National Immigrant Justice Center
208 S. LaSalle St., Suite 1300, Chicago, IL 60604
Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center
Director of Resource Development
Heartland Alliance’s National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC) seeks Director of Resource Development for its Chicago office. The selected candidate will develop strategic and annual fundraising plans, plan annual fundraising events, cultivate donor relations, maintain accurate records, and collaborate with the executive director and co-director of resource management to draft letters of inquiry, grant proposals, and reports.
Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
The Director of Resource Development will collaborate with NIJC’s team to ensure the financial sustainability of the organization. This position will be responsible for a range of duties, which will include developing plans to maximize public and private contributions across a diverse donor base; recruiting, training, and supporting members of the development committee; collaborating with senior management to initiate, cultivate and maintain organizational relationships with individual and institutional donors; conducting research to identify donor prospects and writing letters of inquiry and maintain records regarding individual donors, their interest and identify ways to keep them involved; planning and implement NIJC’s annual appeal and annual NIJC Human Rights Awards luncheon; developing compelling materials that capture clients’ stories and NIJC’s ability to solve problems on an individual and systemic level; assisting in messaging and development of print and digital promotional materials, website content, and special publications; maintaining donor records and accurate data entry; assisting in drafting proposals, grants and reports; and fulfilling other duties as assigned.
- Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree and 5 years of relevant experience required. Master’s degree preferred. Experience in development, particularly in cultivating a diverse individual and corporate donor base. Familiarity with online fundraising and communications tools preferred.
- Language Skills: Excellent writing and editing skills. Ability to write clearly and concisely.
- Computer Skills: Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange; Windows operating systems; and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
- Other Skills: Excellent organizational and interpersonal skills. Experience with access to justice and/or immigration issues is preferred.
The National Immigrant Justice Center’s Detention Project provides removal defense and detention-related advocacy to noncitizens detained by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in its Chicago Area of Responsibility. With the support of pro bono attorneys, the project (1) represents detained individuals before the United States Citizenship & Immigration Services, the Chicago Immigration Court, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the U.S. district courts, and Courts of Appeals, (2) advocates for improved conditions for detained individuals, and (3) advises criminal defense attorneys on the immigration consequences of criminal convictions. The staff attorney will participate in multiple areas of the project’s work and will be expected to visit detention centers and advise detained noncitizens on a regular basis.
- Law degree from ABA accredited law school and a law license.
- At least one year of experience working with noncitizens. NIJC will recognize internships and relevant pre-law school work.
- Fluency in Spanish required.
- Valid driver’s license is required.
- Excellent writing, editing, organizational, analytical, and computer skills.
- Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines.
- Ability to work in fast-paced, professional, environment.
- Proficiency in Microsoft Office, Internet Explorer, Outlook/Exchange, Windows operating systems, and other software routinely used by Heartland Alliance.
Duties and Responsibilities:
- Provide information to detained noncitizens. One of the main responsibilities of the attorney will include traveling to detention centers. The attorney will give presentations to detained individuals educating them about the immigration process, will conduct interviews with individuals, and will help individuals prepare materials to enable them to represent themselves.
- Increase project’s capacity by representing clients. The attorney will also have client-representation responsibilities. Case types include: U visas; cancellation of removal; adjustment of status; asylum, withholding of removal, and relief under the Convention Against Torture; and prosecutorial discretion. The staff attorney will appear primarily in immigration court but will also draft appeals to the Board of Immigration Appeals. The staff attorney will represent applicants in bond hearings and file requests for release with Immigration & Customs Enforcement. All representation must be done in accordance with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
- Increase project’s capacity by developing new pro bono partnerships. In addition to providing representation to individual clients, the staff attorney may also be responsible for providing support to pro bono attorneys who are representing clients through NIJC’s pro bono program. The staff attorney may be asked to identify cases that are appropriate for pro bono placement, place those cases with pro bono attorneys, and supervise pro bono attorneys throughout the process of representing clients.
- Screen cases for representation. The staff attorney will conduct intake, assess client income, gather relevant documents, and perform preliminary research regarding claims and will present this information at weekly project meetings. The staff attorney will also review transcripts and administrative records and make recommendations regarding appellate representation for detained individuals.
Lawyer and Paralegal, justice AmeriCorps' Immigrant Children’s Defense Corps
NIJC is recruiting a lawyer and a paralegal interested in joining the Immigrant Children’s Defense Corps, an initiative of the justice AmeriCorps program. The individuals in these positions will engage in legal advocacy on behalf of unaccompanied immigrant children, many of whom are fleeing violence or have experienced other harm and are eligible for protections against removal. There is no right to appointed counsel in immigration court and without attorneys, the possibility that these children will be deported is very real. The children range in age; the Justice AmeriCorps advocates will accept cases involving children under the age of 16.
The Immigrant Children's Defense Corps is an initiative of justice AmeriCorps and is a partnership led by Equal Justice Works, which includes NIJC. Interested candidates should visit www.joinjusticeAmeriCorps.com or send a resume, writing sample, and three references to Katherine Sobolewski at NIJC.
NIJC is currently accepting applications for post-graduate legal fellowships. NIJC is open to any funding source identified by a candidate, but expects to, at a minimum, identify a candidate for an Equal Justice Works Fellowship application, and possibly a Skadden Fellowship or a Soros Fellowship.
- Cover Letter: Please explain why you are interested in working with NIJC and any experiences you have working with immigrant populations.
- Resume: Be sure to identify any language skills that you have. Fluency in Spanish is required for nearly all positions with NIJC.
- Writing Sample: Please provide a 5-10 page excerpt from a document you have produced in law school or in a legal position that is your own work, with minimal editing by someone else.
- Brief Project Proposal: Most post-graduate legal fellowships require applicants to propose a specific project. Please give a brief description of the kind of work you would like to do. Your proposal should explain why that work is important and how you think it would complement NIJC’s existing work. Do not worry if this proposal is incomplete; NIJC will work with the selected candidate to ensure a strong proposal. Candidates are welcome to propose work with any of NIJC’s existing projects, but we are most interested in individuals who are interested in working with detained immigrants and/or asylum seekers.
If you would like NIJC to host you for a fellowship other than any of the ones listed above, please provide a description of the fellowship and its requirements with your application. In addition to the above information, finalists will be asked to provide references and transcripts, and will be selected for various rounds of interviews.
Documents should be sent to Katherine Sobolewski. No phone calls please.
NIJC offers internships to law students and undergraduates to work in variety of its different legal services programs. The internships present an excellent opportunity to learn more about U.S. immigration law and policies while making a difference in the lives of low-income and impoverished individuals who are in need of legal representation. NIJC will soon be accepting applications for 2014 winter internships for the following programs:
- The Jeanne and Joseph Sullivan Project for Protection of Asylum Seekers
- Detained Immigrant Protection Project
- Immigrant Legal Defense
- Immigrant Children’s Protection Project
- Counter-Trafficking Project
- LGBT Immigrants Rights Project
- Federal Immigration Policy Internship
- National Litigation Project
NIJC is a program of the Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights that champions the human rights and improves the lives of men, women, and children who are threatened by poverty or danger. For more than 100 years we have been providing solutions- both through services and policy- that move individuals from crisis to stability and on to success. Our work in housing, health care, legal protections, and economic security serves more than 100,000 people annually, helping them build better lives. Heartland Alliance makes all hiring and employment decisions without regard to race, creed, color, age, gender, gender identity, marital or parental status, religion, ancestry, national origin, physical or mental disability, sexual orientation, sexual identity, immigrant status, political affiliation or belief, ex-offender status (depending on the offense and position to be filled), unfavorable military discharge, membership in an organization whose primary purpose is the protection of civil rights or improvement of living conditions and human relations, height, weight, or HIV infection, in accord with the Organization's AIDS Policy Statement of September, 1987. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodation should contact the Employee Services Office at (312) 660-1431.