Legal Secretary/Paralegal
Legal Counsel and Unaccompanied Minor Program
Immigration Unit – Albany, NY


PLS is a non-profit legal services organization providing civil legal services to indigent individuals in New York State correctional facilities in cases where no other counsel is available. Founded in 1976 in response to the Attica uprising, PLS has regional offices in Albany, Buffalo, Ithaca and Newburgh.

As part of the Unaccompanied Children’s Program, PLS provides free legal representation to non­citizens detained at youth shelters funded by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, transferred to long term foster care facilities near Newburgh, New York or released from youth shelters to reside with sponsors in the Hudson Valley and who are in or facing immigration removal proceedings. Court proceedings will be primarily venued at the Buffalo Immigration Court. Proceedings to pursue guardianships and special immigrant juvenile status will be scheduled in state courts in upstate New York.

Prisoners’ Legal Services of New York (PLS) is seeking to hire an Unaccompanied Children Paralegal to work from its Immigration Unit, Albany office. The Unaccompanied Children Paralegal is a professional advocate for detained immigrant children who uses cultural competency, compassion, and training in immigration law to prepare children for successful client-attorney relationships and empowers them as respondents before immigration authorities. The Paralegal informs children about the immigration legal process and their rights in a child-friendly and trauma-informed manner. The Paralegal also conducts individual legal screenings to assist with referrals to pro bono counsel and provide follow-up services and specialized information where relevant to a child’s situation.


Perform a wide range of duties including, but not limited to:

  • Answer phone calls, receive and screen visitors
  • Open mail and process intake
  • Case management system data entry
  • Open and organize files
  • Scheduling and calendaring of court hearings
  • Compose correspondence of a routine nature for attorneys
  • Prepare documents for attorney review
  • Establish and maintain record keeping and filing systems for office
  • Prepare disbursements, billing, expense vouchers and maintain financial expense records
  • Follow up with prison staff on record requests
  • Interpret phone calls and in-person interviews and translate documents for court submission
  • General office administration
  • Work cooperatively with clients, peers and supervisors
  • Collect and organize data for monthly reports
  • Work with clients or family members directly to gather information and evidence
  • Conduct non-legal research as needed
  • Research and compile country conditions articles upon attorney request


Salary is commensurate with experience. PLS offers a comprehensive benefits package including medical, dental, short and long-term disability, life insurance and a 401(k) retirement plan. All qualified applicants will be afforded equal employment opportunities without discrimination because of sex, race, color, age, national origin, religion, disability, genetic information, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, citizenship, pregnancy or veteran status, or any other status protected by applicable law.

How to Apply

Please submit your cover letter, resume, and at least three (3) references by email to No phone calls please. Due to the volume of applications expected, only people who are contacted for interviews will receive a response. The position will remain open until filled.