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Open positions at the National Immigrant Justice Center:

Legal Supervisor

Paralegal, Detention Project

Paralegal, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

Senior Attorney, Litigation Project

Special Projects Coordinating Attorney (Chicago/Indiana)

Staff Attorney, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

Internships

Fellowships

 

Legal Supervisor

The Legal Supervisor is a member of the NIJC supervision team and provides legal services and oversight of the immigrant services staff to ensure quality legal representation to immigrants and refugees seeking relief under immigration law. The person in this role will ensure quality legal services and representation to immigrants, refugees and those seeking U.S. Citizenship. As a member of the supervisory team, the member will be responsible for knowledge regarding other areas of legal services provided by NIJC and provide supervisory support. The supervisor will also be responsible for monthly reports, reports to funders and periodic evaluations.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Supervises legal services and oversees paralegals, attorneys, and interns providing legal services
  • Ensures accurate data entry by paralegals and attorneys
  • Oversees and coordinates legal services schedule to ensure intake coverage
  • Maintains and develops strategic partnerships with key stakeholders
  • Conducts factual and legal research. Trains lawyers and non-lawyers in the field of immigration law
  • Trains pro bono attorneys on discrete immigration matters and oversees pro bono citizenship and post asylee/refugee benefits clinics
  • Provides legal representation to immigrants in immigration proceedings, including before an immigration officer, an immigration judge, and in federal court, as appropriate
  • Drafts correspondence and documents, including applications, briefs and reports
  • Improves delivery of legal services, including use of technology to improve efficiency
  • Conducts legal presentations regarding law and case(s) to NIJC staff and members of the immigrant community
  • Maintains accurate, thorough and timely records
  • Maintains current knowledge regarding immigration law and policies and procedures
  • Reacts to change productively and handles other essentials duties as assigned

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: A law degree (JD), license to practice law and at least two years experience in the legal field, preferably in the field of immigration law; or a bachelor’s degree with at least seven years experience as a Board of Immigration Appeals’ accredited representative.
  • Language Skills: Bilingual in English and one other language, as needed. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.

Competencies:

  • Knowledge of immigration law, policies and procedures
  • Ability to analyze facts in light of the law
  • Strong communication skills, both oral and written
  • Competency in Microsoft office
  • Knowledge of database and ability to complete timely data entry
  • Strong organizational skills;
  • Proficiency in a second language
  • Excellent interpersonal and writing skills
  • Detail-orientated with the ability to handle many different tasks simultaneously and complete them in a timely manner.

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


Paralegal, Detention Project

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 will work with NIJC's Detention Project, which provides legal orientation and representation to immigrant adults and children who are held by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement in immigration detention.

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.


Paralegal, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

The paralegal provides general paralegal support for non-detained unaccompanied immigrant children (UICs) seeking protection through asylum, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (SIJS) and other forms of relief. The paralegal conducts intake, research, case review, documentation preparation and other related tasks to support general operations and the work of staff and pro bono attorneys.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Responds to NIJC’s non-detained UIC hotline and 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.
  • Assists in the placement of SIJS cases with pro bono attorneys and tracks individual cases and outcomes
  • 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 English and Spanish is 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.


Senior Litigation Attorney, Litigation Project

NIJC seeks an attorney with litigation experience, including federal litigation, for a full-time litigation position. We invite applications from attorneys who have a demonstrated commitment to immigrant and civil rights, and who would be interested in and capable of contributing to innovative litigation and policy advocacy in the federal courts, both at the district court and in the courts of appeal. Litigation tasks include legal research, drafting of pleadings and briefs, discovery, motion practice, and trials and appeals in both state and federal courts. The litigation attorney will work to develop and implement advocacy strategies in identified areas. The litigation attorney may also be called upon to provide immigration-court level representation for clients in litigation matters (e.g. representing a named- plaintiff in a district court action in his related immigration case). The litigator will work with pro bono attorneys, and will collaborate with the NIJC direct service, policy, and communications teams.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Identify litigation issues and collaborate with NIJC’s communication, policy, and litigation teams
  • Develop legal strategies
  • Provide legal representation and/or lead or participate in litigation efforts through all phases of litigation, including motions practice, discovery, trial, brief writing, and oral argument (as appropriate)
  • Conduct legal research and draft pleadings and briefs
  • Collaborate with community-based organizations to identify cases/plaintiffs
  • Work with pro bono partners
  • Communicate via the media regarding legal advocacy and policy efforts
  • Identify trends and emerging issues

Qualifications:

  • At least three practicing law with a preference in immigration and/or human rights law
  • Candidates with at least two years of litigation experience preferred
  • Ability to represent individuals in complex cases and to formulate and implement sophisticated legal strategies
  • Self-motivated and committed to civil liberties advocacy
  • Excellent writing and analytical skills
  • Ability to work cooperatively on a variety of projects with lawyers, other staff members, and diverse community organizations and coalitions
  • Ability to communicate effectively in legal and non-legal settings with a wide range of individuals and organizations
  • Spanish fluency strongly preferred

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


Special Projects Coordinating Attorney (Chicago/Indiana)

NIJC is seeking to hire a special projects coordinating attorney to oversee a special project for the delivery of legal services to low-income immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers throughout NIJC’s service area. This position will manage a project that will provide legal screenings and representation to identified populations in a broad geographic area. The attorney will serve as NIJC’s point of contact with the funder and high-profile stakeholders to implement the project. The attorney will lead outreach, create legal materials and toolkits, and build intersectional networks to advance immigrant rights. The attorney will work closely with in-house and external experts on developing innovative and efficient service delivery models. The attorney will be responsible for ensuring compliance with the project requirements, maintain data for reporting on project, schedule staffing, and ensure the delivery of quality legal services. The attorney will work with supervising attorneys from NIJC’s programs to keep abreast of changes in immigration law.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:

  • Manage special project to ensure immigration legal services for the identified population
  • Oversee the delivery of legal services to targeted population
  • Coordinate with the funder to provide legal services to develop a schedule and appropriate staffing for mobile units operated by the consulate(s)
  • Develop and monitor referral systems from partners and community navigators
  • Develop bi-lingual materials for targeted population
  • Respond to community members who are seeking information regarding their legal rights in light of changed policies
  • Conduct trainings and educational presentations
  • Provide legal representation
  • Regularly meet with and represent NIJC’s interests to key partners, organizers, and stakeholders; which may require evening and weekend travel
  • Develop a strategy for cultivating and maintaining outreach networks
  • Analyze data to evaluate impact, provide monthly analysis on trends and opportunities, and revise strategy as appropriate
  • Ensure compliance with grants

Qualifications:

  • Education and/or Experience: Juris Doctor Degree required; minimum of 2 years of experience in human rights field, legal and/or communications work required. Minimum of 2 years of experience working in the immigrant rights field, including legal representation, organizing, or community outreach.
  • Language Skills: Fluency in English and Spanish required. Ability to communicate articulately with internal and external audiences. Excellent oral and written communication skills. Demonstrated competency in public speaking and strong interpersonal skills required.
  • Other Skills: Knowledge of: principles and practices of communications and public information techniques through different mediums, including print, television, and internet; writing and editing techniques for a variety of audiences. Ability to: assimilate and convey messages on a variety of issues relating to due process violations and immigration detention in a succinct and compelling way and tailored to different audiences; write effective copy, press releases, design and layout electronic and print newsletters and website pages; work independently with limited supervision; be goal-oriented and multi-task; have a diplomatic presence; develop and maintain good working relationships with a wide variety of peer organizations; communicate effectively, both orally and in writing.

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


Staff Attorney, Immigrant Children's Protection Project

This position provides legal representation and immigration service counseling to immigrants and refugees appearing before the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS). The staff attorney advocates for clients before other government administrative agencies and before other service agencies, as needed and/or as appropriate. This position works with NIJC's Immigrant Children's Protection Project, which helps children who entered the country as unaccompanied minors assess their options for immigration legal relief.

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 (USCIS), 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.

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.

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 spring 2018 part-time internships.

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


Fellowships

NIJC will be 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. NIJC also welcomes applicants who will be seeking post-graduate fellowship funding through their own law schools. Please contact Emma Koch if you are interested in a fellowship. No phone calls please.

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.
     

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. Heartland Alliance's 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.