations may include cities where Innovation Law Lab has established an active local presence, including but not limited to immigration courts, immigrant detention centers, law firms, and government buildings in Oregon and New Mexico. The position interacts with Law Lab staff, advocacy groups, clients, government agencies, and others. The Staff Attorney sits for extended periods of the workday, but also stand, walk, bend, lift, and move intermittently during working hours. The Staff Attorney may expect to lift, push, pull and move files and document in excess of 10 pounds..


The Staff Attorney should expect to work a full-time schedule of not less than 40 hours a week at the Director’s discretion based on business need, including availability during core weekday working hours as determined by the Legal Director and Director of Legal Advocacy. Typical office hours for Innovation Law Lab staff members are from 8:30am. to 5:00pm., Monday through Friday. The actual time required may exceed 40 hours a week as work or needs require. Attorneys may be required to work extended hours based on fluctuating workloads, including evenings, weekends, and holidays. The position is classified as exempt and is not eligible for overtime pay

Other Duties and Responsibilities:

This job description is a summary of the essential duties and responsibilities for this job, and it does not necessarily represent an all-inclusive list of duties, responsibilities, tasks or procedures. Employees are required to follow any other job-related instructions and to perform any other job-related duties requested by any person authorized to give instruction or assignments. Nothing in this description restricts Law Lab’s right to assign or reassign duties at any time.

Accommodation Statement:

Essential job duties and responsibilities are subject to possible modification to reasonably accommodate individuals with disabilities. To perform the job successfully, an incumbent or applicant must possess the experience, knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform each essential duty and responsibility proficiently. If you require an accommodation in order to perform the essential duties and responsibilities of this job, please contact Law Lab’s Executive Director.


To apply, send a resume and cover letter to jobs@innovationlawlab.org. Questions may also be directed to these email addresses. Review of applications will begin on May 27, 2024; the position is open until filled.

Innovation Law Lab is an Equal Opportunity Employer.