Work for Democracy

Senior Staff Attorney

International Refugee Assistance Project

International Refugee Assistance Project

Posted on Thursday, January 18, 2024
IRAP’s Climate Program seeks to hire a full-time senior staff attorney. Under the supervision of the Climate Director, Ama Francis, the attorney will play a key role in our game changing work to expand legal protections for climate displaced people. The attorney’s work will align with four cross-departmental strategies – collecting migrant-level data, shaping positive narratives, providing legal aid and mapping legal pathways — to advance an equitable legal framework and champion the rights of climate displaced people. The attorney will work closely with our Climate Director, the Legal Strategy Working Group, and our staff attorneys on all legal aspects of the climate program. They will contribute to the strategic development of legal solutions, accelerate the extensive research and analysis necessary to support this work, leverage our pro bono and law student networks, help build data-collection and training materials, and cultivate a legal community of practice focused on climate displacement pathways. Key responsibilities are listed below.


  • Work with the director to implement a multi-organizational regional legal action agenda
  • Supervise legal research assistants and fellows and lead legal research
  • Scale up our climate data project, including by recruiting additional partners, developing training materials, and working directly with climate-impacted individuals to obtain informed consent
  • Lead efforts to develop legal technical resources on climate displacement, including training materials for practitioners
  • Support US federal, and state and local advocacy & coalition building efforts across the US, Mexico Central America & the Caribbean
  • Collaborate with the US Legal department & other organizations to tee up test cases
  • Develop relationships with directly impacted communities and populations
  • Partner with other departments to advance our climate work


  • Law degree and license to practice law in the U.S. state from which the duties of this position will be performed
  • At least 5 years of US immigration experience, including direct representation of clients
  • Prior experience in climate justice work & immigration policy across the Americas is an asset
  • Experience (professional or lived) working with directly impacted communities is highly valued
  • Superb legal research & writing, communications, interpersonal, and analytical skills
  • Strong project management skills & commitment to justice
  • Ability to work comfortably with board members, attorneys, and partner organizations with diverse cultural and social backgrounds
  • Must be highly organized and motivated, able to multitask, manage a high-volume workload, and have excellent time management skills
  • Ability to be think creatively & intersectionality, and be flexible in a fast-paced and high-pressure work environment
  • Fluency in Spanish
Location: The candidate will work in one of IRAP’s offices in New York City, DC or remotely.
This role is paid on a step scale based on years of work experience and education. The salary will be between $84,186 - $100,586. May be subject to a collective bargaining agreement.
IRAP’s benefits vary across office locations, and IRAP seeks to offer equitable and generous benefits to all employees. IRAP’s U.S. benefits include:
Fully paid family health insurance
Retirement options
Extensive PTO (20 or more vacation days & 19 org-wide holidays)
Comprehensive leave time for sickness
Disability and parenting (4 months of parental leave)
Reimbursement for work from home equipment
Generous opportunities for professional development
IRAP is an equal-opportunity employer; people of color and individuals from diverse backgrounds are encouraged to apply. IRAP does not discriminate based on race, color, national origin, citizenship status, ethnic background, religion, political orientation, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, disability, or any other protected class. We consider all qualified applicants with criminal histories in a manner consistent with the requirements of all local, state, and federal laws related to the Fair Chance Act.