Program Associate - Detained Youth Empowerment Project

Immigrant Defenders Law Center
  • Location
    Los Angeles, California
  • Sector
    Non Profit
  • Experience
    Mid Career
  • Posted
    Mar 30

Position description

The Immigrant Defenders Law Center (ImmDef) is a next generation, social justice law firm that defends our immigrant communities against systematic injustices in our legal system.  We provide legal representation and popular education classes to Southern California’s most marginalized immigrant communities. The leadership staff of Immigrant Defenders Law Center has been involved in providing pro bono legal services and education to immigrants and their families in Los Angeles for more than 15 years. Our website is  

The Detained Youth Empowerment Project (DYEP) works directly with unaccompanied children and youth (“UC”), including pregnant and parenting teens, detained in Office of Refugee and Resettlement (ORR) shelters in the greater Los Angeles area. The majority of these minors have been recently apprehended by the Border Patrol, and many have experienced serious trauma.  The DYEP program coordinates legal services (facilitating Know-Your-Rights presentations and conducting legal screenings) to UCs detained in 3 local ORR detention facilities, identifies free and/or low-cost legal representation for UCs reunifying with sponsors throughout the US, coordinates “Friend of Court” services for unrepresented minors appearing on the Detained Juvenile Docket and manages our Long Term Foster Care (LTFC) legal referrals. The DYEP team is responsible for inputting, analyzing and reporting data using multiple data collection platforms. 

Responsibilities: Popular Education & FOC Coordination 

The “Program Associate” position is responsible for conducting our weekly legal services to 3 local ORR shelters. This includes facilitating our Know-Your-Rights (KYR) presentation and legal screenings using Popular Education pedagogy. In addition, our Program Associate will also work with our Children’s Representation Program (CRP) to (1) ensure that unrepresented detained minors appearing on the Detained Juvenile Docket receive court preparation services by one of our “Friend of Court” attorneys and (2) manage our local and nationwide Long Term Foster Care (LTFC) relief determination requests and referrals. 

Scope of Work: 

  • Provide weekly legal services for UCs placed in 3 local ORR shelters 
  • Facilitate “Know-Your-Rights” (KYR) presentations to UCs, youth and teen parents using Popular Education and engaging techniques & conduct and document legal screenings to newly detained UCs.  
  • Receive and distribute the weekly “Detained Juvenile Docket” calendar with local ORR stakeholders & gather basic information regarding a respondent from ORR staff 
  • Identify unrepresented minors appearing on the Detained Juvenile Docket and prepare “Friend of Court Prep” folder for attorneys 
  • Input, analyze and report data using internal data-tracking spreadsheets and web-based database. 
  • Respond to attorney inquiries regarding client information in a timely manner. 
  • Provide administrative support as necessary. 


  • Undergraduate degree, or 4+ years of relevant experience; 
  • Meticulous attention to detail; 
  • Advanced organizational skills;  
  • Experience in managing high volumes of data; 
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office, with an emphasis in Excel; 
  • Spanish oral and written fluency required;  
  • Strong communication skills, including the ability to communicate with children in a sensitive but clear manner, required. Experience with popular education pedagogy highly preferred;  
  • Strong writing skills;  
  • Experience working in a legal and/or non-profit start-up environment preferred; 
  • Experience communicating and working with particularly vulnerable children, including pregnant and parenting teens, child victims of trauma, very young children, and children with developmental disabilities, preferred;  
  • Ability to work independently a must;  
  • Passion for social justice and commitment to immigrant community is REQUIRED. 


  • Must have reliable transportation to travel to and from Fullerton, La Verne and East L.A. Ideal candidate will have car, valid CA Driver’s License and current auto insurance. 
  • Employment is dependent on background checks, including Livescan and Child Abuse and Neglect Index. 
  • Able to lift up to 25 pounds. 

Hours: 40 hours/week per position.   

Salary:$15-17 per hour, commensurate with experience + generous benefits package, including health, dental, vision, sick and vacation time, 11 paid holidays/year, and one paid week off between Christmas and New Years.   

Application instructions

All applicants should include a cover letter that addresses: 

1) Why are you interested in working with immigrants? 2) Why do you think ImmDef would be a good fit for you? 3) What skills make you particularly suited for the position described?  

Email resume, cover letter and at least two references to Sofia Castrejon-Teodoro, Program Manager for Detained Youth, Immigrant Defenders Law Center.   

*Please be sure to indicate that you saw this position on*

follow us on Twitter