Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy

New Mexico Immigrant Law Center (NMILC) seeks a committed professional to serve as the organization’s Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy. This thoughtful leader and strong manager will oversee NMILC’s direct legal services and legal advocacy programs. The position reports to the Executive Director, is a part of NMILC’s Executive Leadership Team, and contributes to overall organizational planning and management. The Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy works closely with the managerial staff to develop a vision and strategies to ensure alignment of legal program systems and processes to support overall team success. This individual must be a strategic manager with strong interpersonal skills and the ability to communicate effectively with leadership and staff in a collaborative work environment.

This role reaches across many realms of the organization, most importantly management and leadership, legal strategy, resource development, legal advocacy and supervision.

NMILC’s mission is to advance equity and justice by empowering low-income immigrant communities through collaborative legal services, advocacy, and education. Each year we provide direct legal representation and assistance with immigration-related matters to thousands of immigrants and advocate for laws and policies that respect the rights of immigrants. Our model focuses on establishing relationships with local, state, and national organizations, and governmental institutions to expand access to legal services to historically marginalized immigrant communities. Due to the political landscape and attacks on immigrant rights in recent years, we are experiencing heightened visibility and substantial growth, having doubled the size of our staff, budget, and number of funders in the last five years. We are now over 25 employees strong and have an annual budget of over $2.5 million.

Job Responsibilities

As a manager and organizational leader, the Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy:

  1. Leads legal team in a manner that supports exchange of ideas, allows for reflection, and encourages camaraderie and collaboration across legal program areas.
  2. Collaborates with the legal program teams and leadership to build a clearly defined legal program plan.
  3. Partners with our legal program teams to develop clear roles, expectations, divisions of labor, measurements of success, and ensures that caseloads and other duties are equitable and reasonable.
  4. Grows and leads the legal team, with a focus on ongoing professional development.
  5. Ensures the delivery of high-quality legal services through communication with legal supervisors who manage the day-to-day operations of the legal program.
  6. Reviews and modifies, as needed, legal program procedures and structures and implements best practices to maintain and improve the quality and efficiency and client and staff satisfaction of legal service delivery.
  7. Partners with grant and administration team on continually assessing deliverables for grants to make strategic program decisions on legal programming, hiring needs, and staff responsibilities

As a legal strategist, the Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy:

  1. Leads legal team in a manner that supports exchange of ideas, allows for reflection, and encourages camaraderie and collaboration across legal program areas.
  2. Collaborates with the legal program teams and leadership to build a clearly defined legal program plan.
  3. Provides strategic direction and continual assessment of alignment of organization’s strategy and evolving community needs.
  4. Provides strategic direction of NMILC’s legal programs, projects, and impact litigation and actively engages in long-range strategic planning and impact evaluation with organizational leadership.
  5. Oversees the identification of new direct legal services and legal advocacy projects consistent with the mission and vision of NMILC; provides strategic input to evaluate potential alliance and expansion of services.
  6. Identifies, builds and nurtures local, state, and national partners and networks, as well as advocacy, policy, and litigation opportunities.
  7. Builds, maintains, and shares knowledge about local and national immigration issues and trends that have an impact on the work of NMILC.
  8. Engages in legal advocacy, in coordination with the communications team. Directs the scope of or manages (or delegates as appropriate) the NMILC legal advocacy and policy projects.
  9. Stays informed on current and national immigrant rights and immigration priorities and issues and funding opportunities through networking and maintaining relationships with key local and national organizations and networks.

As an inclusive collaborator, internally and externally, the Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy:

  1. Acts as a spokesperson and public face for NMILC and on immigration law and policy matters and works with the communications team and other staff to develop communications strategy that detail the impact of NMILC’s work. Supports other staff, as needed, in doing the same.
  2. Develops and maintains active relationships with community partners and with local, city, state, and federal elected officials.
  3. Works to build and sustain diverse and inclusive coalitions for advocacy work of the Legal Program, always in coordination with the organization’s advocacy goals.

As a resource developer, the Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy:

  1. Works as liaison between legal program and development and communications teams to advance NMILC legal priorities and ensure an integrated and aligned approach across funding, legal services, and policy advocacy.
  2. Work with the Executive Leadership Team, finance team, and legal supervisors to troubleshoot reassignment of duties and functions when needed due to staff transitions, grant requirements, and workload changes.
  3. Works with the development team to drive fundraising efforts by participating in meetings with major funders, and speaking at forums and events.
  4. Works with the administration team to support procurement, development, negotiation, implementation and assessment of contracts and invoices related to the legal program.
  5. Works with the communications teams to craft accurate and compelling content about legal programming for external communications.
  6. Coordinates with the Director of Community Engagement to identify pro bono and volunteer needs; partners with the Legal Team and volunteer attorneys to develop and advance strategic legal goals; coordinates with local and national partners; discusses and approves overall strategy; consults with legal program teams handling cases, as needed.
  7. Works with the leadership and administrative staff to manage and ensure the legal team provides timely program information needed for grant applications, grant deliverable tracking, and grant reporting narratives.

As legal advocate and supervisor, the Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy:

  1. Leads NMILC’s provision of legal services and response to client immigration legal needs and creates a supportive and collaborative team environment.
  2. Co-counsels on a limited number of clients before immigration agencies, and when necessary, federal court, especially in cases that present complex issues or significant impact on the immigrant community or organization.
  3. Represents NMILC in coalitions and other collaborative spaces with other organizations working on related issues in litigation.
  4. Provides supervision to legal program managing attorneys, and provides supervision of other staff, as needed.

Experience, Knowledge, Skills, and Abilities:


  • Juris Doctor degree
  • Broad substantive knowledge of immigration law, immigration policy issues, and ethical obligations; ideally at least five years of experience as an attorney advocating for immigrant rights in at least four of the following six areas preferred: asylum, removal, federal litigation, humanitarian relief, immigration policy, economic justice.
  • Proven significant and prior commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
  • Supportive leadership, thoughtful, and collaborative leadership style. Has a team-building, collegial management style focused on training, working collaboratively, holding accountable, and mobilizing diverse internal and external partners.
  • Bilingual in Spanish and English.
  • Excellent problem-solving skills, ability to juggle multiple ongoing projects and exercise good judgment under stressful situations.
  • Experience creating, investing in, uplifting, and managing individual staff and teams; strong inclusive facilitation skills; experience building the leadership capacity of team members to innovate and achieve high impact.
  • Strong relationship builder and communicator who values equity and justice, collaboration, accountability, and continuous learning.
  • Grounded while working in a fast-paced environment; prior success with managing staff in a legal environment; excellent judgment, measured and operationally savvy.
  • Can prioritize between and manage multiple demands.
  • Demonstrated ability to effectively manage a team and provide mentoring and development of staff towards increasing levels of success.
  • Superior written and oral communication skills.
  • Demonstrated ability to build relationships and work effectively, professionally, and collaboratively with a diverse range of partners, supporters, government officials, and clients, with a commitment to the highest ethical standards.
  • Excellent organization and time management skills to manage one’s own work, as well as encourage the same in others to ensure timely completion of assignments and projects.
  • Experience in conducting and supervising complex legal research and analysis.


  • At least two years of prior experience in a legal director position or comparable leadership position the duties of which included the development and implementation of legal strategies, development and partnership with community partners, and management and supervision of legal staff.
  • Experience working with marginalized or impacted communities, grassroots organizations, and non-governmental organizations.
  • Well versed and experienced with both the direct legal services and legal advocacy.


NMILC is an equal opportunity employer: immigrants, transgender and gender non-binary individuals, and people of color are strongly encouraged to apply. NMILC is a progressive organization and applicants are expected to collaborate in an inclusive and diverse environment. We are a group of highly dedicated and motivated individuals seeking transformative change for our state and welcome anyone who is interested in being part of our team.

Due to the COVID-19 Pandemic, NMILC’s staff is partially working remotely. This position is usually based out of our Albuquerque office. If the successful candidate is hired while NMILC’s staff is still remote, we will work with that candidate to ensure that they have the tools, equipment, and digital onboarding to be successfully integrated into our remote work environment. As national and state guidance allows, the attorney will be expected to be physically present in our Albuquerque office.

Salary and Benefits

The salary for this position is $80,080 with upward adjustments for additional years of relevant management experience in similar legal services settings. NMILC is proud to currently offer a generous benefits package, including;

  • 100% of premiums for excellent health, vision, and dental plans, including coverage for qualifying family members
  • Access to a 401K plan and discretionary employer match up to 10% (determined each fiscal year based on funding projections)
  • Access to an optional Flexible Spending Account for pre-tax funds for medical and/or dependent care cost.

NMILC also recognizes the value in supporting the needs of staff outside of work and that investing in staff’s ability to take care of themselves and their families enables them to do their best work. In this effort, we currently:

  • Provide flexible work schedule and remote work during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Provide leave of 15 paid vacation days during the first year of employment and an additional two days of leave each year after two years of employment, 35 paid holidays (including federal holidays and 2 weeks for winter break, 1week for spring break, and 1 week for summer break, in coordination with the local public school schedule), and 10 paid health-related days;
  • Provide up to 5 hours of paid break/meal time each week


Please submit your: a) resume; and b) cover letter describing how your lived or work experience would make you a good fit for this role to Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis until the position is filled.

Closing Date

Employment Type

Affiliate Agency

Employment Level



Full Time


Director of Legal Programs and Advocacy


New Mexico Immigrant Law Center

Job Location

Albuquerque, NM
United States