Staff Attorney

Application Deadline: October 17th, 2018

Job Description:

PANA is a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to advancing the full economic, social, and civic inclusion of refugees in San Diego. PANA uses an integrated voter engagement approach to its community organizing, public policy, and research in order to build and leverage deep community networks, develop community leaders, and establish a civic engagement infrastructure to amplify the voice, visibility and impact of our community.

Since 2015, the Partnership for the Advancement of New Americans -- PANA -- has led the fight to lift up refugee voices as equal participants in the civic, social, and economic life of San Diego County.  PANA’s unique role works at the intersections of African, Middle Eastern, Muslim, & South Asian (AMEMSA) refugee communities impacted by racial/ethnic profiling, religious bias, heightened scrutiny, proposed increased government surveillance, and poverty among the many issues affecting our refugee communities.

San Diego County’s refugee and muslim communities face ongoing and growing legal needs. PANA is hiring a full-time attorney to develop a legal program that will triage legal services for refugees and asylum seekers; develop human rights and national security impact litigation; and develop a rapid response legal infrastructure in San Diego to respond to the growing, urgent threats to Muslim and other refugee communities. These threats include:

  • increased law enforcement harassment and requests for meetings with the FBI and DHS;

  • prolonged detention for asylum seekers;

  • difficulty with what were formerly simple adjustments to immigration status;

  • criminal charges with immigration consequences; and

  • increased need for Know Your Rights information.

The Staff Attorney will report directly to the Executive Director.


  • Foster relationships with local, state, and national organizations providing legal defense and support to refugees, asylum seekers, and immigrants.

  • Conduct thorough intake interviews, triage legal response, and conduct necessary follow-up with community members with legal needs.

  • Prepare public records requests and conduct related public records litigation.

  • Work with state and national partners to develop and advance impact litigation strategies.

  • Build relationships with local and national law firms, recruit pro bono attorneys for direct services and impact litigation, develop legal materials and a pro bono training program, and provide ongoing technical assistance to attorney representing PANA community members.

  • Develop Know Your Rights legal materials and conduct trainings for community members and local nonprofit partners.

  • Participate in advancing county, state, and national policies focused on protecting California’s growing refugee and Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, and South Asian (AMEMSA/MASA) communities.

  • Support the policy and organizing teams with legal research and analysis of state and federal laws and treaties.

  • Create evaluation tools to measure and reflect on the success of the legal program.

Qualifications and Skills Required:

  • J.D. and California bar admission.

  • A minimum of three years of experience providing direct legal services and/or working on impact or other complex civil litigation.

  • Experience with the intersection of immigration and criminal law a plus.

  • Experience analyzing legislation and policy a plus.

  • Demonstrated commitment to refugee and immigrant communities.

  • Ability to coordinate and advance strategies within a coalition.

  • Ability to juggle multiple priorities and work effectively with a team in a rapidly moving environment.

  • Extremely organized with close attention to detail and accuracy.

  • Ability to speak Arabic, Urdu, Farsi, Kurdish, Vietnamese, or Somali strongly preferred.

  • Knowledge of Microsoft Word, Excel and Outlook, and sophisticated use of technology.


Competitive salary commensurate with experience and excellent benefits.

To Apply:

Applicants should email a resume, writing sample, and cover letter to No phone calls.