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Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center:

Communications Coordinator

Executive Coordinator

Paralegal (Immigrant Legal Defense Project)

Paralegal (Goshen, Indiana office)

Staff Attorney

Internships

Fellowships


Communications Coordinator

NIJC is seeking a communications coordinator to provide media relations and editorial support. NIJC promotes the rights of immigrants through direct legal service, impact litigation and advocacy, and is a regular resource for expert commentary and analysis regarding federal immigration law and policy. NIJC’s communications team works closely with the organization’s legal and policy staff and clients to tell stories that break down barriers to compassion in the immigration debate and hold the U.S. government accountable to uphold human rights. NIJC’s Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project collaborates with partners nationwide to increase public access to information about the U.S. immigration system and provide groundbreaking research to equip advocates working to end inhumane immigration detention and enforcement practices. The communications coordinator will be a key member of NIJC’s communications team to assist in media relations, website content management, and editorial and multimedia projects. The communications coordinator also will play a key role in maintaining the NIJC website (www.immigrantjustice.org) and the organization’s online presence.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Develop brochures and other outreach materials about NIJC’s legal services
  • Draft press releases, letters to the editor, and op eds regarding NIJC’s litigation developments and to promote NIJC’s vision of a more just and transparent immigration system
  • Assist in responding to media inquiries, coordinating interviews with staff, and preparing talking points
  • Assist in management and production of website content
  • Assist in production/layout and media outreach for publications and reports
  • Play a key support role in NIJC’s Immigration Detention Transparency and Human Rights Project:
    • Organize, log, and assist in analysis of government documents received via Freedom of Information Act
    • Participate in the development and execution of publication and outreach strategies to release documents
    • Help supplement document research with client interviews and multimedia production
    • Assist in production (including layout) of Transparency Project reports
    • Help maintain Transparency Project documents and related content on website
    • Coordinate with Online Engagement Manager and Communications Director to assist in execution of media outreach for Transparency Project reports

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelor’s degree required.
  • Writing experience, editor, or researcher for advocacy organizations
  • Attention to detail, with the ability to think creatively and strategize about how to present complex research and data in ways that are accessible to a broad audience
  • Highly organized and able to manage and organize large amounts of data
  • Comfort using content management systems, social networking tools, and other media and web technologies, or willingness to learn quickly

Preferred Experience:

  • Graphic design experience desirable.
  • Data analysis experience is not required, but candidates with experience in analyzing and/or visualizing large data sets should highlight the experience in their applications
  • Demonstrated interest in immigrant rights and/or human rights advocacy preferred; knowledge of the U.S. immigration detention system desired
  • Spanish fluency highly recommended to assist in client interviews for inclusion in NIJC reports and publications

Selected candidates will be asked to submit writing samples that demonstrate experience writing about current human rights issues for the media and/or policy makers.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Executive Coordinator

The executive coordinator provides proficient and advanced administrative support services to NIJC's executive director and coordinates communications, activities, and special projects.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Performs routine clerical/support tasks for the department including, but not limited to: filing, photocopying, distribution of mail, answering telephones, maintaining records, etc. Screens visitors and callers and responds to requests within this position's responsibilities.
  • Maintains confidentiality of all documents and other information. Prepares records, contracts, schedules, and other necessary documentation assigned. Ensures the appropriate filing and distribution, etc. of such data. Develops forms, as needed, and establishes procedures for processing clerical /support related data and information.
  • Provides research and written analysis of issues as assigned. Composes written material for the processing of basic to intermediate level correspondence and inquiries. Assists with or executes communications related activities such as preparing brochures and other collateral materials, writing copy, advanced word processing, and preparing presentations. Process requests on behalf of supervisor.
  • Develops and maintains filing systems. Develops procedures for the control, storage, use, and availability of office supplies and related items.
  • Provides board of directors-related support services including, but not limited to: maintenance and monthly update of board and board committee rosters, coordination of board meetings and preparation of minutes, and development of meeting agendas with collection of related materials.
  • Approves and coordinates requisitions for office supplies and related items or services, within defined budgetary limitations. Coordinates the repair of office equipment and instructs others in the proper use of office equipment.
  • Assists NIJC's executive director and assigned managers with scheduling and other decisions related to clerical/support functions to ensure efficient office operations; assists direct supervisor in personal scheduling and meeting preparations.
  • Provides support services to other external and internal work groups, coalitions, and task forces including maintenance of rosters, coordination of meetings, and preparation of minutes.
  • Maintains an appropriate professional demeanor toward co-workers, visitors, clients, supervisors, and others. Adheres to professional standards as outlined by organizational plans/policies and departmental guidelines. Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that he/she understands and continues to adhere to such standards. Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.
  • Ability to react to change productively and handle other essential tasks as assigned. The manager responsible for providing the supervision for the position of executive coordinator may select appropriate work assignments as needed, depending on the goals and objectives of the department at any given point in time. Performs other duties and special requests as assigned.
  • Supervisory responsibility for administrative staff

Qualifications: 

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelors Degree and two years of related experience, or equivalent combination of education and experience.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read and interpret documents such as safety rules, operating and maintenance instructions, and procedure manuals. Ability to write routine reports and correspondence. Ability to speak effectively before groups of customers or employees of organization.
  • Computer Skills: Demonstrated proficiency with word processing, spreadsheet, database and presentation software (specifically Microsoft Office).
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to calculate figures and amounts such as discounts, interest, commissions, proportions and percentages.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Immigrant Legal Defense Project Paralegal

The paralegal provides general paralegal support through intake, research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys. This posting is for a position with NIJC's Immigrant Legal Defense Project, which offers a wide range of low-cost and free legal services to low-income immigrants in jurisdiction of the Chicago immigration court, and represents immigrants before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducts intake, as assigned.
  • Conducts legal and factual research.
  • Assesses cases to determine eligibility.
  • Conducts interviews with clients and witnesses.
  • Drafts applications, affidavits, letters and/or legal pleadings and prepares supporting documentation.
  • Prepares materials for submission to Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Court, or other entities as appropriate.
  • Reviews, analyzes and presents cases to supervisor.
  • Conducts educational presentations.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures.
  • Maintains complete, thorough, accurate and current records in an organized fashion in accordance with legal standards, rules and ethics.
  • Ensures the accuracy, substance and timeliness of statistical and narrative reports, projects, schedules and other relevant work products.
  • In accord with organizational policies and the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflicts of interest.
  • Other duties may be assigned.

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelors degree with demonstrated experience working with immigrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers. At least one year of experience working with these populations preferred.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in another language may be required. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences.
  • Other Qualifications: Excellent writing, editing, organizational and computer skills required. Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Staff Attorney

The staff attorney provides legal representation and immigration service counseling to immigrants and refugees appearing before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). He or she advocates for clients before other government administrative agencies and before other service agencies, as needed and/or as appropriate. This staff attorney position will work with a to be determined program: NIJC's Immigrant Legal Defense (ILD), Asylum Project, or Children's Protection Project. The ILD Project offers a wide range of low-cost and free legal services to low-income immigrants in jurisdiction of the Chicago immigration court, and represents immigrants before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. The Children's Project represents and advocates for detained and non-detained immigrant children who face the possibility of deportation to a dangerous homeland. The Asylum Project provides free legal representation to people fleeing persecution and torture in their native countries.

Essential duties and responsibilities:

  • Conducts preliminary intake interview, gathers all relevant facts for presentation at unit meetings. Makes assessment of income eligibility and makes appropriate referrals for those individuals not eligible for organization services. Recommends exceptions to financial guidelines to the supervisor.
  • Develops and implements preliminary case strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in terms of immigration law and procedure. Develops further strategy in consultation with supervisor.
  • Prepares the case for hearing, drafting legal papers, engaging in negotiation, presenting evidence, etc. in accord with the Code of Professional Responsibility for the legal profession.
  • Conducts assessment of client on social, psychological and economic functioning and determines appropriate interventions and referrals. Ensures the provision of a wide range of services for clients.
  • Carries a volume of work as required by the department. Has in-depth knowledge of legal and other resources. Provides a wide range of court advocacy services.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures. Remains current on implications of criminal and civil law as it apples to the representation of immigrants and refugees.
  • Develops and maintains professional relationships with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services, government and social service organizations and community organizations. Interprets immigration and department policies and programs to the public, including public speaking.
  • In accord with the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflict of interest.
  • Maintains complete and accurate client records. Prepares timely statistical reports. Conducts quarterly case audits for presentation and review of the supervisor.
  • Participates in training on immigration procedures as assigned by the supervisor. May conduct training sessions as assigned by the supervisor.
  • Participates in developing and implementing special projects. May have the primary responsibility for a project involving presentation of a particular ethnic group, immigration problem or advocacy issues on a systematic level.
  • Identifies trends and recurring legal and social concerns. Recommends strategies for solutions and other needed advocacy.
  • Interprets and translates for department and other organization staff as needed.
  • Adheres to professional standards as outlined by governmental bodies, (and/or other appropriate professional associations), private funding sources, organization plans/policies and unit guidelines. Participates in periodic evaluative reviews and/or in-house and external staff training to ensure that she/he understand and continues to adhere to such standards. Initiates requests for assistance or guidance from supervisor to address new issues or complex concepts affecting adherence to professional standards.

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Juris Doctorate Degree required; and one year of direct experience in social service counseling and/or legal representation.
  • Language Skills: Ability to read, analyze, and interpret general business periodicals, professional journals, technical procedures, or governmental regulations. Ability to write reports, business correspondence, and procedure manuals. Ability to effectively present information and respond to questions from groups of managers, clients, customers, and the general public. Ability to read, speak and write in at least one non-English language.
  • Mathematical Skills: Ability to add, subtract, multiply, and divide in all units of measure, using whole numbers, common fractions, and decimals. Ability to compute rate, ratio, and percent and to draw and interpret bar graphs.
  • Reasoning Ability: Ability to solve practical problems and deal with a variety of concrete variables in situations where only limited standardization exists. Ability to interpret a variety of instructions furnished in written, oral, diagram, or schedule form.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.


Paralegal (Goshen, Indiana office)

The paralegal provides general paralegal support through intake, research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys. This position is for a paralegal position at NIJC's office in Goshen, Indiana. The Goshen team works to ensure that immigrants are aware of their legal options and provide representation before U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services and the Executive Office for Immigration Review. NIJC-Goshen collaborates with community and faith-based aid organizations and law schools to share its expertise in immigration law and offer technical assistance based on its highly successful service-delivery model. NIJC-Goshen staff conduct regular outreach to the community regarding immigration legal options and provide information to prevent families from becoming victims of notary fraud and the unauthorized practice of law.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Conducts intake, as assigned.
  • Conducts legal and factual research.
  • Assesses cases to determine eligibility.
  • Conducts interviews with clients and witnesses.
  • Drafts applications, affidavits, letters and/or legal pleadings and prepares supporting documentation.
  • Prepares materials for submission to Department of Homeland Security, Immigration Court, or other entities as appropriate.
  • Reviews, analyzes and presents cases to supervisor.
  • Conducts educational presentations.
  • Remains current on immigration law, policies and procedures.
  • Maintains complete, thorough, accurate and current records in an organized fashion in accordance with legal standards, rules and ethics.
  • Ensures the accuracy, substance and timeliness of statistical and narrative reports, projects, schedules and other relevant work products.
  • In accord with organizational policies and the ethical standards required of the legal profession, the Code of Professional Responsibility, preserves client confidentiality, accounts for client monies and avoids conflicts of interest.

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Bachelors degree with demonstrated experience working with immigrants, refugees and/or asylum seekers. At least one year of experience working with these populations preferred.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in another language may be required. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences.
  • Other Qualifications: Excellent writing, editing, organizational and computer skills required. Ability to manage multiple tasks efficiently and perform well under strict deadlines.

View the full job listing and apply on Heartland Alliance's job board.

 

Internships

NIJC offers internships to law students and undergraduate students to work in a 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 is now accepting applications for Winter-Spring 2016 part-time internships.

Click here for more information about available internships and how to apply.

Fellowships

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 a Skadden Fellowship or a Soros Fellowship with NIJC's Counter-Trafficking Project. NIJC also welcomes applicants who will be seeking post-graduate fellowship funding through their own law schools.

Application Materials:

  1. Cover Letter: Explain your interest in NIJC and any experiences you have working with immigrant populations.
  2. Resume: Identify any language skills that you have. Fluency in Spanish is required for almost all positions with NIJC.
  3. Writing Sample: 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.
  4. 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. 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 immigrant victims of trafficking, detained immigrants, and/or asylum seekers.
  5. Other: 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.

Interested candidates should submit the following information to NIJC by June 30, 2016. Documents should be sent to Tarrajna Walsh. No phone calls please.

Anchor

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.