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Senior Program Associate (JD), Center on Immigration and Justice NYC/LA/DC

Who we are

The Vera Institute of Justice is powered by hundreds of advocates, researchers, and activists working to transform the criminal legal and immigration systems until they’re fair for all. Founded in 1961 to advocate for alternatives to money bail in New York City, Vera is now a national organization that partners with impacted communities and government leaders for change. We develop just, antiracist solutions so that money doesn’t determine freedom; fewer people are in jails, prisons, and immigration detention; and everyone is treated with dignity. Vera’s headquarters is in Brooklyn, New York, with offices in Washington, DC, New Orleans, and Los Angeles. Learn more about life at Vera; click here.

What you'll do

The Senior Program Associate is the first point of contact for legal services providers (LSPs) in the national network seeking assistance with program management or technical assistance needs. The Senior Program Associate maintains a close relationship with LSPs via monthly calls, site visits, and ad hoc communication to identify challenges, best practices, ensure contract compliance and strategically brainstorm solutions to issues that arise. Employing their understanding of LSP program management and immigration law/practice, the Senior Program Associate will identify areas for training and technical assistance to meet the network's substantive legal needs. They will join a functional team with immigration advocacy, child welfare, finance, and research backgrounds.

The Senior Program Associate’s responsibilities include but are not limited to:

  • Conducting site visits of legal service providers (biannually in-person) and drafting site visit evaluations
  • Developing and maintaining relationships with existing and new legal service providers by conducting monthly check-in calls, reviewing monthly narrative reports, and ad hoc communication
  • Creatively brainstorming solutions to challenges experienced by legal service providers
  • Identifying promising practices among subcontractors and devising ways to disseminate information about such practices to encourage implementation elsewhere in the network
  • Identifying technical assistance needs of the network and collaborating with the Learning & Contract Compliance team to create trainings resources that address these needs
  • Analyzing/contextualizing data and preparing reports to government partners in collaboration with the Research and Analytics team
  • Other duties as assigned.

Education and Experience

  • JD degree; and
  • At least four years of legal, government, or policy work experience (including internships).

Qualifications and Skills

  • A demonstrated knowledge of immigration, child welfare, criminal or juvenile justice, or other justice areas
  • A desire to effectuate change in partnership with the government
  • Strong writing, research, data analysis, communication, and facilitation skills
  • Ability to manage work on multiple projects effectively and efficiently
  • Ability to work collaboratively on a team, as well as to take the initiative and manage projects independently
  • Willingness to travel frequently and ability to successfully balance travel responsibilities with office-based responsibilities (Note: travel is currently paused due to the COVID19 pandemic)
  • Ability to read and communicate effectively in Spanish (proficiency in other languages is a plus)
  • An uncompromising commitment to immigrants' rights and race equity
  • Preferred:
    • Experience representing detained immigrants and/or children is a strong plus
    • Experience with "know your rights" and other community education initiatives are a strong plus

Other Important Information: 

  • This is a full-time benefits eligible position that can be located in either our NY or LA office 
  • Salary is competitive plus excellent benefits

How to apply

Please submit a cover letter and resume. Applications will be considered on a rolling basis until the position is filled. Online submission in PDF format (through Vera’s career page) is preferred.  No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted

ATTN: Human Resources / SPA-CIJ-Legal
Vera Institute of Justice
34 35th St, Suite 4-2A, Brooklyn, NY 11232
Fax: (212) 941-9407
Please use only one method (online, mail or fax) of submission.
No phone calls, please. Only applicants selected for interviews will be contacted.

Vera is an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer.  All qualified applicants will be considered for employment without unlawful discrimination based on race, color, creed, national origin, sex, age, disability, marital status, sexual orientation, military status, prior record of arrest or conviction, citizenship status, current employment status, or caregiver status. 

Vera works to advance justice, particularly racial justice, in an increasingly multicultural country and globally connected world. We value diverse experiences, including with regard to educational background and justice system contact, and depend on a diverse staff to carry out our mission. 

For more information about Vera, please visit


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