Staff Attorney - Mental Health Team


The Florence Project was founded in 1989 to respond to a representation crisis for indigent non-citizens detained at the rural Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Detention Center in Florence, Arizona. We strive to counteract systemic injustices that arise in the immigration system due, in part, to the lack of a universal right to representation. Through a range of programs, we provide high-quality legal and social services to almost 6,000 men, women, and children that are detained in Arizona on any given day.  The Florence Project is nationally known for its legal service models, which strive to empower detained individuals and ensure that they have access to justice. The Florence Project also actively supports initiatives for national changes in immigration law and policy.

The Florence Project is seeking a full-time Attorney to join our Mental Health team. This team provides direct representation and social service support to adults with serious mental health conditions who are in immigration removal proceedings.  The attorney will work on a team of attorneys, legal assistants, and social workers to provide legal assistance and case management to detained and formerly detained clients who have been found mentally incompetent by an immigration judge and who are appointed a “Qualified Representative” by the Executive Office for Immigration Review.  

Essential duties include:

  • Provide direct representation in immigration proceedings and custody redetermination hearings before the Immigration Court, representation before the Board of Immigration Appeals, representation in applications before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and other related services reasonably necessary to represent these clients in their removal proceedings.  
  • Work as a team, with supervisor(s), other attorneys, legal assistants, and social workers, to provide zealous and holistic representation to clients.
  • Collaborate with social workers on release planning and case management – connecting the client to community services such as health care, housing, or other support as needed. 
  • Work with mental health professionals and other experts necessary for clients’ cases. 
  • Occasionally assist with other Florence Project legal duties on an as needed basis.   
  • This is a full-time litigation position that requires frequent time in detention facilities and immigration courts located in Florence and Eloy, AZ. Additionally released clients may reside throughout Arizona with immigration court in either Tucson or Phoenix.  

The Mental Health team is mostly based in our Tucson office, though particularly strong candidates may also be considered for work from our Phoenix office. This position requires regular travel to Florence and Eloy and additional travel for released clients on an as needed basis.

  • Must be fluent or have professional proficiency in Spanish
  • Licensed to practice law in any state or jurisdiction. Preference for individuals with one to two years of relevant experience – both immigration court and other transferrable court experience will be considered
  • Demonstrated commitment to or interest in social justice, immigrant rights, or public interest law
  • Strong legal research and writing skills
  • Strong oral advocacy skills
  • Demonstrated ability to be a flexible team player
  • Strong work ethic with a demonstrated ability to take initiative and work well under pressure
  • Prior advocacy, practice, or clinical experience in immigration or criminal law and/or experience working with clients with mental health conditions is strongly preferred 
  • Must have sharp legal mind and enjoy challenging casework and litigation 
  • Prior advocacy work in immigrant rights, human rights, LGBTQ rights, criminal justice, mental health advocacy, or experience working with trauma survivors is a plus
  • Ability to travel regularly, especially between offices and secondary work locations
  • Must be able to clear basic background checks and obtain security clearance to enter detention facilities


This is a full-time, salaried exempt position. We offer a competitive salary for our network. We strive to create and uphold a positive, supportive, and inclusive work environment for staff.  We offer excellent benefits, including medical, dental, vision, and life insurance, with full premiums paid by the Florence Project. After one year of employment, staff members are eligible for the employer matching retirement plan. Paid time off includes one personal day each month in addition to fifteen days of vacation and twelve days of sick/medical leave annually, six weeks of parental leave (up to twelve weeks total, with option to use personal, vacation, and sick paid time off for unpaid portion), and bereavement leave. The Florence Project observes all federal holidays. After three years of employment staff members are eligible for an eight week paid sabbatical.

This is an immediate opening. To apply, please complete the application below; upload a cover letter detailing your interest in the position, writing sample, and resume with three professional references. Please include in your email, the name of the publication/website where you found out about this job opportunity. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis, and candidates are encouraged to apply as soon as possible. Only those selected for an interview will be contacted. The Florence Project values diversity in the workplace and strongly encourages applications from people of color, LGBTQ individuals, persons with disabilities, and members of underrepresented communities. 
This job announcement is for informational purposes only, and is subject to change and modification without notice. This job announcement includes a non-exhaustive list of responsibilities, qualifications and requirements of the position, but does not necessarily include all the job functions of the position. 

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